Tuesday 8 December 2009

Tuesday thoughts, Birthdays and cakes . . .

I have lived over here in the UK for about 9 1/2 years now, and although all my children live in Canada and I rarely get to see them, I try hard not to feel sorry for myself. There are times when it would be very easy to do so, but what good would it really do . . .

Much as I love my children, it's not really fair for me to expect to come first in their lives forever. They have their own lives and families now and jobs and things to do that keep them busy each day. That is as it should be and it always does a mother's heart good to know that her children are settled, content and happy.

I resolved a while back to never regard myself as a second class person, but not in a selfish way. By being good to myself in small ways . . . perhaps the treat of a new outfit now and again, or a night out at the cinema or some other equally as entertaining an event . . . that by being good to myself, it helps to put me in good practice for being kind to other people.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

~Polonius, Hamlet Act1 Scene 3, William Shakespeare

What wise advice Polonius has given to his son Laertes. If one is loyal to their own best interests, and presents a true face to the world and, in doing so, takes care of themselves in a nonselfish way . . . we will see ourselves in the perfect position to be able to help others. It's win/win all around.

Today my baby turns 21. He now has the key to the house, so to speak! The day he was born we had to plow our way through a major snow storm in Southern Ontario to get to the hospital on time. There is a major age difference between him and my other four children of seven years. I had not thought that I would be able to have any more babies, and so he was a real bonus and a blessing to me! It was all very exciting, and I can still remember the deep love I felt for him as I gazed down upon his tender little face for the very first time. That love has never changed through the years . . . a mother's love never does. There is nothing that he could ever do to lessen it, or shut it off. I am very proud of the man that he has become, and I hope that wherever he goes in life, and whatever he does, wherever he ends up, he knows that he brings a large piece of my heart with him, always. Happy Birthday Bruce. May you have the best day possible, although I know . . . when you are in bootcamp . . . that may be a bit difficult! haha

Birthdays call for cake and this is a beautiful cake indeed. Rich and moist and full of wonderful flavours, this pleases on many levels. This is a winner, pure and simple. You can stir a bit of nuts into the batter, although the recipe doesn't call for them. I often stir in 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans. Yum Yum!! This is the perfect cake to grace your Holiday table!

*Brown Sugar Pound Cake*
Makes one bundt cake, or 12 servings
Printable Recipe

This cake definitely had the wow factor. What more can I say?

For the cake:
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 ounce) box of soft light brown sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp maple flavouring
(can also use vanilla here if you can't get the maple)
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed soft light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 150*C/300*F. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt cake tin very well. Set aside.

Beat the shortening, butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer together on medium speed until very creamy. about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix into the creamed mixture, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the maple flavouring. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the heated oven, or until a thin skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan on top of a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan to finish cooling completely. When completely cooled pour the brown sugar glaze over top and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes until the glaze has set before serving.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar and cook for one minute. Add the milk, icing sugar and vanilla. Whisk together until creamy, then remove from the heat and immediately pour over the cooled cake.

Double yum!!! Over on The English Kitchen today, there's a tasty offering of Buttermilk Baked Chicken!!

By the way, I shall be working very late tonight, in fact in all probability all night, so may be a bit late posting tomorrow morning. I also have to go to the Dentist to have my tooth sorted in the morning as well. (Halleluiah!!) I think it is a combination of things . . . the root that is touching my sinus and the new crown that he put in several weeks ago has gone wrong in some way. I'll be very glad to have it sorted as it has me in quite a bit of discomfort at the moment!


  1. Happy Birthday to your son today! Sorry to hear the tooth is still at it and hopefully will be fixed tomorrow then. I know it will be a long night for you especially with not feeling so well, but try to hang in there.

  2. Happy Day to you youngest, Marie! It is hard living far away from loved ones, I so know... But being kind to one's self in small ways does help... And a bite of cake, like yours, never hurt either...LOL! Wonderful recipe. So sorry you tooth is still acting up...HOpe you will feel better soon. Thank you for the lovely comments at my place. MISS YOU! Do hope we get to catch up soon. Busy days just now, aren't they--LOL! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Marie, I am sorry I have not been commenting much lately but I just wanted you to know it is because I had a huge lesson on Sunday and I ma getting ready to come over our way on Saturday. I plan to blog as we go over in Italy so I hope you'll stop over once in awhile while we re away. Have a beautiful Christmas with your sweet Todd and I am happy you are receiving word of Bruce and his goings-on in boot camp! I hope he has a Happy Birthday!
    Love you, Bonnie

  4. I so agree with you Marie about being good to ourselves. I remember when God put that revelation in my heart when the children were little.

    As parents, the very best we can do is give them the best we can, constantly being before God the Father asking His guidance and help. We're bound to mess up sometimes (I know I have). But I firmly believe that if we let them know we love them, and if we pray and give them up to God, all will turn out in the end.

    At least, as the Mom of teenagers who are making me grey, that's my game plan and I'm sticking to it!!

    Happy Birthday to your son. Have a wonderful day celebrating for him across the "big pond"!

  5. i loved seeing the pics of your kids-they are all so cute(like you!) happy birthday to bruce!

  6. What lovely thoughts on your children--and yourself! Loved your childrens' photos, as well. That cake looks so amazingly delicious, Marie--very moreish! (See, I'm learning!)

    Happy birthday to your boy, and may you have a lovely day today--you so deserve it!

  7. What a lovely tribute to Bruce and your family. Happy Birthday Bruce. How wise you are to treat yourself well and not dwell on the lack of attention you get from your children. I know that you love them dearly and wish that you could live near them and be apart of their lives. I hope that someday you can.

    I will call you soon. I am in a rush today and must go to a meeting so I am going to call a bit early. I hope your tooth is feeling better. I'll talk to you soon. Hugs, Lura

  8. Happy Birtdahy to your son. I find whenever one of my boys has a birthday, I live that day in my heart and my mind and sometimes wonder what happened. Know it must be hard to be away from them. Sending you a big hug from norhern Ontario.

  9. Good luck with the tooth..the cake looks so good too and the meal..YUM! happy Birthday to your son too...may you find true joy in this day..keep the spirit and be happy! Love ya..come say hi :D

  10. It is hard to come to that realization, but it must happen. Getting ready to 'lose' my Baby. At least they are close by.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  11. Hi Marie!
    I'd like to join everyone else in wishing Bruce a very happy 21st birthday! Such a shame you can't be with him but he must know that you're thinking of him.
    The cake looks lovely and I have one of those pans that I bought from Lakeland, I now know what to make to christen it! Love to you and Todd ~~~Pat x


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