What comes with age as you grow older and a birthday cake for a cocoa lover
This past wednesday was my forty fifth birthday. It seems so weird saying it like this, forty five years old. I do feel my age, in certain aspects: I generally don't give a rat's ass about what others are gonna think of me, I rely on other's opinions and words less and less each day, I tend to mostly ignore sideways glances about what I'm wearing or my make-up, and I usually, after a first painful bout, put down words of discouragement from others to a problem of their own, and not a problem with my work. I'm too full of myself, now at forty five, to admit I actually suck, although I do tend to still question my worth every once in a while, thing is I usually end up thinking the rest of the world is positively wrong and I rock, I'm the best thing to touch down on earth since Anne Rice wrote Interview with the Vampire, know what I mean?
I also feel my age in those aches and pains on bones and joints that tend to turn up as you go on in years. And there's a few lines around the eye that tell the story of how I'm no longer in my thirties, along with some sagging of the facial perimeter, even though my skin still looks pretty smooth overall. My body is a different story, though. It shows my age, and I don't mind it, which is another tell that I am over forty already. If in my late thirties I shut myself away because I had gained weight and others shamed me for it, nowadays I refuse to be shamed. I will rock whatever I want to wear, even if my huge butt looks gigantic in it or it's not age appropriate according to fashion gurus and societal castrators. My mindset is that of if you don't like it, I didn't ask for your opinion so move along, dearie. I've developed a personal style that I feel is so curated and so immediately recognisable as my own, I refuse to be cowed into giving it up. I don't dress my age, nor have I ever and never will. At least I am free, now, to follow my own mind.
And I don't identify myself with most women my age, either. Unless they're highly creative women, who, like me, won't be browbeaten into what society says a woman in our age range must be, I don't care a toss for them. I actually know a lot of women younger than me who frankly look and feel a lot older because they chose to conform. It's their prerogative, of course, and their choice. Just don't try to impose it on me, nor expect me to have the patience or the interest to listen to their stuffy opinions and outdated points of view. Don't expect me to bow down to their opinion of myself and how I should turn my life round to better fit their views of the world and be accepted by their lot. I won't. That's another thing that I believe shows my age, I am past the caring for acceptance part. Take me as I am, or do not take me at all. I do the same. I won't take everyone as they are, sorry, some people will not do it for me. Others I will welcome into my life with open arms, some times to disastrous results, some times to amazing surprises. But as I won't be everyone's cup of tea, nor will everyone be mine. Some people are just black coffee for me and I don't drink black coffee.
Anyway, birthday wise, I had a really great day. I had a few people doing me the favour of actually pulling themselves out of my life, thus taking away my usual guilty feelings for having to do it myself - I have the hardest time shutting the door on people who have been part of my life for so long, even if they're not good for me. I had a lot of people I did not expect surprise me with words so sweet I broke down in tears. I had a few people actually be there for me that I did not think they would, and that filled my heart with joy and gratitude. I also had a pair of witchy shoes and a kimono coat that made everything look and feel so much better, won't deny it. And we're going away for the weekend, so how could I not feel this has been a birthday to be grateful for, one to remember for a long, long time? I do feel showered with good moments and happiness and joy in my life, and I can't thank enough the people who go out of their way to do this for me. I also can't thank enough those others who show me their true colours thus enabling me to see them for who they are and make a careful choice whether or not I want them around.
Plus, there was duck magret and chocolate cake for my birthday dinner, and my son did all the plating and it was lovely (check my instastories for the kid's artistic rendition of fine dining experiences). And although the birthday cake came in the form of individual tiny bundts, this cocoa, yogurt and walnut loaf was the basis for them. This is one heady scented cake, as I used raw cocoa powder in it. It's a filling cake, and not very sweet, there's a tartness from the cocoa that pervades through the sugar, but it's also buttery because of the walnuts. If you do bake it, go crazy on the walnut quantity, I shrunk back from using what I feared migh be too much and now I'm sorry I did, this cake begs for a lot of walnuts. Go for a couple handfuls of them, not just the amount that covers the palm of your hand. It's an easy cake to put together, which makes it great for when you want something speedy and easy, as long as you have a couple of yogurts in the freezer. And it lends itself to other amazing flavours, not just cocoa, this would be amazing with coffee and roasted hazelnuts - just saying! So go ahead and indulge yourself in a treat this weekend, come on!
Here's how to do it, it's really easy because you use the empty yogurt pots as measure:
- two plain yogurts
- 1/2 yogurt pots of oil
- 2 1/2 yogurt pots of sugar (3 if you have a sweet tooth)
- 4 yogurt pots of flour
- 2 heaped handfuls of roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 pot of cocoa powder
- 1/4 yogurt pot of vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder