11 January 2008

Friday Five: Las Mañanitas

Éstas son las mañanitas (These are the morning verses)
Que cantaba el Rey David, (That King David used to sing,)
A las muchachas bonitas (To the beautiful young ladies,)
Se las cantaba así. (He would sing them like this.)
(The Mexican birthday song, sometimes sung as a dawn serenade).

Mother Laura penned this birthday-inspired Friday Five (my answers below):

1. When is your birthday? Does anyone else (famous and/or in your own life) share it?

My birthday is October 1; I share it with Mrs. Robert E. Lee (Mary Custis), Julie Andrews, and President Carter. :) We be Libraz! (parenthetical note: my sister-in-law and best friend from HS, Amy, has General Lee's birthday. How cool is that??)

2. Do you prefer a big party or an intimate celebration for the chosen few?

Probably the latter; I have a hard time with the noise level at huge gatherings.

3. Describe your most memorable birthday(s)--good, bad, or both.

October 1, 1967: We partied quietly, like people around an open grave, because the Red Sox had won their game that afternoon--and our winning of the Pennant depended on the outcome of the Tigers game, which would not be concluded until that evening. I remember nothing birthday related, except that it was the day... until evening. I was sitting in the living room watching Walt Disney ("Fighting Prince of Donegal", not sure what episode...) and Daddy and Hutch were in the kitchen listening to the Tigers on the radio. I couldn't listen because, fanatic that I am, I hadn't been there for the first pitch--and superstition says one must NOT listen to or watch the game unless you're there from the start (unless your team is winning AND at bat when you tune in, then you MUST watch or listen because you'll jinx it if you walk away... LOL!). Suddenly two things happened exactly simultaneously: the scene on TV showed the Irish chieftains swearing to fight for Prince Hugh O'Donnell and all threw their cups into the fireplace while shouting for freedom--and Daddy and Hutch began screaming in the kitchen because the Tigers won. :) True story, I swear it. Now every Sox victory seems to bring that memory back. (Yeah, I know, religion and baseball YET again... *g*)

4. What is your favorite cake and ice cream? (Bonus points if you share the cake recipe). Or would you rather have a different treat altogether?

Green tea ice cream with raisins, and Simnel Cake (Yum marzipan...), a British tradition either for Easter or Mothering Sunday in Lent (depending on tradition),

Here's the recipe: 1 c. butter (room temperature), 1 c. sugar, 3 eggs, 1 c. dark raisins, 1 c. golden raisins, 1 c. currants, 1/2 c. chopped red candied cherries, 1/2 c. chopped mixed candied fruit, 2 (7 oz.) loaves of baking marzipan, 1 beaten egg yolk, 1 tbsp. milk for glaze. 3 tbsp. dark rum or sherry, 3 tbsp. orange juice, 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; grease an 8-inch spring form pan. Line bottom and sides of pan with waxed paper and then grease the paper too. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (at least 5 minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition. Stir in raisins, currents, cherries, mixed fruit, rum (or sherry) and orange juice until combined. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and all spice over fruit mixture. Fold into the batter. Place 1 package of marzipan between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll out to an 8-inch circle (this is NOT easy, the stuff tends to be hard...). Spoon half of the cake batter into your prepared pan, then place the marzipan circle over the batter. Spoon the remaining cake batter over marzipan and smoothe down the top. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven; cool completely in pan or a wire rack.

Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Remove *cooled* cake from the pan and peel off the lining paper. Place the cake on a small baking sheet; roll out the remaining loaf of marzipan to an 8-inch circle. Brush the top of cake with an egg-yolk glaze; place the second marzipan circle on top of cake. For a decorative touch, flute the edge. Score marzipan in a decorative pattern (a lattice seems to be traditional) with blunt knife. Brush the top lightly with egg-yolk glaze.

Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes until marzipan is lightly browned. Remove cake from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack. Serve with lots of green ice cream and go into carb/sugar overload paradise. :)

5. Surprise parties: love 'em or hate 'em?

Absolutely hate them. I'm not good with surprises of any sort. *grins*

Bonus: Describe your ideal birthday--the sky's the limit.

Oh my... OK, you DID say sky's the limit. My ideal birthday would take place at one of the skyboxes at Fenway Park, DURING a playoff run with the Red Sox so seriously in the lead that nothing could stop them. The above-requested cake and ice cream are present in abundance, and jokes are freely made about green ice cream/Green Monster wall in the Pahk (local dialect, you know...). Dinner is shrimp cocktail followed by prime rib (rare for me with lots of whipped horseradish creme!), steamed lobster tails, baked potatoes with everything, and sugar snap peas in butter. If Johnny Pesky, Carl Yaztrzemski, Rico Petrocelli, Curt Shilling, and Jonathan Papelbon (and their spouses of course!) are in attendance, RevSharon is in heaven. :) All my friends are there of course, and we have live music by the Dropkick Murphys. The beer is Irish and German, the wine is Chateauneuf du Pape, I get lots of presents, and the Red Sox win, of course. :) Paps probably will have to leave early to secure the win as Closer, but that's OK. I love watching him pitch. :) Afterwards we all go across the street to the Cask 'n Flagon for more celebrating. We take any leftover cake and wine with us of course. *grins*

5 comments:

Mother Laura said...

Great fantasy birthday! And fascinating to learn some baseball superstitions--I had no idea.

Sally said...

as a Brit baseball is beyond me- but that birthday sounds fascinating!

mompriest said...

Ok, that fantasy birthday sounds fabulous...although I'd have to root for a different team, but being from Chicago I will probably die before it happens again...

Good play!

j said...

excellent fantasy birthday! good play.

Jan said...

I've always liked Julie Andrews, every since she was Mary Poppins, so I'd like to share a birthday with her.

The cake sounds very interesting. I love marzipan and almond paste. I think I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks for the recipe.