Cakes, And Pies, And Family, Oh My!

August 11, 2022

A couple of months ago I got off the fence and bought a plane ticket to visit my brother and his family in San Diego, spurred on by a birthday text from my youngest niece, Denise, in December. She and I had baked biscuits together when I was there many years ago and we both have fond memories of that experience. One thing led to another and I promised to make another trip out there so that we could bake together again. Fast forward eight months and I was on a plane westward. Without a doubt, this was the most expensive domestic ticket I’ve ever bought; thank you Global Inflation! It was more than worth it, though, because not only would I get to bake with my niece but I’d also be there for my little brother’s birthday! Because 3,000 miles separate us, I don’t get to see Rob nearly as often as I’d like to and it’s been decades since we were in the same place at the same time for his birthday. This was going to be a treat!

My plan was to bake him a birthday cake, bake at least one thing with Denise, and then put together a meal for all of us to share. I might have gotten carried away. I was there for four days and I spent much of that in the kitchen. (Okay, that’s pretty much a perfect vacation as far as I’m concerned.) Not only that but I had a grand time watching Star Trek with my brother, taking in some anime with my nieces, talking music with my nephew, and eating lots of my sister-in-law’s delicious cooking! What a great visit!

The final tally was:

  • Hot Cocoa Cake for Rob’s birthday
  • Flourless Chocolate Torte baked with Denise
  • Chicken Pot Pie for dinner my last day there
  • Lemon-Ripple Ice Cream Pie
  • Peach Pie

Four days, five dishes!

The Hot Cocoa Cake was a hit with my brother’s birthday guests, though I will cop to the white chocolate icing being the visual representation of the jet lag I was feeling as I baked. (The jet lag that also kicked my butt so hard that I slept through the party).

Denise and I had a great time baking the torte and she was, once again, the best assistant baker I’ve ever had! It was so much fun introducing her to flourless baking. She was a bit incredulous when I told her what we were going to make but once it all came together she was thrilled! I think she enjoyed being shown something new as much as I enjoyed the showing!

Baking the pot pie and other desserts for the dinner on the 26th, which happened to also be our mother’s birthday (her memory will forever be a blessing), was an enjoyable challenge. Not only did I have to make three different crusts and fillings, but I also had to time everything perfectly because I was going to be leaving on a red eye flight not long after dinner was to be served. As always, I’m my harshest critic but all-in-all I am quite proud of the meal I made for my San Diego family! Seeing Rob and Wynter’s amazement when the filling didn’t come spilling out when I cut the pot pie was worth the price of admission!

One last bear hug with my brother and I was on the plane headed back to New York. There’s no place like home but getting the chance to spend time with Rob and his family was a priceless treat.

Let’s do it again!

Currently listening to: Patti Austin – (Ooh-Wee) He’s Killing Me and Nelly Furtado – One Trick Pony

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. W. Baker

    All amazing!!! So GOOD!!!!

    1. Carlton Baker II

      So glad you enjoyed it all, Sis! It was such a thrill for me to spend the time with y’all! Hugs all around, please!

  2. Michele

    This makes me smile big. I’m so happy that this trip was great for all of you. <3

    1. Carlton Baker II

      It truly was quite special.

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