Forty-four minus nine

In nine days I celebrate the forty-fourth anniversary of my birth.

Counting down to that day, I am posting birthday memories.

When mom would ask me what kind of birthday cake I wanted, early on, I remember being very impressed with the pineapple upside-down cake.

So sweet and decorated without frosting. Yum. And the sugary, sort-of crust that formed on top around the rings of pineapple… delicious.

Mom would make it in a rectangular Pyrex baking… thing. Pan? It was Pyrex and see-through, the kind of thing you’d bake a lasagna in (which was another item on my mom’s small menu of recipes). Not a traditional layer cake. I would always request a corner piece – I don’t know why, because it’s not like it had extra frosting. The candles would go in the middle of the pineapple rings – or maybe mom filled those holes with cherries? I remember it both ways.

I don’t remember how or when I first heard or tasted the pineapple upside-down cake. I imagine that my mom must have made one during the year, and it so impressed me that I had to have one when the opportunity came up for me to choose one special cake for my birthday.

Everyone in my family had their favorite cakes for their own birthdays. My dad’s was white cake with cherry bits, and cherry-flavored frosting. My sister loved chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

Sadly, I don’t remember what kind of cake my mom wanted for her birthday. Was it just that she never requested one because she was the one who had to make it? Or did she have a favorite and I have just lost that memory? Alas, she is gone and has been for over 7 years so I’ll be unable to ask her.

As I grew up, though, my tastes changed, and my requested cake was simple: white cake, chocolate frosting. This cake was made as a layer cake and slathered in frosting. And to this day, that’s what I choose when I have to choose a favorite kind of cake.

Mmmm… birthday cake. Why am I hungry now?