Birthday Celebration

by Julie

(pomegranate cashew cake with walnut and hemp seed crust)


Yesterday was my birthday. Not usually being one for crowds or big parties, I’ve never been comfortable throwing a huge celebration for the day. It is, of course, only two days before the Christmas holiday, and there already seem to be enough big gatherings on everybody’s lists. Instead, give me 6-10 really stellar people, good food (in this case, cake!) and drink, and perfecto! An award-winning time in my book.

My friends came, we made merry, we each read Affirmation Flower cards and discussed personalities and Zodiac signs. And in case you wonder, What on this green earth is an Affirmation Flower? let me give you a clue: I drew from the stack, “Sweet Pea,” which is ironic, given that one of my best friends from elementary school used to call me Sweet Pea–a direct reference to the movie “Nell” with Jodie Foster; on the front of the card is a close-up photo of the flower, and on the back is a daily affirmation: “I find my Self revealed in the larger working community. I find my right connection to social experience. I acknowledge the Warmth and Goodness of Human Fellowship.” Pretty amazing, and also  quite fun when read aloud after swallowing a glassful of some spiked drink.

Birthdays seem to be one of those days when I get an itching to tackle some new/different/extra-challenging. For instance, last year for my husband’s birthday, I decided to bake the Triple-Chocolate Fat Pants Cake from the famed NYC bakery, Babycakes. I was a good follower-of-recipes and read the whole thing through before beginning–only to discover that the “Triple-Chocolate” in the title doesn’t necessarily refer to three different kinds of chocolate, or even triple the amount of chocolate; rather, it’s three entirely separate recipes, which all combine into one huge, layered pile of chocolately goodness.

So this year, true to tradition, I decided to make myself a raw, vegan, gluten-free pomegranate cashew cake, inspired by the folks at Green Kitchen Stories and this recipe they concocted for a vegan, gluten-free holiday menu. I’d never cooked with pomegranates before, and what a lovely treat. Well worth all the pulsing and food processing!

Anyway, a very happy day to all of you! Back on Monday with weekly recipes!