A Belated Birthday Cake

Every Tuesday I hang out with a cool kid I'll refer to as Rebecca.  Last week after reading Dumpling Soup and being reminded of sushi and other edible treats, she said, "I have a great idea.  Why don't we start a recipe book like our poetry book?!"  At the moment, Rebecca and I juggle and maintain a total of four journals/books: 1. a communication journal that works much like the pen pal system of olden days-I write to her, she writes to me, I write back to her and so forth; 2. a poetry journal where she keeps copies of poems that we either author or borrow from other authors and recite weekly; 3. another poetry journal that consists only of poems we have co-authored together; 4. our apparently new initiative--the recipe book.

I racked my brain the entire week thinking what could I possibly do to tie in what I'd planned, which was something on Dr. Seuss' 109th b-day, and the recipe book she had in mind.  Finally I settled on what still seems to be the natural best answer: a belated birthday cake for dear old Dr. Seuss (belated because his birthday was on Saturday, and it's now Tuesday.)

Rebecca showed up with newly pierced ears, her bag, and lots of ideas.  "I already know how I'm going to decorate the cover," she began.  "Of what?" I asked.  "The recipe book!" she replied.  "I wonder what kind of craft we're going to make...is that the book we're using?"  "Yep," I told her, "but first things first..."--we knocked out her communication journal, a quick spelling test, a very necessary chat about her new earrings, and then got down to business.  Here's what she came up with for the cover of the recipe book:

*I LOVE the fact that she adds a copyright to all of her work!

And the back of the book...

I explained to Rebecca that we'd be making a belated birthday cake for Dr. Seuss, and asked her if she knew what that meant.  She said, "I think so...it's his birthday but he's not around to celebrate it."  After we cleared up the definition of belated, but before starting on the cake, I asked her to name the recipe.  After a little consideration we both decided on "Dr. Seuss' Birthday Cake."

We used a recipe that is the only cake recipe I know by heart.  It was given to me by my mother-in-law and makes a wonderfully fluffy cake that's light and not overly sweet.  As I gathered the ingredients I asked Rebecca to write down what materials we needed, what ingredients we needed, and the directions for making the cake.

Here's the rough draft:

I highlighted the misspelled words by underlining them and then made a list of those words under a section labeled "New Words We Learned to Spell" at the bottom of the page.  This made it easy for her to check her spelling as she wrote out the final draft.

The recipe is really simple, and the ingredients are easy to get your hands on--I would write it all out but Rebecca's already obtained a copyright and all...

Here's the final copy that she published by hand as the first entry in her recipe book--of course I got her permission to reprint it here:

The picture of the cake in the upper right hand corner was her fantastic idea.

Here's a few pics of the process of making the cake:

And the slice she took home to share with her family:

We had a few extra minutes so we decided to make a silly belated birthday card:

I thought up the first line, "It was your birthday the other day,"
and without skipping a beat Rebecca added,
"Too bad you didn't come and play!"

Dr. Seuss couldn't have said it better.

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