As you can probably guess, we are celebrating a birthday today. The young man is now 21. The problem with turning 21 in Germany is that the birthday doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Certainly it is not a milestone the way it is in the US. In Germany you can drink beer at 16, drive a car at 18. You are considered an adult at 18, unless you are out in a training program at 16. Plenty of 16 year olds are working full time.
When I was a kid back in the US dark ages there were three ages that were important – 16 for driving, 18 for drinking and 21 for voting/signing contracts and otherwise having everyone think you are an adult. Probably built into the legal system as well. It didn’t mean that the foster care systems didn’t kick kids to the curb at 18 (somehow the State always seemed to be able to do things/get away with things that the rest of us can’t). The only real impact it has on his life is losing the military family ID card which means a major change in health care location and installation access for him.
Since he has been doing steadily better for the last few months, this may be the last time I can refer to him as The Maulwurf (Mole) and will have to come up with a new name. I can also tell that he is growing up; didn’t want pictures taken of him opening presents. So I will just tell you that he now has a nice jacket, a sweater, three more shirts, a bunch of art supplies for sketching and drawing, an electric razor and a really need shark pizza cutter.
There is actually a cake with that name. If you want to be really fancy, take a look at this one.
As the birthday boy, our very own Mole asked for one. The Eldest is the baker.
and she baked it for him.
First you bake a complete cake in a spring form pan.
you scoop out the center leaving about 1 cm on the sides and bottom.
After that — you take all those cake crumbs you removed, mix them with whipped cream and a few other goodies
Finally, there is a chocolate crumble covering that goes over the top (as pictured at the start).