I celebrated my birthday last week. The big 26. Why the big hype for that? When you have an unwavering feeling of 18-going-on-19 sustained over so many years – and when you’re actually one and a half times the age in your head – I guess that’s kind of a big deal. I know something doesn’t quite add up with this situation we have here.

Birthday gifts and celebrations were always a big deal growing up. Although I spent a major chunk of my childhood in boarding school and my birthdays always fell during the school term, neatly wrapped presents, cards and generous wads of money (read : grandparents) always found me. It wouldn’t suffice if I said that this year was a step up from that..what my parents had planned was more like a giant leap – 70 people – mostly extended family that hadn’t met my husband and in-laws, and some friends. A party, it was! Got some pretty sweeet gifts too!

Although the smallest reason is all I need these days to start planning something delicious to eat, making my own birthday cake just didn’t seem right. But a mixed fruit gâteau the size of a 4-seater table? A glorious substitute indeed! The cake was rich and dense and at the same time succulently moist. So much so that when I cut into it and tried to take out a piece, it almost collapsed in my hand. On the moistness meter, that is always a good sign. And most importantly, it wasn’t cloyingly sweet like other shop-bought cakes that you find here. It was stunning as it was scrumptious, but I know I’ll never try my hand at re-creating it. Life is just too short.

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