Saturday, February 21, 2009

Zelia's First Birthday!!!!

Well, on Wednesday I began searching for cake and cookie recipes for Zelia's birthday. She hasn't had sugar until now and although she can have a little we are still trying to be very conscientious about sugar intake for all of us. So, Ima had sent a beautiful totally unrefined sugar (basically dehydrated cane juice) and I bought some agave syrup. We also had honey and maple syrup on hand. Jacob and I began searching online and asking people we know and decided on 2 recipes, Agave "sugar" cookies and a chocolate, sweet potato, zucchini cake. The next day I began the sugar cookies, and 2 hours later had beautiful cookie dough to work with. Now, all along I have images of Jeanie (of course) and her cookies and I am picturing her linzar torte cookies especially. But we have a problem, no cookie cutters. Aba kept saying just use a glass, but I wanted to look. We went into every store in town, but no luck. Our last stop that afternoon was in the bakery and I asked Ruth, the old Danish woman who owns the place, if she had any. She came back with some rounds and I chose two - continuing to think about Jeanie's cookies and the adorable heart cut outs...

Back at home I got to work. the dough was great. Luckily, Haley was chatting with me at the time and when I needed assistance (ahhhh, the time is up and they don't look done Hales. "Take them out, Andrea, they will harden quickly), whew. They came out, shortbready and delicious. I began using the regular jam in the fridge but then decided to use the jam Jacob had made - even better! Delicious and cute!

On Friday morning I got to work on the cake, roasted the sweet potatoes until they caramelized, mashed them, grated zucchini, Aba measures rye flour, spelt flour and white, honey, special sugar, etc. I halved the oil and sugar though. We put everything together and the batter was good! yay. Into the oven it went and Aba and I went to do some last minute errands - most importantly looking for flowers to make a birthday crown.

When we got back the house smelled good, the cake was ready but cracked on the top which made me concerned for the moisture in the cake. While Zelia slept I put the button on her dress - check out the pictures! (and worked furiously to finish Haley's mittens). Oh, the cookies got a little soggy from the jam - any advice???

Aba made Jacob a sandwich and we rolled her to school, still asleep, where Jacob and Aba were going to listen to a lecture on industrial ecology and I was going to get a few hours of work in.

I joined them back at home, where they were setting up, vacuuming and getting ready. After a nice soup lunch we headed to language class for an hour. The invite was for 5:30. Back at home the soup was cooking, hallah, in the oven and balloons being blown up. Then people began to arrive. Once everyone was here we said the brachot for Shabbat and then headed in to have soup. Tanja also made a delicious chickpea dish, yummmm.

Time for dessert and birthday cake. Tanja worked hard on making the flower crown, Gerdur whipped the cream for her cake, Jacob heated up the sauce for the cake Gerdur made and we still had another cake with coconut a friend brought. Three cakes each with a candle. Zelia wanted nothing to do with the crown, but loved the singing. So, we began, English, Icelandic, Hebrew and then it continued and was amazing...there is a video to see it all - 9 languages by the time we were done, Mandarin, German, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Finnish. It was incredibly sweet how everyone sang for little Z.

She got the most amazing and generous gifts as well, Icelandic sweaters, a dress, 2 beautifully knit hats, fingerless mittens, a track suite, tights,puzzle, cards and a gorgeous gold bracelet from her Saba Tom. What a night!

Zelia was up until almost 10:30 having a blast and playing with the balloons. She slept well, but we woke her at 8 so she could see Saba Tom before he left. She woke in a great mood, played with him in the bed and then joined us for breakfast. We walked Aba to the hotel and waited for the red bus to show. The weather is mild, no snow or rain or wind and he is on is way for a night in Reykjavik!

It was a great visit, that ended with a great night.


Laura Hegfield said...

I love reading about your life in Iceland...this is wonderful! I'm so glad we reconnected! Zelia is a beautiful little girl...and those dresses! I am so impressed with your ability to dive into the culture, I know you've lived in many places throughout your life, I'm sure that helps. I can feel your joy and contentment. Place, will never matter, because you are clearly so comfortable with yourself. Keep writing...your story of daily life is engaging. Thanks for sharing!