Summertime… and the livin’ is easy… Oh. Wait. It’s Fall. September 28th. Debbie’s birthday. And it’s 84° outside. I’m more used to weather like this at home than I am here in Pennsylvania. It’s been a wild year of strange weather, but, right now, I’ll take it. It means another day of salads – something we didn’t really have as many of this season as we have in the past.

I think it started because we didn’t have a very good tomato crop this year. Bringing scores of tomatoes into the house on a regular basis more or less forces the issue. Fewer tomatoes means more grilling. I don’t know why, it just does.

I mentioned Debbie’s birthday. It’s also her and Mike’s 29th anniversary!

29 years ago I had both a cigarette AND champagne in my hand. I was also much thinner and had a red beard. My, how times have changed. 

The wedding was great. I made their wedding cake in my parent’s kitchen. I had moved home from Buffalo about a month before and was staying with the folks until my apartment was ready, so the cake was my contribution. To say that it was a challenge would be an understatement. How my mother cooked all of those fabulous meals in that dinky kitchen with no counter space will always be a mystery to me. The only place I had to work was the dining room table – which had to also be utilized for actually eating meals. And did I mention that my mother didn’t appreciate people making huge messes in her kitchen?

Plus, I hated the cake. A standard tiered cake has a 4″ difference from tier to tier. Top tier 6″, next tier 10″, next, 14″ and a bottom tier of 18″.  My bottom tier was 16″ because I couldn’t get an 18″ pan in the oven. It was unbalanced. It looked horrible. To me. I am usually my own worst critic and I was definitely critical of this cake.

No wonder I got drunk at the reception!

It’s funny because 29 years later, I now know many ways I could have fixed things – displayed a 3-tiered cake and had the 4th in the kitchen for quick cutting, if necessary. Set the third tier right on the bottom cake without separators to minimize the visual disparity and create a larger base for the remaining tiers. Better yet, found a better kitchen to bake the cakes in the first place.

It’s amazing what a bit of age and experience can do.


But, cake or no, they’ve survived two kids and 29 years. A pretty good accomplishment.

Happy Birthday, Deb, and Happy Anniversary to both of you!

:::Edited to add a picture of The Cake that Mike posted:::