This year I did NOT hastily make New Year’s Resolutions in the waning moments before Rosh Hashana. Why bother? I always make the same exact list. Every year I resolve to yell less, and to run and write more. In a few weeks I hope to run a marathon, and I’m doing so much more writing that I barely have time to blog. The yelling is wishful thinking. For that, I’d need a personality transplant. 

I also resolve to bake less. This year I’m doing a pretty good job. This week, however, my baby turned five. She turned five and asked for a cake with flowers. A cake with flowers that I made myself — how did she even know enough to ask that?

I happened to be in Whole Foods where I picked up some vegan, gluten free, grass fed cake mix (because, why not?) as well as some plant based food coloring. I do not NEED to buy grass fed cake mix and plant based food coloring, but I did NOT want to make a trip to a separate store, especially when that store is likely to be the single dingiest place on earth – my local A and P. 

Turns out, though, that when you use plant based food coloring and try to make an rainbow cake, each layer of the cake will be a different shade of orange. Believe it or not, this is meant to be blue, pink, orange and yellow:


And the shades of rainbow, all of which turn out to be turmeric, do this to your nails: 

 I showed this to the kids and explained that this stain happened because I was wearing clear nail polish. 

“Clear nail polish,” asked a certain 11 year old boy. “What’s the point of that?”

The birthday dessert was looking pretty sorry and I was yellowing quickly. I had no idea how to really frost the cake. My eldest, while watching me dissolve into a full on pre-birthday panic attack reminded me that our neighbor, a high schooler, is also a rather adept cake maker. 

And so he was. He came to our rescue and the gelatinous pile of turmeric mush turned into this:  

 Victory was mine. Mine, with a little help. Fortunately, Fiona hates cake. Her birthday, which is less than two weeks away, will be celebrated with ice cream and gummy bears. 

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