This is the first year the request was made that the 'Birthday Fairy' not show up for the festivities.
I am amazed that not too many people have heard of the Birthday Fairy. She always made an invisible appearance in the middle of the night (similar to Santa or the Tooth Fairy) on birthdays and would decorate with balloons in the tree of the front yard. Streamers and balloons would magically appear all other the house and a wonderful birthday message written with colorful marker in super fancy handwriting on the bathroom mirror. It was magical to wake up to such fabulous decorations on your birthday.
The Birthday Fairy's departure leaves our family with only a couple simple Birthday Rules.
1. The birthday person get to choose what is on the menu for the entire day.
2. The birthday person MUST take the first bite of cake for Good Birthday Luck.
For breakfast, the request from my daughter was for Red Velvet Pancakes. The mix I had used had been discontinued. That was a bummer, but I'm a capable person so I developed a recipe of my own.
We ate our pancakes and then set out on a shopping spree at the mall. My daughter didn't even want traditionally wrapped birthday presents this year. Her birthday wish was to go shopping on her actual birthday and make specific selections and purchases from her 'Must Have' and 'Nice to Have' birthday list. There were only a few things on the 'Must Have' list and one item was at the very top: Ollie. (If you don't know what an Ollie Robot is, check it out on YouTube. I am not capable of giving an adequate description.)
When the few items had been crossed off the 'Must Have' list, we made our way home so my daughter could figure out how to operate her new Ollie.
Let the birthday drama begin.
Ollie was missing its hubs. I ripped the plastic holder that was glued in the box. No hubs. I rummage for the receipt and called the store. We had to go back to the mall and make an exchange. I do not like going to the mall. At all. I rarely go shopping and for me to make a second trip to the mall in the same day does not make me happy. At all.
The very kind clerk at the store saw us coming (he is the one that sold us the original Ollie and the one I spoke with on the phone), grabbed an Ollie from the shelf, made the exchange and we were quickly on our way. As I was driving home, my daughter pulled the box from the bag only to find it had been resealed with blue painters tape. It had obviously been returned to the store. When we got home, the Ollie II was dirty and had the wrong type of charger. My daughter looked helpless at me with tears welling up in her big brown eyes.
Back to the mall. A third trip in the same day. At this point, Ollie II was returned for a full refund since I did not want to make a fourth trip.
We ended up purchasing Ollie III from another retailer (closer to home) at 8:30 PM so my daughter felt like she had a good birthday after all.
Thank goodness we started the day with Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup!
RED VELVET PANCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE SYRUP
For the 'Syrup':
- 4 oz Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese), room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
- Milk (amount will depend on desired consistency)
For the Pancakes:
- 2 cups red velvet cake mix
- 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups buttermilk
For the 'Syrup':
Beat cream cheese until smooth in a medium-small bowl with an electric hand mixer. Add powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and blend until smooth. Gradually add milk, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
For the Pancakes:
Blend cake mix, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Add additional buttermilk until desired batter consistency is achieved. Cook on griddle. Brush nonstick griddle (or skilled) with vegetable oil or butter. Heat to medium and cook 1/4 cup batter (more or less depending on personal preference) 2-3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.