Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh boy!

The girls and I have joined a cake decorating class.Every Wednesday we are off to A.C. Moore for our Wilton 1 Cake Decorating class.
Wasn't until the first class that it sunk into my thick skull that we would be needing to do three of everything. That meant that last week we had to bring three cakes. Let me rephrase that...we had to bring three frosted cakes. The day was a logistical nightmare with only one pan (have I told you how many times I have packed up this apartment?), a limited amount of ingredients, two trips to various medical appointments, and this all had to begin with a trip to A.C. Moore to make sure that we had three of everything (that would be pastry bags, and tips, and the special Wilton piping gel, and stuff like that).
We each made our own cake. Xan's was a one egg chocolate cake (we only had one egg at the time), mine was gluten free, Artie's was a boxed gingerbread cake. Artie pulled the box out of her room. I don't even want to go there! We went grocery shopping for the hugest can of Crisco made on this planet and to heft bags of powdered sugar into the back of the van. We made faces of disgust as we mixed Crisco with sugar and butter flavoring (the special Wilton recipe that we have to use for this class). It is as icky as it sounds!!
It was six o'clock with a 6:30 class time. We were still frosting away and trying to figure out the right consistencies for the three different consistencies of frosting that we had to bring to our new class. We blew out of the kitchen as gracefully as a pelican landing on water. The kitchen was a disaster. Oh it was such a disaster!
We made it through our class with a minimum of mishap. Xan and Artie sat next to each other and bickered. Both of them thought that I wore a maid's outfit and it was my task to retrieve every little thing that they needed. We had been asked to bring a simple design to learn how to do transfers onto our cakes or we could use the simple rainbow that Wilton provided.
When it finally came time to do the transfers (and BTW our cakes were not the worst frosted cakes in the room like we thought they would be) I have a petroglyph, Artie has a peace sign, Xan has a Celtic knot, and the rest of the class has (you got it!) the rainbow. We got the last ten minutes of class to work on our cakes so everybody had to take them home to finish them.
Xan finished hers that night and took it over to our next door neighbors.I finished my cake the next day and gave it to our friends that are gluten-free. I was inspired to write that during class when I saw a big 'you know what' right there in the middle of my cake stuck in the frosting.Artie finished decorating hers later in the day and took it to a potluck at her GED class. She forgot to take a picture of it.
Today we have to bring 8 cupcakes each. We're going to learn how to make clowns on the tops. Oh boy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

...we all left the table full.

We spent days in the preparation!
It was a dear, tender, sweet time. Xan wanted to know my secrets. The one's that a mother passes down to her daughter.
We started with lists. Many lists.
Lists of what we needed for the table.
Then lists of the recipes.
Then lists of ingredients.
Then lists of what we would make each day.
(Jane is proud, this I know)
We started with a whole chicken and worked into grating an orange. In perfect sync we were melting Trader Joe's bittersweet chocolate, boiling eggs, and chopping vegetables. We washed dishes, filled the dish rack, emptied the dish rack and washed dishes again.
I, mother, sharing with Xan, daughter, my years of kitchen experience. It was ancestral. She wanted to know all that I had to share. It was magical.
Women bonding over food.
It's who we are.
The givers of nourishment.
And this is what it was all for.For our Passover Seder dinner.
There is no other holiday that we celebrate where I feel closer to God. Really. I'm not even a Jew. But I love this holiday with a fervor.
We gathered, read the Hagadah (a version which Michael and a friend wrote for the UU Seders that we used to host), ate the ritual food, drank the wine and Rebekah lead a discussion of what people around the table have down to help create freedom in the world.
With food like this to nourish our taste budsand the ritual of Seder to nourish our souls we all left the table full.