The more I become fixed into this stage called “adulthood,” the stranger it seems sometimes. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how growing up forces changes in my relationships with family members. People with whom I once lived, ate cereal, fought, teased, hugged, and talked on a daily basis are now living in different cities and states. They are fascinating and I love them, but I don’t get to see them as often as I used to, or as I would like to. Even my little bro is a full-fledged adult now with a real job. What happened to the little guy who was obsessed with TMNT and Nintendo? All of this is bizarre.
Happily, we came back together to celebrate my father’s birthday last weekend. Since wrapping up grad school, I’ve pretty much replaced reading and writing papers with baking, so I jumped at the chance to bake a birthday cake. Baking is a way of showing love, and I had a lot of love to show.
Dad’s always been a fan of carrot cake. One of my early kitchen memories is of my mom showing me how to measure out flour properly and how to shred carrots for a birthday carrot cake for dad. To me, carrot cake has always been connected with family, and so I knew it was the perfect one to prepare for the day.
Wanting to stick with a classic version of the cake, I was happy to find a recipe via Food & Wine by Jodi Elliot, a local pastry chef at one of my favorite swanky restaurants, Urban Farmer. Dad loves pecans and so the addition of toasted ones to the mix was perfect. I finished the cake off with plenty of cream cheese frosting. Oh, it was so good. Especially with a scoop of Tillamook’s vanilla ice cream on the side.
Adulthood definitely makes life busy. But I suppose it also makes these times with family together sweeter. I love them all!