Tuesday, May 17, 2011

quatrefoil cinq

We inherited a chair from a neighbor friend. It's a wing chair and ottoman. Now that I have my very own wing chair I daresay I've always wanted one. It looks smart next to the fireplace, especially at night when the antique lamp upon the mantle is lit, the one with the glass drops and the clear tube bulb that reminds me of Frankenstein's laboratory. All I need is a good book to complete the portrait of domestic bliss. Maybe a tawny port. A fire ablaze in the hearth. A golden retriever. And a butler. (Can you tell I've been reading Julian Fellowes?)

And there are the children opening Stella's birthday presents the morning she turned five, a few short days ago. That's me in the background considering fabric samples. A quality family moment. Can you see the quatrefoil pattern on the left? In the violet colorway? It's $135 a yard. But I can dream. After being lucky enough to score a few yards in silver from a friend who wanted to unload them, I daresay dreams can even come true. And I daresay I can use the word daresay four times in two paragraphs. (Thanks Jules.)

This year Stella wanted a merfairy party. That is a combination of a mermaid and a fairy in case you were unaware. I told her it would be trouble for me to make a merfairy shaped cake, that it would look blob-like and confuse the tender children, so we settled on a butterfly, whose wings I gather are an inspiration for fairies far and wide. (Don't tell her that the mer half of the equation was missing from the festivities.)

After the dull thud I struck with the leaden and dry wheat-free gingerbread cupcakes that Stella brought to her disappointed classmates at school the previous day, I tried my hand at a cake called a Pink Lady, that I found on the Smitten Kitchen. My quite tasteful friend and etsy babe turned me onto that dazzlery. And thank goodness she did. 

One round, two squares, a blender and electric hand mixer later, the cake was a hit. It's a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. No matter that it broke two kitchen appliances. It was worth it. Dense and strawberry-sweet. Spare no floury, sugary, electrical expense. I even used red food coloring for the detailing. True story.

The birthday princess. That's not blurry. It's merfairy ocean-dust. 

A fellow party-goer with her brand new handmade purse. The craft of the day. 

Stella got the biggest piece. It weighed about four pounds. She ate it all too. 

My mother and father, as viewed from the wing chair. I can feel their hearty personalities oozing from the photo. My mother was feisty that day, as she is wont to be when mixing wine with company. I know, I get that way too. I call it social anxiety.

My father's favorite flower is the iris. Has been ever since I can remember. He even had a couple snapshots of a glorious yellow specimen in his digital camera to share with me as I ladled various salsas and dips into bowls before the party began. So very bright is the yellow iris. 

When the party was over things returned to normal, complete with the requisite art projects by a newly minted five year-old. 

Domestic bliss indeed. 


Proud Dad said...

Domestic bliss indeed. Your photographer must have been drinking that day as well. Happy 5 my daughter and yummy cake my wife.

How did we wind up being parents of a 5 year old girl?

Elise Abrams Miller said...

i always lol at your photos, proud dad. and how indeed. as I shake my head in disbelief.

Amelia Plum said...

happy birthday stella! you outdid yourself with the cake, it looks lovely, but i can't believe you broke two appliances in the process of making it. is the scribbled on kiddie laptop a new gift stella had just gotten and expressively decorated? it's like the graffited louis vuitton bags from years ago. i like the new coffee table was that a curbside find?

Elise Abrams Miller said...

thanks AP! I can't believe we broke two appliances either. it's a thick batter. the laptop is a couple years old and the coffee table was a curbside find, still can't believe someone was throwing it away.

Amelia Plum said...

damn i wish my neighbors would pitch a coffee table like that. crazy! lemme know which fabric you go with for the chair and ottoman

one eye squinted said...

ack! (my exclamation of choice lately; obviously i have not been reading snobbery) that cake ROCKS. and so do your biceps, which i see sticking out so effortlessly whilst you cut cake (ok so maybe i can be a bit snobby too).

while you're at it, throw in a pipe and a smoking jacket. women can be dashing like that too. no gender roles here, right?

i love that you were willing to poison your family with sugary and floury bliss for this occasion and that i had something to do with it. huzzah!