Sunday, May 01, 2011


#265:  CAKE


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

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17 Comments:

Blogger jaerose said...

It's lovely that you have turned such a global event into a personal and warm memory..Jae

7:32 AM  
Blogger Rinkly Rimes said...

Your Mother would be happy to be remembered at such a time.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Meryl said...

Great post. It was lovely reading abour your mother and her skill ...and I loved that Cosby cake routine!

Thanks,
Meryl

7:53 AM  
Blogger Milady de Languor said...

What a lovely memory - thanks for sharing it with us. :) One of my aunts was the official wedding cake maker for our family. Her parents were immigrants from Iceland, so she used an "old country" recipe for fruit cake - very dark and very strong. I loathed it as a child, but can appreciate it now. Love how the booze content is so obvious to me as an adult, but the strictly non-drinking older generation of the family failed to notice. Obviously her husband was never present when she mixed up the batter! She did it all by hand, too, and even though she no longer bakes due to her age, I would imagine that she has closely inspected the efforts of the Royal cake maker. :)

7:55 AM  
Blogger Stan Ski said...

I think I would prefer to have tried your mom's cake!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Your mother and my mother-in-law would have really liked each other!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Old Altonian said...

Very much prefer a rich Dundee myself, with a bit of ripe cheddar cheese to go with it.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Understanding Alice said...

my mother is a cake maker and flower arranger...they are brautiful gifts. It was nice to read your post!

3:22 PM  
Blogger Lilibeth said...

fruit cake for a wedding? I think your mom's idea was better...good old Duncan Hines. It's very special when someone you know personally makes the wedding cake.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Cynthia M said...

what a gift your mother had...my grandmother also made and decorated cakes before the common use of moulds etc and it was truly an art form...tasty too :) thanks for sharing

7:49 PM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

Rel you are making me want cake! (wandering off now to find that stub of lemon cake upstairs)

5:05 AM  
Blogger Jingle said...

inviting piece.

bless you.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Zanzinece said...

I saw the marriage on TV! But I never saw the cake. Eight tiers! Your mother would have known the exact work involved. I can’t imagine... But oh to have been able to sink my sweet-tooth into the likes of that!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

A lovely post, Rel...I enjoyed reading it.

I also enjoyed watching the wedding spectacle...it was quite something else again!!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great memory to hear!! I would have loved to known her and learn some of her secrets... Although I am certain your son has some of those artistic capibilities!!

Love K

3:37 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

i love that your mom worried about the taste as well as the look of a cake. I totally agree with her.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous JP/deborah said...

Now there's an awesome Mother's Day post :)

Now I want cake!

JanePoet~deborah

12:14 AM  

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