birthdays | candied citrus peel | cupcake photos | cupcakes | vanilla

Nana Agnes turns 93.

May 21, 2011

This is a crazy week of birthdays for me. Every year this is the week where I not only bake myself stupid but go totally broke. Starting May 19th (Jay’s sister Jen’s birthday), then May 21st is my grandmother’s birthday, and then the 23rd is Jay’s birthday. This year I didn’t have any time to bake anything for Jen’s birthday, which is sad. But I also wasn’t sure how long they’d have to sit in the car, and I didn’t have any cupcake boxes. I really need to start investing in buying those things in bulk. Jay has already told me what he wants for his cupcakes & I’m getting ready to make ’em. But my grandma?


My nana, Agnes, at 16 in 1934

She asked for vanilla cupcakes this year, and she mentioned doing something “green” with them (her favorite color). Easy enough. When someone is turning 93, you make ’em whatever they want! If she wants green vanilla, she’ll have green vanilla.

So basically, it’s just some cupcake porn today. No new recipes, just pretty pictures. Green plaid liners (you may recognize them from here) from Cupcake Social. Vanilla cupcake (basic two-egg yellow cake), vanilla frosting (just a simple confectioner’s sugar buttercream), candied lime peel garnish (recipe here).

It’s amazing to think of all my grandmother has seen & lived through. When she was born, women couldn’t vote. Most of her childhood it was Prohibition. Her family didn’t have a telephone, let alone a car, & when she was a child they were actually one of the few families in her building with a radio. She saw WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm & now the mess we’re involved in now all happen. She’s seen 16 U.S. Presidents take office, and been alive for 17 Presidents. She lived through President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Martin Luther King’s assassination, Malcolm X’s assassination, and the attempted assassinations of Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. She saw the WTC/Twin Towers built, and she saw them decimated. She’s seen the invention of the television, then the color TV, the cordless phone, the cell phone, the transistor radio, the walkman/discman, THE INTERNET, the iPod, the Blackberry (& not the fruit) and now the iPad and iPhone. VCR’s, camcorders, cassette tapes and now DVD’s and Blu-Ray. And she’s fascinated by “those thin little TV’s” nowadays. And this is just a smidgen of the things she’s seen in her long life. You might remember this post where I mentioned my grandpa, her husband. If only he too had been around to see all this stuff. He’d have loved the internet.

She’s one of seven children, my grandma. Actually she’s the oldest. She’s sadly seen most of her brothers (& one sister) pass away, as well as her husband and her son. But despite all the sad things she’s lived through, there’s been even more joyful things. And she still has her youngest sibling, my great-aunt Marilyn, who she’s very close with, as well as the middle child, her brother Joey (although they haven’t seen one another in a while). I can’t even imagine seeing 93 years worth of world events, or having that many years of experiences. I’m turning 30 this year & it boggles my mind how much I’ve seen. And as far as the world supposedly ending today, she said and I quote: “Isn’t that ridiculous? They’ve been pulling that nonsense for as long as I’ve been around… and for Christ’s sake, I’m almost 100!”

Happy birthday, grandma, and many more!

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  1. yay for Jen’s birthday! same as my dad! i hope your nana has an amazing 93rd birthday! my great grandma lived until her late 90s and i used to think of what she’s seen, imagine now!

  2. God Bless Her! I called my grandmother Nana too and she lived to 96! The cupcakes are beautiful! the papers really set them off (you add them after baking don’t you? I have to start doing that. The sugared lime twist is the bestest* touch! I’m sure she was pleased with them. lots os usgar makes them happy!

  3. Rain- Hurray for May 19th birthdays! She said she had a lovely day, and thanks to everyone who wished her a happy birthday 🙂

    Debbie- Thank you 😀 I don’t quite think she fully realizes how lucky she is to be in the health & frame of mind she is at her age… but lawd is she ever! She loved the cupcakes 😛 Yes I baked them in one liner & then put them in a second one after they cooled so they looked bright & pretty. I love the candied citrus peels! So easy & delicious.

  4. Awwww! Happy Birthday to your Grandma!!!! My Nonna is 93 too! She is from Italy and used to always tell us how they had to run to the mountains to escape the bombing… It’s crazy how much 93 year old grandmas experience! Still though, she was fascinated by the iPhone! I put her on FaceTime and we were all in cahoots–it was priceless. I hope you and your grandma had a great day!!!!

    Love the cupcakes! A perfect vanilla with a touch of green!

  5. That’s crazy Mandee. I can only imagine what being from another country you’d have experienced by 93. My grandma was born here, but the fact that when she was born her mother & her grandmother couldn’t vote is amazing to me. My grandma loves the idea of the computer & internet, she can’t use it but she always says “Where did you get this recipe?” and I’ll say “Oh the internet” and she’ll say “How do you like that? You can get anything on there!” Haha. So cute.

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