Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kicking off the month with cake and football

Along with the beginning of February came a slew of holidays and other occasions, ruining the image of control I had at the end of January, seeming to sneak up on me as it does every year. Luckily I didn’t have to worry about the big events which caught me off guard in Clermont-Ferrand; the short film festival and wine weekend at the Vinidome (which we usually missed anyway during our years in France) or the big rugby game in which France emerged victorious against England in the RBS 6 nations. But I also missed jour des crêpes, the French tradition of a day of crêpes that we had managed to keep since moving back from France. The good news is that there were a dozen other things to observe and celebrate!

 
With the passing of the Chinese New Year we have entered into the year of the horse, and who cares that Punxsutawney Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter (a few days ago on Groundhog Day), we have been immersed in a birthday celebration! Our youngest marked his second birthday on January 29th, and Sunday we had a few friends over to celebrate. The bar had been set high as on Lauris’s second birthday dessert consisted of the train cake, but we managed a completely relaxed weekend while still marking this milestone in proper jubilārs vēlās fashion. While discussing possible cakes with Mikus I received a few pointers: mašīna, policija and pikaps (car, police and pickup truck). The result was this cake, for which I used Martha’s one bowl chocolate cake recipe and a vanilla buttercream icing, mixed with some food coloring for the accents.

 
The weather has warmed considerably since the giant snow storm, and we spent the warmest hours of the day outside. Our guests brought a science experiment, and luckily no one got too sticky during the Mentos-Coke explosion. We soaked up the mid-60˚ temps before heading inside for a chili dinner and the Super Bowl, complete with a bacon-cheese dip and plenty of chips and guacamole, as required by this American holiday centered around food, friends and football.

 
Of course now we can turn our attention to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. We’ll definitely tune in to watch the opening ceremonies Friday, and despite all the controversy on Russia’s preparation for these games, we are excited to support the Latvian men’s hockey team. They will be taking the ice next Wednesday, so now it is just a matter of rounding up the local Latvians and figuring out how to watch the game….

6 comments:

  1. That cake is adorable! Looks like Mikus celebrated in fine fashion. :)

    I realized the problem of not having a functioning TV - not being able to watch Olympics! However, I've also come to realize that with the time difference, I'll just keep myself updated online during the day...not the same thing, but I will be rooting for the LV hockey team and all other athletes regardless. The guys who hurl themselves down the crazy ice-filled tube known as the bobsled track (this includes not just bobsled teams, but also skeleton guys - the brothers Dukurs - have best medal outlook, so be sure to cheer for them.

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    1. All the former medalists from the last three Olympics will be competing - of course we'll be pulling for all of them, Rubenis, the Šics brothers and Dukurs. Somehow hockey is the sport that brings most visibility to the Latvians in the winter Olympics, and the most likely to be shown on tv here, so that's why the emphasis on hockey. We do have a TV, but I've heard the Russians aren't allowing live broadcasts? I've yet to figure out which channels/how they'll be showing these Games.

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  2. Happy birthday to your little guy!
    And that cake looks amazing. =)

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    1. Thanks! And the cake actually tasted better than it looked, especially in this picture... white icing doesn't show up well in photos... but thanks for the compliment ;)

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  3. That cake is adorable. I still remember the pictures of the train cake you made while you were still here (?). How fun.

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