It's Official! I'm One Year Older Today.

That's right, today is my birthday. And because it is MY day, I thought I'd share a few past birthday cake pictures, some thoughts and maybe a little extra information about ME that you might not know.

I'm 38 years old.

I thought I would just put that out there, since my philosophy has been to always just say how old you are. I think this came about as a child observing several adults (mostly women) who when asked by a child of any age what their age was, always responded with some ridiculous answer like "Oh, I'm not a day over 24"--yeah, right. Even at the ripe old age of 9 years old, I know that you are NOT 24 yrs. old (even my math skills aren't that poor). So since then I decided that I wouldn't EVER lie about my age to both the young and older folks that inquire.

I love October 1st for several reasons (besides the obvious birthday thing).

Reason #1:
Even though the Autumnal Equinox began technically on September 22nd, October FEELS like it is the true fall month and so I begin to recognize it as such.

Reason #2:
Besides January 1st, October 1st is the other day that I feel I MUST set new goals for myself. It's a NEW year for me, and I love that my birthday is on the 1st--very much another type of beginning. A new year, a new age, a new month, etc... The organizer in me is very much in charge today.

The really great birthday year is when October 1st falls on a Sunday--then it's all about the firsts; a new year, a new month, a new week, the first day, etc.

Reason #3:
It still can be warm enough to be considered a late summer, and is still far enough away from winter (unless you live in places like Utah or Idaho that recently had a freak snow storm--then all bets are off).

Reason #4:
As a kid October was far enough into the school year, that you didn't get missed having it in the summer or right after Labor Day. I had a friend who's birthday falls on Veteran's Day and we never got to be at school on her birthday--bummer!

People always ask me if I make my own cake for my birthday and what kind. I have to say that since becoming a Pastry Chef I haven't made myself a special cake for my birthday--which isn't to say I wouldn't, I just haven't yet. I suppose that if I was hosting a little party for myself, I would make something fabulous, but I honestly hadn't really thought about doing it. It's more exciting to make OTHER people's birthday cakes.

But it got me thinking...what kind of a cake would I make for myself? [Answer: Probably something with chocolate and caramel, chocolate ganache, something that would go great with a QUALITY brand ice cream on the side.]

Or better yet, who would I have make my cake?

My Mom has made some AMAZING cakes during my childhood--all of which I remember very well and with fond memories. When we got a little older (past 2 or 3 years old) we got to request what character or shape or theme we wanted our cake to be. I remember thinking I was pretty smart if I could ask for a cake with lots of details, because details on a cake = lots of candy.

I love how clever my Mom was with many of my cakes. See, we have NEVER owned one single shape pan (you know that kind I'm taking about--dolls, animals, etc.), she could just figure out how to carve it from a rectangle or round cake. Many of my cakes were from a cute little character on a napkin or party tablecloth and my Mom would magically create that theme or shape in a bigger-than-life cake that I would watch with such excitement and awe.

Here are a few of my favorite childhood cakes, actually I have eight pictures to share with you. (Eight may sound like a lot, but keep in mind it's way less than 38 potential birthday cakes I could bore you with).

Jill's 1st Birthday Cake: Raggedy Ann (1972)

2 years old: Bunny Birthday Cake (1973)

3 years old: Bear Birthday Cake (1974)

4 years old: Rocking Horse Cake (1975)

5 years old: Elephant Birthday Cake (1976)

6 years old: Cute Hippopotamus Cake (1977)

8 years old: Little Girl Cake (1979)

10 years old: Butterfly Cake (1981)

A big THANK YOU to my Mom for each and every birthday cake she has made me over the years and for making my day a special one!!