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Friday, April 08, 2011

The first cakes

When I was a little girl, my mother went to great lengths to ensure that my Christmas-time birthday was special. I remember her having a little cake decorating booklet that showed how with a knife, a few simple cuts, and some rearranging of cake pieces, one could turn two 8" round cakes into an adorable lion or a cat or even a clown with legs and arms. My birthday cakes were always special.

When my children were growing up, I wanted their cakes to be special too. I found a great little bakery that made custom cakes, mostly using the Wilton character pans. The owner turned out a mean Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cake! My own cakes at the time were sad by comparison, so the custom cake lady became a part of our lives for a number of years. 

Fast forward some twenty years. When our grandson was turning one, I offered to make his first birthday cake. I had no experience but I did some reading, got some recipes from a friend and the purple, green and turquoise caterpillar cake was born! I remember staying up very late piping all those little stars. Lesson number one: Thin the icing before piping or it will take forever and your hand will hurt for days. Lesson number two: Don't put too much icing in the bag. The warmth from your hands will melt it a bit and change the colour of the icing - hence the two different purples.

A couple of weeks after our grandson's birthday came our granddaughter's birthday. Again, I offered to make the cake. Every little girl needs a white teddy bear - so she got both a stuffed one and an edible one. The edible one was gone within about 1/2 hour. The stuffed one lingers on ... not as fluffy, certainly not as white, but very well loved.

I knew after those two birthday parties that I wanted to be remembered twenty or thirty years from now as the grandma that made the cakes. And so, I set out to make that happen.


Vicki said...

I remember when you made these cakes ... much success and fun with your Blog !!! Vicki

Dawn said...

Thanks Vicki!