Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

a bouncing baby girl

Seventeen years ago today, I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, and I knew that my life would never be the same.  It has been a wild ride getting to where we are now, but it is a ride that I have cherished through every twist and turn of the way. 

I remember the hours before her birth.  I called my mother to tell her to meet me at the hospital….my second baby was on her way into the world.  I didn’t have a cell phone, I don’t think anyone did back then, I had to use a landline.  And I didn’t have the internet or the ability to post it to my status on Facebook.  I had to rely on the old fashioned phone chain to get the word out.  And of course, I had to go into labor at bedtime.  I never do get a full night’s sleep, do I?  But who needs sleep when something as wonderful as a baby is being born?  And I was nothing if not delighted to know that my sweet baby girl was on her way.  Even if the pains of labor may have clouded my thoughts just slightly.

My little girl didn’t take as long as her brother to come into the world…she wasn’t as patient.  

A lot of things have changed over the years, but she still isn’t patient.  She gets that, among other things, from her mother.

Alexa didn’t want a cake for her birthday.  She wanted something more exciting, and so an exciting birthday dessert she would get.  Her request?  Crème brule.  But crème brule is not a dessert for the impatient—it takes hours.  Nor is it a dessert for the amateur dessert maker.  Thank goodness for us, Mike is a skilled crème brule chef. 

Crème brule starts out with cream, eggs, and vanilla, and must be properly mixed and cooked and then finally baked for nearly an hour in individual little crocks.  After baking, it must be completely cooled before the sugar is added to the top, and burned with a torch for a caramelized crunchy top. 

We started dinner at six o’clock—I made barbeque chicken pizza and spinach and goat cheese pizza (both went over big with the guests)—and dessert was finally served sometime after ten.  Those of us who were still awake enjoyed it thoroughly.  The birthday girl in particular…and she barely even noticed how long it took to prepare. 

Crème brule is a divine sweet, but impossible to add candles, so the only fire came from the torch.  We didn’t even sing happy birthday, everyone was too busy inhaling the decadence of the dessert.  I think our eyes may have glazed over from the sheer ecstasy of it all.  I would have gone back for seconds if there had been anything left.

It wasn’t a conventional birthday dinner, but we are hardly a conventional bunch, so it was perfectly fitting.  It was actually a wonderful time filled with games, laughter, good food, and family.   I’m almost sad that birthday row has come to an end.  But at the same time, perhaps now I can try losing a few pounds without having a constant stream of cake and sweets to tempt me.  We’ll see…

Until the next time…I’ll be sleeping in just a little bit tomorrow after the long day that was today.

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