My dear foodie friend Emiko Davies and her wonderful husband Marco are having a baby! Yup, a little girl and very soon, just around Christmas time. Today her other dear foodie friends throughout Europe: Giulia from Tuscany, Regula from Belgium, Zita from Hungary, Valeria from Venice lives in London, Sarka from the Czech Republic also in London, Benedetta from Milan, Rosella from Rome and myself, Karin a US expat in Germany are giving Emiko a virtual baby shower – all the way to Australia.
We giggly international girlfriends have gotten together (via email) and plotted for months and weeks what we would make for Emiko’s Virtual Baby Shower – EVBS – et voila – it is now here!!
Waiting for a baby to arrive in the last few weeks is not an easy time. You are often impatient (your feet hurt and you can’t tie your shoes mostly because you haven’t seen your feet for months now but you sure feel they are still there). Lots of family and acquaintances, yes even the people in line at the supermarket or the baker’s want to know: when are you due? While asking they are eyeing you like your baby might pop out any moment.
Yes all this is part of becoming a mother. And it ain’t all easy.
But that’s what your girlfriends are for. They will ooohhh and aaaahhh over little pink bibs and socks, rub your feet when they are sore, get you another pillow, a blanket or a cup of tea. Tell you to lie down or get up, they will hug, cuddle and kiss you when you think you look like an ugly duck and they will love every curve and bulge your blooming child has added.
You are simply glorious to them like a swan!
But alas, we can’t all be there to do just that and Skype helps but the big live conference is often hampered by time zones. So we decided that a Virtual Baby Shower is the perfect way to let you know that we are all here!
Thinking of you, cooking for you, rooting for you, soothing and comforting you when you need it.
I have decided to bring along Manu’s Menu’s Flourless Chocolate Cake with Pears (recipe in the link) – in my eyes the ultimate Poire Belle Hélène in cake form – pears, chocolate and almonds (minus the ice-cream). Poires or pears always remind me of pregnant women as theirs shapes are often similar. They are a little lopsided when their bellies are so big with the baby turning this way and that. And somewhat topsy turvy just like when you are trying to make pears stand up for a photo.
I think pregnant women and pears are gorgeous. They remind me of Helena of Troy the most famous of beautiful women – daughter of Gods, born in an eggshell after her mother Leda mated with a swan – also an elegant symbol of beauty.
This is a copy by Cesare da Sesto (1477-1523) after the lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
So I am making Manuela’s perfect cake aka Poires Belle Hélène Cake for you Emiko to celebrate your motherly beauty, this cake is tasty, elegant and satisfying, liking putting your feet up. You can find all the things the others are bringing in the links that follow.
And a few parenting remarks for you and Marco at the bottom of this post – so to say my little words of wisdom from 16 years of parenting experience.
But now let Emiko’s Virtual Baby Shower begin!! Happy baby shower Emiko!!
Here is a picture of the wonderful things I was given or that were made to welcome my son Jasper who will soon be 16 years old. My sister embroidered a quilted blanket with animal ABC’s and Jasper’s name. I knit the white baby blanket while I was pregnant. My brother gave Leo the lion (Jasper is a Leo) and a silber Tiffany’s rattle. The bow-tied bear is Fuzzy the bear Ludger bought for his son since each son needs a bear – he searched high and low for months on both sides of the Atlantic to find the perfect one. My Mom sewed a floor play blanket with the chickens on it. Included is also the one maternity dress (red with white flowers) I also wore and in which I brought Jasper home for the first time. It is the only one I saved and it fills me with joy for you and Marco when I see it there next to Jasper baby brush and his very last pacifier.
I got very sentimental seeking and gathering these so fond memories I am sharing with you. They are as precious as each moment with your child and you should savor them like the most delicious of cakes, as they are fleeting and our children grow up so fast.
But now for a more joyous ending:
Remember you will some day soon again look like this and you will both suffer from the thing in the middle picture and some days everything will be as light as a feather!
…and one day when you are old and have grandchildren, you will look back and you won’t have wanted to miss a single second of what you had – and you will laugh together when you remember that you created this wonderful child that you are bringing into the world!
Great big hugs to you both!