My husband rarely gets sick. Last week, though, he could hardly crawl out of bed. I tried not to panic and suggested that he visit the medical center.
“I’ll feel better soon,” he croaked at me.
When Saturday morning rolled around, he swore up and down that he felt well enough to make me a birthday cake. Birthday cakes are a big deal in our family (click here, or here, or here to see what I mean).
Eliza and Tessa had their hearts set on creating a frog cake. Even completely healthy, I knew my husband felt a bit nervous about the project. He always helps me when I’m decorating cakes, but he usually steps in once the process is well underway.
My friend Val, who knew he’d been sick all week, offered bake a cake for him.
“Let me check the freezer, and I’ll call you back,” I heard him tell her.
In a frosty mist, he pawed through ice cream, last summer’s blackberries, and frozen chicken, finally unearthing some cakes I’d stuffed in there months ago — two different-sized domed cakes that proved too small for the dalmatian cake I made for Eliza’s last birthday, and one eight-inch round that I had left over from some other cake.
I felt skeptical as he called Val back. He still looked miserable, but he was miserable on a mission.
“I’m fine,” he promised.
Eliza eyed the frozen blocks of chocolate cake and sketched a plan.
Tessa helped mix and color fondant.
That afternoon, interspersed with rests on the couch and obsessive hand-washing, an amazing frog — complete with flowering lily pad — emerged from those rapidly thawing cakes.
My family fashioned the perfect birthday cake for this frog-loving mama. I almost couldn’t cut into it.
On Monday morning, my husband admitted that he still felt rotten. He finally made himself a doctor’s appointment.
His diagnosis — pneumonia.
If he can produce this kind of cake from a frozen miscellany while deathly ill, I may need to step aside. I see more cake in his future.