Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Daniel


  If we had been lucky enough to have Daniel remain on Earth, this week he would have been eighteen years old.  Daniel, we have spent six Christmases without your being here in the flesh and five of your last birthdays without your smiling face. We celebrated these holidays quietly, but we still celebrated them. There are so many things I would like to have done, and had you with me while we were doing them.

Perhaps by now you would have grown in to liking sushi !

          You were so bright at 12 1/2 and had been looking at colleges with an eye to going early. I find it hard to imagine what you might be doing now had you stayed.  Perhaps you would be working on a Ph d by now.
In any event, as you know, we are all still here. We still celebrate your birthdays and the holidays with a cake and a quiet family celebration.  Please know that you are loved and remembered by your people who remain on Earth.  I love you, Bug.

Happy 18th Daniel !

A cake of the cosmos is probably the most fitting.

Last evening, I remembered you by making a yellow Bundt cake, and then when it was out of the pan, drizzling it with lots of lemon curd.  Your siblings thoroughly enjoyed it.

Once cooled and thickened, lemon curd makes an excellent topping to cakes and cheesecakes or as a generous glaze to a Bundt cake.  I know you would have loved this.

Daniel would want me to give you a recipe for the British Standard Lemon Curd:
    (No, you really don't need salt)

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4cup sugar-1 cup depending upon taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest 

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons. . Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Mix the eggs with a fork and add them to the mixture. one at a time, and then add the lemon juice. . Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool and then refrigerate.   I have done this very carefully using a microwave.   A percentage of the thickening does occur while cooling.

This is an excellent drizzle for shortbread, scones, pound cake, pastry tarts, cheesecake, and is divine on pancakes.

Calories per tablespoon: About 50

    Happy Birthday, Daniel !

I don't believe that Daniel ever heard the music of Sarah Slean, but she has a straight shot to some of the music of Heaven.


  1. Days turn to years with many questions and wondering. It touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes your family celebrates Daniel. Just as the letters in his Christmas stocking to. Please know your willingness to share these things has helped me in my journey of grief for my son. In honor of your precious Daniel Happy Birthday in Heaven. Hugs and prayer for you dear friend.

    1. Thank you for your lovely and encouraging post, Lara. Our son's birthdays and Christmastime are two of the difficult days for us. It can be hard to know that it was better for them to come to Earth to learn and to be with us, than to have spared us the heartbreak and not have come at all ! I am happy to know that some of what I have said on this blog has been helpful. Love to you, and to yours.
      Perhaps Daniel and Lucas will find some time to go fishing this weekend, perhaps even in Heaven !

  2. A happy belated 18th birthday to Daniel and the mother who brought him into the world. I'm impressed that you are able to bake cakes to honor his birthday. I think it will be a few more years before I'm ready to bake a cake that my son won't be eating.
    The lemon curd and bundt cake combo looks delicious.

  3. The first year I made a birthday cake for him, I cried salty tears. Then I realized that whether he was eating it or not, that the people he loved most on his time spent on Earth would be. Daniel would want me to love his siblings and his Dad. He would want us to salvage as much of our lives as possible, and to do things where we would remember him. In that sense, he is always with us. We also believe that life on Earth is short for us all, and that we will eventually all be reunited !
    Yes, a pound cake which is coarse and not too sweet goes very well with lemon curd drizzle. Thank you for posting and for the birthday wishes.


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