Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Score! Happy Birthday, Katya!

"Кате 9! Ура! Ура!"/"Каtya's 9! Hurrah! Hurrah!"

Everything is happening a little late this fall... Katya actually turned 9 on September 3rd, but she was still home sick that week with pneumonia. The following week I was too tuckered out to pull off baking her the kind of cake she wanted, plus leading some fun activity for her classmates... So we postponed her school party until this week. (Her party with friends? Um, some time later this year... A mid-winter "girly-girl" spa-type party...)

She really wanted a soccer ball cake... I found a round ball cake pan while in the USA, along with some cool soccer party favors (pencils/erasers/tattoos/stickers/chocolates). I then added in some green Pop-Rocks candy and the kids went nuts over the "firework" feeling on their tongues!

Chris (and many others, I'm sure), think I'm nuts to try so hard when making their cakes... But no matter how tiring it might be, it's important to me. I want them to look back in years to come and remember how their birthday cakes were always unique, made with love, and delicious. I personally can't stand store-bought cakes, and I'm loathe to spend what it would cost for a truly yummy cake here in Moscow... So I persist in this endeavor--no matter how FRUSTRATING it is to do so with an oven that always burns half of what I bake. 

This cake is composed of four different batches of cake, two of which I had to bake again after the temperature in the oven jumped and charred them....

It's still so hot in our apartment that the buttercream and cream cheese frostings all started to melt, rending it impossible to pipe them with a pastry bag and tip... Somehow, though, it still turned out rather well. 

Katya was so pleased...

Her classmates all thought it was pretty darn cool, too. Parents here don't usually bake their own kids' cakes. She didn't like standing out when in first and second grade, no matter how much her classmates raved about the taste. I suggested perhaps simply buying a cake this year, only to have her balk at the idea. "But you HAVE to make my cake!" I guess it's now cool...

Her classmates all know me pretty well now that I teach in the school, too... And they really enjoy the Musical Theater Club I'm leading once a week, so she wanted me to make the cake and lead her class in a game of Bingo in English.

The class loved playing Bingo (the cool notebooks I gave out as prizes were a hit) and they didn't want to stop to head outside for recess. They'll enjoy it when I throw an evening English Bingo event for the whole grade later this year, complete with prizes brought back from America.

Her friends were extremely thoughtful about her birthday. Now that the kids know each other so well, she received the kindest presents... Her favorites were a BBC video about how art has shaped world history and various books that featured logic puzzles or fun doodling exercises. 

One mom went as far as to think of Katya while they were in the USA this past summer. She even brought back a scrapbooking kit for "Best Friends" that lets you make two friendship books with your pal. Such thoughtfulness made her--and me---so thankful for the bonds we have built with kindred classmates and parents.


Anonymous said...

that cake is awesome! i love homemade cakes ; ) lucky katya ; )

miss you!

Rachael said...

Happy, happy belated birthday, Katya!

I think the cake is fantastic!

I always go a little over the top for birthdays too, with the cake and decorations. I can't help it. Hopefully, they'll remember it fondly and that's all I ask.

Annie said...

You (and Rachael) put me to shame. However, my mom's cakes were always really important to me even though they were "creativity challenged". I certainly didn't know it! She'd decorate each one with some sort of candy - and since candy AND cake was a rare treat, that was amazingly wonderful. Well.... a LAYER cake was something else!

I was all the more amazed seeing the side version! It is tall!

Tina in CT said...

Don't feel badly Annie as Tami's cakes growing up were ice cream cakes from Friendly's or Carvel or else I made a plain chocolate cake. I am not a fancy cake baker and have no desire to be.

The soccer cake is fantastic and I bet it was very good too. I'm sure it was from scratch.

The kids in the class must have loved it.

Sheryl said...

WONDERFULL!!!!! Great job on the cake!My mom made my cakes too, but I just got to choose the flavors. It was always chocolate icing on chocolate cake.

Tina in CT said...

I bought soccer paper to do Katya's 9th birthday. All I need are pictures from 2009 to be put on Ofoto so I can order them.