Christmas vacation is over and the kids all went back to school this morning. As a family we (barely) survived the break. Since Dec 17th we have not had a single day where all six of us were completely healthy. We have had pink eye twice, stomach flu (an exceptionally rough one) two different times that hit 4/6 of us the first time and 5/6 of us the second, as well as a severe cold/sinus problem and assorted fever issues. It was one of those holiday seasons that will go down in the family history .. (remember the year that princess missed her first school program, mom missed singing her duet in the church cantata, and we all spent Three Kings' Day weekend trying to make it to the bathroom in time?) Yup, it was no fun, let me tell you. What I am trying to understand is HOW DID MY HUSBAND MANAGE TO NOT CATCH ANY OF IT????? Now, mind you, I am not wishing that he had gotten sick, because, well, let's just say he is not the easiest patient to take care of. Probably because he has so little "practice". The man is hardly ever sick, but when he is it is not pretty. Some might say he didn't get sick because he wasn't taking care of the sick kids but let me just say, he was right there in the trenches holding buckets, hosing off soiled bedding and pj's, and mopping up accident ridden floors. He is not afraid of being a true "hands on" father and husband and for that I am soooooo grateful. I just wish I could bottle up some of his immunity and inject it in myself since the only ailment that I managed to avoid was the pink eye.
Saturday night I wrapped a couple of small presents for each family member and prepared the shoes for Sunday's celebration of Reyes (3 Kings Day). We do our major gift giving on Christmas, being Americans and also for the practical side of giving the kids more than just a day to play with their new toys before returning to school. But we like to do a little something to let them celebrate Spanish style .... waking up to a gift or two or three in their shoes that were set out by the door the night before. I was completely indisposed all day Sunday having awakened at 4am to begin my own up close and personal relationship with our "throne". The kids opened their presents and I dragged my sorry self out to the couch for the second half of the day. They didn't get the traditional pastry for breakfast since everyone but my hubby was just getting over or still in the throws of the stomach flu. We were in various stages of ginger ale only diet or the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet.
This morning I had lofty dreams of tackling the most neglected rooms (living room and kitchen) but was quickly brought down to earth. As I dropped off the kids I overheard another mother mentioning the surprise party the moms had planned for Princess's teacher. OH NO!!! I had volunteered (back before Christmas) to provide the birthday cake. I ran home and quickly threw together my favorite from scratch chocolate cake, frosted it, decorated it and dashed back to school at 11:30 in time to get it to the 4 year old classroom before noon recess. She was pleasantly surprised, the principal was duly impressed and I was just thankful that I pulled it off. Whew! Gotta get a new calendar and post reminders on it PRONTO.
Check out 5 minutes for mom to see what others tackled this week.
The finished product. Nothing fancy to a typical american, but considering the average spanish woman does not bake AT ALL, even my simplest creations look pretty special.
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour rectangular cake pan. Mix mayonnaise, vanilla and water in mixing bowl. Sift all dry ingredients and gradually add to wet ingredients. Beat for 1 or 2 minutes until well mixed. Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.
Butter cream frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 Tablespoons milk
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
Mix butter, vanilla, milk and 1 cup powdered sugar together with an electric mixer. Mix well until fluffy. Gradually add the other 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix well adding slightly more milk or sugar if needed to get it to a good spreadable consistency.