Beyond the Kitchen

Baker’s Day Off- Birthday

In my life, the topic of food is completely inseparable from the topic of family.  I know this connection isn’t unique to me.  I’m sure you can all relate in one way or another.  My family comes together in the kitchen.  It’s like we’re a gang of rebel pirates (yes, pirates) and my dad is the captain.  He’s the sauce man, the dip man, the master biscuit maker and the pie guy.  He’s got it all covered and my sister, mom and I just follow directions.  We all have our jobs and our strengths, and together we take no prisoners in the kitchen.  We are pirates, after all.

The end product is always such a joy.  We laugh over huge pans of cheesy enchiladas, we celebrate with bowls of pasta and homemade marinara sauce, and we sometimes mourn over dense, sweet cakes.  We run the gamut of emotions always together, always in the kitchen.

This Memorial Day weekend we came together in San Francisco.  Yes, I stepped out of my kitchen for a day… and into another, much more rowdy and crowded kitchen.

It was also my birthday and my sister and mom made me the beautiful Hummingbird Cake that you see above.

After the jump, my birthday Sunday, in seven pictures.  Sorry kids, no recipe in this installment, just pretty pictures.

We take a detour (sometimes known as a wrong turn) that lands of on San Francisco’s Treasure Island.

Fresh Margaritas- lime, triple sec and tequila.  Over ice.  Simple Goodness.  Stick a candle in it and who needs birthday cake?

The making of the guacamole.  Dad is the master.  No one messes with Dad’s guacamole process.  And when it’s all done, if Dad wants to eat half the bowl himself, well…. we all let him, he’s that good.

As though a chip weren’t good enough for dipping, sometimes you need a spoon to pile the guacamole onto the chip, or directly into your mouth.  When it comes to guacamole, we don’t play.

Mom and sister put the finishing touches on the Hummingbird Cake.  With bananas, pineapple, and pecan, the cake was moist and had a great texture.  And the cream cheese frosting with toasted pecans and coconut…!  Don’t even get me started…

I’ve got a lot to smile about- great family, lots of love, a three day weekend and a birthday cake that I didn’t bake myself.  Cake always tastes better when someone else puts their love into it.


Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  More recipes and madness to come this week.

Baker’s Note:  Thank you to all of my family who helped my celebrate my birthday this weekend.  I know I only seem to mention my Dad, Mom and Sister.  Thank you Scaglione’s for welcoming us into your house, and for the hilarious board game.  Thank you Chester and Julie for always being so welcoming, warm and hospitable.  Thank you little Madeleine for being such a beautiful new addition to the family. Thank you Launa for coming to spend you vacation time with the crazy family.  I love you all.