Last year, I remember longing for Viktorya to know we were coming, wishing she somehow knew that we would be there in just one short month. I wrote a poem to her last year on her tenth birthday.
Today, she turned eleven, and she has been excited for weeks! I wanted today to be special, a day to celebrate Viktorya! I usually have colors in mind for each of my kids' birthdays, and for hers, it was red and white.
After getting a necklace, bracelet, and some fun crayon rings from a sweet friend, we went to do one thing Viki has requested for months... get her ears pierced! Every morning, as I choose earrings, she grabs her ear lobe and asks, "Azh?" ("Me?") She chose a pair of blue-jeweled earrings, which turned out to be the September birthstone! She is so used to shots, so I explained that this was just two shots, very fast, but will hurt a little.
Well, one earring down, and time for the other. "NE! Bee-may!" ("No! It hurts!") After a moment of talking to her, asking if she wants me to hold her hand, she agrees and the second earring is done!
After that, we popped in to the new sweets shop uptown and requested some cupcakes for tomorrow, in red and white. Because we don't just have one day of birthdays here! We shopped for ingredients for today and decorations for tomorrow, and Viki was most excited about her balloons! After that, it was "It's my Happy Birthday!" again and again! Yes it is, sweet girl!
After finishing up everything we needed to do today, it was time for the fun stuff! FOOD!!! This part was really important to me; I wanted the dishes to be authentic.
Viktorya's birthday dessert was up first, because it was a cold dessert, so chilling it for several hours was ideal. Back story: On our first trip to Bulgaria, Scott and I ate at a small restaurant near our apartment several times. One evening, we asked if they had dessert. The gentleman replied (and put on your best East European accent here), "Ah, there is no menu. We have, ah, yogurt, and ah, biscuit cake." My thought was "Ah, yogurt is no dessert!" and my response was, "Um, we'll share the biscuit cake." We'd never even heard of it, but our taste buds were in heaven! I tried two other biscuit cakes on the second trip, and neither came even close to being that good. SO, I wanted to make THE biscuit cake that we fell in love with on one of our first nights in Sofia.
I made it in a trifle, and doubled the recipe to make it tall enough. All from scratch, and topped with fondant roses (okay, those were pre-packaged). In case you didn't know, Bulgaria produces 70% of the world's perfume rose oil.
I quickly made a shopska salad, or as close to a shopska salad as one can get without having access to Bulgaria's cheese. Feta would just have to suffice.
Dinner was the most tricky, because it was based on a meal we had while visiting Denny, and neither Scott or I could remember what it was called. I don't think it's necessarily a traditional Bulgarian meal, but it incorporates lots of things Viktorya loves to eat, so it's a winner.
Bacon, green onions, tomatoes, and cheese sandwiched between the two halves of thinly sliced chicken breasts, and placed on top of mashed potatoes. I don't care if you don't mix your food, this is ah-ma-zing! Trust me.
All that was left was to sing 'Happy Birthday' and eat dessert!
She moves much faster than my phone's camera, so there's just smoke left in this picture! There was no hesitation at all in blowing out eleven candles to get to her cake! She was pretty much done with me taking pictures today, and just wanted to eat the cake, lick the candles, lick the plate clean....
We also gave her the play pizza I've been working on, and she's sleeping with it now!
This was definitely a hit, and Viktorya had a wonderful day. I've got leftover biscuit cake, so someone needs to come over and help me eat it.