Friday, April 24, 2009

Numero Due

Here is cake number 2 from my cake decorating class. We learned how to make the clown as a technique in pressure control...I guess creepy clowns are not the most popular cake decor, but Matteo sure loved it! He kept singing happy birthday to the clown on the cake. So, who knows, maybe the little ones these days aren't freaked out by clowns...they haven't seen the movie It yet.

Clowns don't freak me out, but I do think they are a little strange. Why are they quasi-bald? Why do they look like they have been drinking too much? Why are these middle-aged, alcoholic-looking, bald dudes with bad clothes kid magnets? To those who have an aversion to clowns, I apologize - feel free to be clown fans, call me - I can make you a cake.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cake #1

I have started taking cake decorating classes this past month - it is the first non-kid related thing I have done in the past three and a half years. I get to go one night a week and concentrate on completing something without any interruptions...funny how things (like alone time) become more appreciated when circumstances change. 

I feel sorta horrible and guilty for spending this time out ... but only for a few minutes. It is important to do things we want to do when we can actually do them. I think that is one lesson grandpa's ordeal has reinforced in me. Love and appreciate your partner, your kids, your health, every moment they are yours. Part of being healthy is being happy, so I say, why not? I signed up for this class, and the following course in May, and signed up at the local gym. I am running, rowing, and sweating - it feels great. I want to work up to a marathon in the next few years...or maybe a half-marathon...

So here is the cake from last night. It is super basic, but even though I have some experience with decorating cakes, I think it is great to learn from the ground up and really cover all the bases. So a cool trick I got from the teacher is to make shapes by putting down a cookie cutter, then piping a line around the indention, and after, just put the star tip on and go to town until it is done. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sad Times

My grandpa is sick - a few months to live sick, and the last few days have been tough. I wanted to just express something about how amazing he is, how I feel about in the vein of this blog theme, I will do it through food. Ironically, his appetite has nearly disappeared and he no longer enjoys or wants food anymore. But I can think of so many foods, grandpa specific, that will always remind me of him and how much he has influenced my life. Here's to you, A.P. 


Eggs - first from stories of your chicken ranch - how my mom sorted the eggs, saved the farm, and later, each Easter, dying hard boiled ones until they became that strange brown color

Bold and fragrant boxes of oranges for me every week - to savor two each morning, and the sweet smell of orange blossoms in the air by the old green shed when the 10 am sun warms the nectar

Crisp summer corn on the cob and marshmallows slightly charred at the "beach" parties in your front yard

Chocolate covered raisins in a little plastic container on your apartment dining room table...I used to grab a handful every visit, a guaranteed regular treat - now my two year old son looks forward to doing the same - he won't understand why the chocolate raisins won't be there anymore

The two of us laughing because we were always the first to be in line for the food spread - like those two cartoon crows, "No, no, I insist, after you!," you - always the first to start eating, the last to finish

Strange cheramoia fruit, 7-up, Jello with bananas, microwaved zucchini, toast with applesauce, Lucky Charms on top of a healthy cereal to sweeten it up, spicy gingersnaps, avocados green and ripe

The finisher of orphan food left on family members plates, fan of buffets like Hometown 'Cafe' as you called it, and Souplantation, generous, healthy, sweet-toothed but restrained in a way I will always admire...

Always grateful, always frugal, the only one who ever said the prayer over the food

In these foods, each and every time we meet, my mind will travel to you, to your memory, to the greatness of such a humble, helpful, incredible man - my grandpa A.P. Sowby.