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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Bûche de Noël Birthday Cake

Friday, January 2, 2015

When your birthday is December 31 
there is always a party all over the world on your birthday. 
Decorations, food, celebrations, party favors, and dress 
are spectacular, more so than any other time of the year. 

A time to use the sterling silver that was a wedding gift from your parents... 

My sister's birthday is December 31. 
With all the over-the-top partying worldwide as incentive, 
I spent several days mulling over what kind of 
birthday cake to bake for her this year. 

Bûche de Noël 
seemed a perfect choice since it is 
one of her favorite flavors. 
The recipe I used is a Martha Stewart variation. 

She loves raspberries, and peach is her favorite color. 

She is not three years old, 
and after a certain age, good manners dictate NOT revealing 
a lady's age. 

We are sisters by chance, 
and friends by choice. 

With more than eleven years difference in age, 
we did not play together as children. 
No, I was a senior in high school the year she was in the first grade. 
Rather than childhood playmates, 
I was her babysitter after school during her preschool years. 
Then I left for college, and never lived at home in Alabama again. 

She visited my husband and me during her teenage years, 
and lived with us in Texas while attending the University of Texas, 
first in Austin, then in Arlington. 
We became good friends in adulthood, 
discovering we are very much alike in many ways. 

Sisters in Lavender Field in France
moi wearing lavender; sister wearing a hat
We traveled together to France many times over the years, 
and together developed a love for all things French, 
especially lavender fields
Another good reason to bake Bûche de Noël. 

We have bought the very same shoes, 
while she lived in Maine, and I lived in Texas. 
We say the same thing at the same time, 
and laugh whenever we do. 
Once while vacationing together with our husbands in Hawaii, 
we were walking across a mall parking lot that had 
trees planted in small islands with lush soft green grass. 
Then in unexpected synchronized choreography, 
each of us slipped our right feet out of our shoes 
as we stepped onto the next island of lush green grass 
to walk barefoot in the grass. 
We all laughed as our husbands looked at each other, 
shrugged their shoulders, and shook their heads. 

Yes, friends by choice. 
My life has been enriched beyond measure 
by having her as my sister, 
my closest friend who has been there with me 
during happy life celebrations, heartbreaking loss, 
and everyday living. 

How wonderful that her birthday is 
celebrated all over the world every year! 

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