Today marks the unofficial celebration of All Things Star Wars, which is a big deal at our house. The kids got light sabers in their Easter baskets, and Ben had a Star Wars-themed birthday celebration a few weeks ago. He’s our berry-loving kid, and true to form, requested a strawberry birthday cake. I cautiously told him that it would be pink – did he still want that? “Yes. With Dark [Darth] Vader on it.” Alrighty.
Because a person only turns four once in his life, I did my best to oblige, but I didn’t want to fly blindly into Strawberry Cake territory without making a practice batch first. I turned to the Smitten Kitchen, who makes a beautiful strawberry cake. (Side note: I know I’ve probably mentioned the Smitten Kitchen more than HRH Ina herself lately. I really do love the Smitten Kitchen website, and I’ve been listening to interviews of Deb Perelman on podcasts during my neighborhood walks. She is as delightful as her recipes are.) Of course, between the practice strawberry cake, the school cupcake celebration, and the actual birthday party cake, I ended up separating a full two dozen eggs in the matter of two weeks. What I won’t do for a pretty cake for my Ben.
For his actual party, we invited a few friends over for tacos, strawberry cake, and Ina’s pink grapefruit margaritas (from How Easy is That?). What kind of masochist makes tacos and margaritas for a bunch of native Texans? That would be me.
The margaritas were, by all accounts, delicious – even by Texan standards! I wish I could take more credit for their success, but my friend Kelly squeezed about a gazillion limes, so I feel like she should get the credit for the hard part of the recipe. (By the way, the answer to the question, “How Easy is That?” from the cookbook’s title, is “Very easy, when your friend squeezes all the limes.) Word to the wise: when you only need a little bit of grapefruit juice, you don’t need to buy a huge container of it. Our liquor store sells it in small cans. Also, be sure to warn people that you’re about to serve them grapefruit anything, because apparently grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact strongly with some medications. Yikes!
Last but not least, my sweet birthday boy. I can’t believe he’s four!