He turned 67 last week. We celebrated by making the pilgrimage to the suburbs and having lunch at his home, the house where I spent almost all of my childhood years. My brother and his family were also in attendance, along with good cheer and sunny weather. We ate Chinese take-out, laughed at my nieces and nephew chase each other around in circles, and chatted about this and that. It was my kind of family day.
yellow cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting. My father loves eating fruit, hence the strawberries, and despite the side effect of tinging the cake with a touch of feminine pink. Perhaps a blush-hued cake is more appropriate for a five year-old girl, and less for a sturdy, adult man. But it was my pink-coloured way of saying "thank you" to him: for sticking pink bandages on my scraped knee when I fell off my bike, for letting me pick the dusty rose pink colour for my bedroom, and for driving me to dozens of gymnastics classes in my pink lycra bodysuit.
Strawberry Scented Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 2-1/2 cups.
This frosting is only lightly strawberry flavoured, and would bring a sweet pop of colour to a dark chocolate cake or a fluffy vanilla cake. If you're a cream cheese lover, consider reducing the butter to 1/4 cup (57 g).
1 package (250 g) plain cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup fresh or thawed strawberries, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups icing sugar
In a small saucepan, cook the strawberries and lemon juice over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly until the juices start to ooze out. Strain and measure out 2 tbsp of the juice. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and well mixed. Beat the reserved strawberry juice into cream cheese mixture. Mix in the icing sugar, a cup at a time, until you achieve the desired stiffness.