When I was a kid, my dad’s birthday and one of my parents’ friend’s birthdays were very close in time. We’d get together at some point in between the birthdays for a cookout and cake and ice cream.
My dad’s favorite cake is red velvet cake. Not with the cream cheese frosting, but with the actual Waldorf Astoria frosting. Mom always made homemade ice cream to go with it.
We’d go to the friends’ house, Mom would make the cake and ice cream; they’d supply the grill bits and other stuff.
The other family had four kids; the oldest was my brother’s age. My sister and I were both older than they were, but we both babysat for the kids through the years, and even now have many shared memories.
One of those was this yearly barbecue.
One of the first times we did this cookout, EVERYONE ended up with the stomach flu within 24-48 hours of the cookout. No one seems to know what it was. It could have been anything, from potato salad sitting out too long that gave us food poisoning to an actual flu bug that hit us all.
At that point, us kids christened the annual cookout the Barf Barbecue. Red velvet cake became known as Barf Cake.
Yeah, not real appetizing is it? But hey, we were kids…we thought it was hilarious.
Over the next few years, we continued to have these cookouts. No one got sick. But the name stuck.
So, fast forward a number of years…
A few weeks ago, I came home from work to find that my garage door opener had spontaneously disassembled itself.
I am absolutely NOT the person who should try to fix this kind of thing alone…I’d probably make it worse. Add to the fact that I was still in a skirt, jacket, and heels from the day job, and not willing to just leave the garage door open for fear that my grill and lawn mower and other things would walk off (which has been a reported problem in our area in the last couple of years); I called Dad for help.
Dad showed up, and together we were able to fix the garage door opener. And I promised baked goods for his help.
He smiled and said no worries, until I brought up the idea of making a red cake. And then he happily accepted.
When I called ’round to invite family to a cookout, they seemed happy. And then I mentioned red cake.
Someone asked if I meant Barf Cake.
And Mom immediately volunteered to make homemade ice cream.
I really hope history doesn’t repeat itself!