As regular readers of the site know, every year, my mother and father host a wonderful birthday party for their grand-dog, Bertie. Each year, “Bertie’s Birthday Burger Bash,” reaches new heights of perfection. Of course, there are presents. Bertie loves to get presents. He's not so interested in seeing other people receive gifts, but, when they're for him, he's quite thrilled. He very much enjoys sticking his head into a gift bag and pulling out his toys and treats. This year’s presents all had a food theme. He received a plush hot dog, tea pot and hamburger as well as many cookies. Speaking of hamburgers...
Of course, no “Birthday Burger Bash” would be complete without hamburgers—sliders to be exact—adorned with assorted cheeses, delicious homemade guacamole, greens, tomatoes, olives, pickles, caramelized onions and mushrooms. Bertie had his own—sans roll since he’s on Atkins. These were accompanied by lovely oven roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes.
But, then, came the cake! Bertie's cakes are always very special and my mother spends days planning and baking them. He's had cakes shaped like himself, like a monkey, and most recently, like his favorite toys. Last year, we had a pink hippo, but this year, we had "George and Gracie." I should explain. Among Bertie's toys is a plush duck with rather Vaudevillian markings of plaid and polka dots. I took to calling the toy, "George and Gracie," because of this and the fact that it's feet are two different colors. One is George, the other and Gracie. Furthermore, Bertie enjoy watching the George Burns and Gracie Allen program and have a special fondness for the Burns and Allen song, "Love Nest." So, it only seemed fitting to offer this dual homage to the yellow ducky.
Knowing my Bertie's fondness for George and Gracie, my mother created this year's birthday cake in it's image. Over twelve hours of baking, carving and icing gave us this remarkable confection. A moist poundcake topped with a white crumbcoat and icing in the colors of the toy, the cake looked exactly like Bertie's beloved plaything. Of course, he had his own (very small) piece which he much enjoyed. And, in fact, I enjoyed it, too. We all did!
I don't really know when Bertie's birthday is. He was a rescue dog, and his birthday was listed as 06/11. That was only the day he was taken to the vet for his shots. So, it's the day we use as his birthday. In light of that, any day can be Bertie's birthday, so, I'll repeat to my favorite four-footed, little man, "Happy Birthday." You're my best decision. And, many thanks to my parents for making a special day for him from the monumental cake to the puffy parrot decorations!