Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Prepared To Rough It

Sometimes I surprise myself by being prepared. As my children will tell you, my memory is not the best in the world and often time I forget to prepare for events.

However, I was prepared yesterday and did not even know 7 months ago I would need to be prepared.

I packed an angel food cake mix in the shipment that came with me to the Middle East.

Every time I go to the grocery store, I look in the cake mixes to see if they have angel food, but they never have.  Thank goodness I was prepared!

You may or may not know this, but our family has a tradition of angle food cake baked fresh and served on your birthday.  We even have a funny story about how this became a tradition in the H family.  Once at Christmas, I videotaped my dear mother-in-law telling my husband how this tradition was started when he was a young boy. Now that BSB is expecting her first baby and Tudy is no longer with us, having this videotape is even more valuable.

Family traditions are very important to us.  It gives us a foundation to know where we came from, and to realize how much we care for each other no matter what happens in our life.  Family is always there.

Yesterday was D’s birthday and I baked my special cake that traveled 7,000 miles for this one day. Not much of it is left this morning.
I guess I should have taken a picture before it was cut.  It may not be pretty, but it was tasty.
The big challenge baking an angel food cake was getting it to bake in our oven. The oven is not even close to being accurate for temperature. You have to guess if it is the temperature you need. On top of that, the temperature marked on the oven is in Celsius not Fahrenheit. 

I purchased an oven thermometer that helps, but the temperature can easily spike over 425 if you turn it up too high and then drop to 200 when you turn it down just a little bit (Fahrenheit).  Every time I bake in the oven, I have to watch the food very carefully or it will burn.  Burning food is a specialty of mine because I tend to be distracted while I cook so watching the food becomes an even bigger challenge. (All my kids re laughing at this. – I always burn the bread at holidays because I am not paying attention to it.)

I invited a few of our US friends to join us for dinner and we walked to the Ritz for a wonderful evening in their special restaurant, Primavera.

The Ritz is all lit up for both Christmas and Bahrain National Day which is December 16.
Palms outside the Ritz.
It was a lovely evning. The restaurant overlooks the beach and pool area of the resort. They have used their wine collection to create some of the walls inside the restaurant. The walls of wine can be opened to select your wine.  I guess you would say the restaurant is a large wine cellar.  It is very impressive.

Our wine was excellent.  And, at the end of the dinner the wait staff serenaded D with “Happy Birthday to You” and a special bottle of Moscatel Ora for dessert.

A birthday toast.
As we left the restaurant they gave the ladies roses.  It really was quite nice -- pricey, but nice and certainly a great way to celebrate D’s birthday.

After dinner, our group walked back to our flat and ate cake with vanilla ice cream (another tradition). The cake was well worth the challenge. And, I am extremely glad I was prepared. 

Another tradition carried on for another year  --  even in the Middle East!


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