A-vast! (birthday cake, that is)
One of the delights of raising children is that it gives you the chance to indulge in blameless childishness yourself. Our younger son turned five a couple of days ago, which was an excuse to follow his lead and indulge in all things piratical, culminating in a pirate ship birthday cake. (We’re not talking Somalian pirates here, just to be clear.) How lucky I am to have a little boy who still believes in fairies and pirates and Superman, who wants to be a pirate captain when he grows up! This stage of childhood, when all things are possible, is very precious.
His pirate obsession has lasted two years, so almost half his life. When it came to making the cake, therefore, it meant that I could recycle the theme of his third birthday. Out with the trusty pirate ship cake pan (made by Nordic Ware, a US company) and the ‘sails’ which I made out of cardboard, plant stakes and sticky tape. Our galleon has chocolate fingers for canons, Maltesers for canon balls and great piles of jelly diamonds and dolly mixtures for the treasure lying heaped up on deck.
By the time the cake actually makes it appearance at the end of birthday tea, few of the scurvy crew have any room left in their little tummies to fit in anything other than the odd jewel or canonball. That’s hardly the point though. You can’t have a birthday party without cake, and you can’t be a pirate without a pirate ship. Avast, belay, yo-ho, heave to, a pirate’s life for me!