I find that I am always extremely critical of my own baked goods. No matter how good others say it tastes (never how it looks though; we all know my creations are too rustic to be complimented on appearance), I am always looking at how to improve. It is because of this self-criticism that I truly enjoy when others bake for me. I am lucky enough to be a mentor to the sweetest 9-year-old ever. For my birthday last week, her mom had me over for an authentic Mexican lunch, complete with an authentic Mexican tradition. As I was taking the knife to the cake, they all rushed to stop me. "Take a bite," Vanesa said. I told her that I couldn't wait to try it after I cut everyone a piece. She then explained to me that it is tradition that the birthday girl take the first bite of the cake before it is cut. So, rather than go against years of Mexican tradition, I bit into the cake.
Regardless of whether they tricked me into making a fool of myself, I loved every minute of it. Vanesa decorated the cake herself, and it was definitely one of my favorite presents this year.