Well June is here in all its glory. It’s birthday month for my sister, Janice, (and my husband, but she has to take priority). Notice “month,” as she feels that it takes a month now to make up for her childhood. I’ll explain.
When I was a little girl, June meant a trip to Guntersville, Alabama, for the annual family vacation with grandparents. But actually it was the annual fishing trip for my dad and my uncles. For you see, the willow flies hatched the week of Janice’s birthday, and that was the appointed week where the brim fish were over-plentiful. The catch was always good and abundant.
As long as we were living at home, we would make the annual trip during her birthday week. We referred to her week as willow fly week. And while we would celebrate with all the trimmings, she still felt overshadowed by the fishing events. I guess she is still sensitive today, but we don’t ask.
While we grandchildren were not out in the boat on Guntersville Lake with the grownups, we had our own little fishing fun. Granddad Hill would load us up in his gigantic Chevy, with cane poles hanging out the windows, and we would speed down the winding mountain to the dam at the lake. For right there was the best pole fishing in the world, according to him. We used bread balls on the hooks and brought in our own abundant catch of tiny fish. They were not even bite size, but we had a ball catching them. We brought them back to the farm and proceeded to clean them for cooking.
Mom confessed to us, years later, that she kept a wonderful supply on fish sticks on hand and cooked them in the oven. We thought we were eating our catch and enjoyed every bite. Theses are great memories of wonderful June days.
But now it’s back to the present. It is time to plan the parties for Janice and Neal. I was reminded of this very thing when the latest issue of Entertain Decorate Celebrate magazine arrived. It is the birthday issue, and a scrumptious slice of white confetti birthday cake adorns the cover. It starts with a mix, and with just a few added ingredients, it is a fabulous cake. White cake is perfect and my favorite, but the Mocha Cake will delight the chocolate fans. There are several scrumptious cakes that will turn any day into a special day.
We will begin our month of celebrating and hope that you will enjoy the ideas and tips in the new issue.
- 2 (16.5-ounce) boxes white cake mix*
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Silky Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Garnish: assorted edible pearls,
- edible confetti
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix and next 3 ingredients with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in sour cream and almond extract until smooth. Divide batter among prepared pans, and bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Spread reserved Silky Buttercream with confetti between layers. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining Silky Buttercream. Garnish with edible pearls and confetti, as desired. *We used Duncan Hines White Cake Mix.
- Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- Cool: 1 hour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup edible confetti
- In the top of a double boiler, whisk together sugar and egg whites; place over simmering water. Cook sugar mixture until a candy thermometer registers 140°. Remove from heat. Immediately pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Spoon 1½ cups frosting into a small bowl. Stir in confetti and use in layers. Use immediately.
- Makes about 5 cups
What is your favorite birthday memory?