6 (Mon) April 2020
Super Moist Red Velvet Cake with Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting and Fresh Strawberries
-Dasmariñas Village, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with the Family
Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Day 20.
IZ’s 8th birthday today.
In stark contrast to the well-intentioned but ill-conceived extravaganza that I’d organized for his 7th birthday last year (see 10.098 Spaghetti Vongole al Vino Bianco), we couldn’t do much anything this year, at least not with his friends. Last night, on the eve of the would-be big day, he was clearly disappointed as the reality of the situation dawned on him, but he kept his chin up.
So I was determined to provide him with as many components of a traditional birthday as possible under the circumstances.
Birthday soup. Starting with miyeok guk for breakfast, as per Korean tradition. I made it extra special by topping it with crispy brisket, which turned out very nice.
Birthday cake. Other than carrot cupcakes, which I haven’t made in over 7 years (see 4.051 Frosted Carrot Cupcakes), it was the first cake that I’ve baked in my life. Red velvet, from a box. Frosting, from a can. Fortunately, we happened to have candles. And as if by divine intervention, the supermarket had fresh strawberries today, IZ’s absolute favorite fruit – in fact, it was the first time seeing fresh strawberries at this store.
I also got him strawberry-flavored yogurt and strawberry-flavored yogurt drinks.
Birthday gifts. All stores are closed, but I had previously purchased a set of plastic fantasy figurines and paints, part of our on-going exploration of Dungeons & Dragons. It kept him and his brother occupied for 4 hours – under home quarantine, two boys engaged in 4 hours of quiet, focused, creative activity without screens is a miracle.
Birthday noodles. For dinner, I made salad soba, one of IZ’s favorite dishes.
Birthday entertainment. For transgressions that I won’t go into here, the boys are unplugged for a week. IZ asked if we could watch a movie together, as a birthday wish. I said okay. We watched The Hunger Games.
IZ: “Dad, that was a good birthday.”