This year's birth celebration (I celebrate for a week, minimum) started out with a bang. Spork's uncle Joe, expert kayak builder and chess guru, had emailed that he was sending some sunflower cuttings so when I went to the post office and found the Key of Joy in the mail box, I was very excited. When the Key of Joy revealed a 5 pound package, I thought I might need to pick up another jar of rooting hormone on the drive home.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the package contained a tiny bag of sunflower cuttings and a really cool piece of wooden inlay, which Spork later told me was called an intarsia.
birthday surprise that came in the mail and 4) it has a kitty on it! It's the best! I smile every time I look at it. :)
On the culinary front, Spork asked me what kind of cake I wanted and I requested a coconut cake with lemon curd filling. He donned his manly Triumph apron and made the entire thing from scratch, right down to the lemon curd! It was so good that I volunteered him to be the official cake baker from now on. For some reason, he didn't seem to relish that idea.
After many days of cake (in addition to Spork's cake, Becky provided a super-evil raspberry amaretto cake and my mom made a red velvet cake), I couldn't face the idea of cobbler-ing the enormous quantity of berries that had accumulated in the refrigerator. It was time, I decided, to try my recipe for blackberry cordial, slightly modified to mixed berry cordial (blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries).
For this recipe, you pour a cup of sugar into the bottom of a large jar. Top that with 4 cups of berries (washed and patted dry), then pour in 4 cups of vodka. Place in a dark cupboard for 8 weeks, shaking once a week. Strain through a sieve, then through a coffee filter. Store in glass bottles.
I've never made this before, so I overlooked the bit about 8 weeks of waiting and shaking. I'm sure it will be worth it, though.