Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Red Velvet Relationship

It’s my 15th Wedding Anniversary. It’s hard to believe that we have been married 15 years, and yet, I can’t remember life without Dave. Our relationship has been an anchor in the midst of many joys, challenges, twists and turns of life. For our anniversary I have made a Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and we will proceed to stuff ourselves with it for the next couple of days.

Red Velvet Cake is Dave’s cake of choice for celebrations honoring him. It seems a little redundant to make him the same cake for all of his “big events” as they all happen in a matter of 3 months: June-Father’s Day; July-Birthday; and August-our anniversary. But it is his favorite! Last month, when we were devouring the Birthday-Red Velvet he said it was the best one I’ve ever made. I guess the practice is paying off.

Seventeen years ago Dave and I were dating and that summer I was working at a camp in North Carolina and he was working in Kentucky. We decided to rendezvous in Knoxville during my day off and celebrate his birthday. Dave loves picnics and as a college student was always sitting on some shady patch under a tree playing his guitar, writing a song. He didn’t have a quilt, which I thought was tragic! So, my generous mother “helped” me make a quilt for Dave’s birthday gift. (Actually I supervised as she made this great picnic quilt. I know she was thinking… “this guy better be a keeper because this is a labor of love”). I made him a Red Velvet Birthday Cake and decided I would blindfold him and take him to Cherokee Boulevard, a nice grassy area by the river, where I would set up the new quilt and we’d have a Red Velvet picnic for his birthday. Well, I am not great at surprises- giving or receiving them. And in my nervousness and rush I somehow smashed my knee into the cake, which smeared onto the quilt while he was standing there with his blindfold still on. So, there I was with the most staining cake EVER all over the beautiful gift my mom had created (which he had not yet laid his eyes on) and there was a big knee shaped hole in the cake I had made. Not such a Happy Birthday! My mind raced “What do I do? Get back in the car? Run away? Lick my knee? Cry? Laugh?” So, I instructed him to take off the blindfold as I then cried and laughed and recounted what happened and he graciously and lovingly ate globs of frosting and cake off of the quilt and drove me back to my parents’ house where we stain treated the new quilt. Luckily my mom is the queen of stain-removal (more on that in a future post).

[This photo of Dave is from that summer in 1993 with his beloved quilt that survived the cake trauma.]

So Red Velvet Cake and Dave and I have quite a history. A few things that I have learned along the journey are:
1. It must have homemade cream cheese frosting (or else what’s the point…really? It’s a red chocolatish cake.)
2. Unless you want “Mauve Velvet Cake”, which I made for my friend Elaine’s birthday last year, you have to use an entire bottle of Red Food Coloring- which freaks me out a little, but it just is what it is.
3. You really need to make the cake and frost it the day before you want to eat it, as the cake moistens and the flavors meld together so nicely by day 2.
4. Don’t serve it on a quilt, on the ground at the park.
5. A man like Dave is a rare gift.

Click Here for the recipe


  1. Oh my goodness. Best post ever. Hilarious. Delicious-sounding. Great photo of Dave. And it reminds me that I was also at that camp in 1993. Who knew!

  2. julie! i'm so glad you have a blog. i will now be a faithful follower of cup-a cup-a. glad to see yall are well! :) love yall...

  3. I am yet to make a red velvet cake because the amount of food coloring scares me! Happy anniversary and we need to get together and cook sometime!

  4. I remember this story! Happy Anniversary! I also remember that you were celebrating your 10th at our wedding in Boston and now here we are celebrating our 5th! p.s. - Dave is a rare gift...and you are too!

  5. Julie, this post made me choke up a little! I'm just so thankful for you and Dave, and I'm praising God for bringing the two of you together for 15 years of marriage. Aren't you glad now that you have that great red velvet cake/quilt story to tell? I love it.

  6. can i tell you how happy i am you have a blog!???! love you, ashley

  7. Hey sweet Julie. That is a precious and funny story! You'll have to make sure that it always stays with the quilt so someday your grandkids can hear all about it. I'm so glad to see you in the blog world! Sarah Hazel still talks about her friend Lucy =)

  8. Julie! I am so glad that I can keep up with you guys, maybe at least your kitchen(?).

  9. As I was reading, I was thinking of that Mauve cake and what a yummy cake you make of any color!