Friday, April 13, 2012
I love my mother. She has always been an inspiration for me in all of the things that she does. In addition to many other talents she is in charge of the kitchen at our church. This means that she gets to coordinate the wedding receptions we have there and help the brides get their ducks in a row.
Last fall I got a call from my mom on a Thursday. She asked if I was busy in the coming weekend (I said no, why?) then proceeded to ask me if I could whip up a last minute wedding cake. In our non-denominational Pentecostal church we have what we style as "Jesus people weddings." This came out of a need for weddings to be simple and not expensive. After people get their heart right and accept Jesus they should stop sinning, and that includes living together without the benefit of marriage. So in our church you can just get a dress, some flowers, a couple of attendants, and get married during a regular church service. After the service and ceremony everyone heads back to the fellowship hall for cake and punch (and whatever other food you want) for a receiving line and a chance for the congregation of 650 to wish the new couple well. Granted, most receptions only see 200-300 people but in a traditional catered venue this can set you back thousands. One young groom with no family here had my mom set up the whole reception for $300. That included cake, punch, nuts, table decorations, table cloths, and everything else you would need. It was simple and lovely.
This bride and her intended groom just got saved on Wednesday night and they wanted to get married on Sunday morning. Mom was pulling together sheet cakes to take care of the majority of the people in attendance but wanted a little "special" wedding cake for them to cut while having their pictures. With a color scheme of black, white, and gold I dove right in. It ended up feeding 60 people and worked out lovely on the crystal pedestal. I made a simple gumpaste white rose for the topper and tah dah -- a simple last minute wedding cake!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I like simple birthday cakes. They don't want anything fancy, or that feeds too many people, but it usually has to be a wonderful flavor. My nephew asked me to make a birthday cake for his wife recently and I was happy to oblige. Strawberry was the requested flavor and I have tried a number of fresh strawberry cakes. Most recipes have you just chuck strawberries into a white cake batter which makes the berries sink to the bottom of the pan, look more grey than pink, and release tons of juice when you don't need it. I have found that you only get that pink you're looking for when you use a little strawberry gelatin. I like Paula Deen's recipe which has a nice balance of homemade and sweet pink. Put fresh strawberries with some whipped cream between the layers and you're there. Happy Birthday!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I have lived with a blended family for decades now, and my stepdad has been the best father I could ever want. When he turned 75 I contemplated what to do for his cake. He is a diabetic but loves the sweets. I settled on three cakes: one chocolate with traditional frosting, one "Cake That Doesn't Last" with pineapple and bananas and a dusting of powdered sugar, and a sweet potato pie. That way he could have a little slice of each and feel like he was king for the day. Happy Birthday, Greg. Variety is the spice of life!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
It is now April. And I am writing about my daughter's birthday from LAST OCTOBER. Urgh. I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth or anything I am just focusing on things like teaching part time, volunteering at my kids' school to teach ceramics to everyone, and the rest of life. I'll spend the next couple of weeks catching up on my cake photos, I promise.
Helen had a slumber party with simple cupcakes and then a family birthday at Peter Piper Pizza with a "real" birthday cake. It was a lovely strawberry and chocolate tiered cake with pink sugar on the tops of each tier. The only problem was that it leaned a bit. OK, it wasn't just a bit -- that thing looked like it was going to leap off the table! We had her blow out the candle quickly before disaster struck. It was tasty and she enjoyed it, so I guess that's what really matters.