Alas, I, nor anyone I know for that matter, didn't get invited to the Royal wedding this weekend. Even if I had, I would have had to decline since I was on call at the hospital for the weekend. My mother, God rest her soul, had she been alive would have loved to have gone. Mostly to see the cake but the fact that she always said she was related, in the distant past, to Queen Victoria may have tingled her DNA and been added impetus for her to want to attend.
While both of my parents excelled in the arts, my mother tended towards the visual arts: an exemplary flower arranger and a cake decorator extraordinaire. There was a period of time in her middle years where she made, decorated and sold cakes for pin money. Well, no, I guess when you're poor it's called income not pin money. Her cakes were in high demand, especially her wedding cakes. As I look at this cake for William and Kate's wedding I see my mother's handy work all over. She was making cakes before the days of all the molds and ready made decorations. She had to carve cakes such as a sculptor would carve marble. And every flower, leaf, chain, bud and border had to be made by hand. Many nights I watched her make dozens of flowers just for practice. She always felt that her cakes should taste as good as they looked. Duncan Hines was her mix of choice because she liked the moistness and flavor better than Betty Crocker's. She also made all her frosting by hand from scratch.
I can't say she ever fed me chocolate cake for breakfast like Bill Cosby did for his kids, but there were certainly enough scraps left over after a cake was made for me to scarf up plenty of "nutrition" ( eggs, milk flour etc.) Nor did I wash the cake down with grapefruit juice.
In her day my mom could have taught Fiona Cairns some helpful tricks in the Cake decorating business.
* Royal wedding cake Photo Kate and Wills' eight-tiered wedding cake -- made of 17 stacked fruitcakes by Fiona Cairns and her team -- awaits the newlyweds in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011. Credit John Stil