To make up for my football faux pas, I'm making pork and sauerkraut and chocolate cake with caramel icing. I could live the rest of my life not eating either one of those foods, but Mr loves them, and I love Mr...so there you go.
Pork and sauerkraut is just pork and sauerkraut. Put it in the slow cooker that you borrow from your mom, cook the crap out of it, and it's done. Not too ambitious, cooking-wise.
For the cake, though, I wanted to go all out. I chose Devil's Food Cake from Joy of Cooking, because since I read Julie & Julia I've started to enjoy the idea of actually following a complicated recipe correctly. The idea, mind you.
For whatever lame reason - probably because I actually needed three pans instead of two - the cake batter overflowed in the oven and filled the entire house, especially our top floor, with the tantalizing aroma of burned chocolate.
One layer stuck in its pan, and had to be reformed on the plate by hand. Sculpted, really.
I thought the icing would fix it though. It's just boiled sugar and cream, really, and I thought I could use it to skillfully disguise the pre-chewed appearance of the bungled bottom layer. It started so well - I thought my only problem was going to be resisting the temptation to dip my finger in for a taste. Even I know that two hundred and twenty degrees looks fabulous, but tastes like burning.
As it turns out, caramel icing gives you about a thirty-five second window of spreadability, after which you may as well try to ice a pile of bread crumbs with a hunk of fudge. There are parts of the cake that look artistic and delicious, if you're right up close to them and can't see out of one eye...
But mostly it just looks like this:
[singing] Happy Birthday to yooooouuuuu!