Saturday, September 18, 2010

News from the fondant front and a little church lady love, too!

Good news! The ginormous fondant cake has flown the coop! I think the cake, which was for an awesome young lady on the occasion of her 21st birthday, was a success. Naturally we're always most hyper-critical of our own work. I look at the pictures and I'm already finding things I would change and am not happy with. BUT...all-in-all I'd consider it a success- that is, unless I hear from the family that the cake went crashing down in the midst of the party creating the leaning tower of carbohydrates! The young woman's mom assured me that if the cake fell, she'd never tell me! I hope I see some pictures of the successful party soon! Here's the final product...

I had a terrible time deciding what to do for the cake topper. I made a '21' out of gumpaste and loved the look of it, until I put it on the cake. It just wasn't 'whimsical' enough to match the style of the cake. I tried lots of different sugary glitter techniques and finishes and just couldn't get the look right. So I decided to scrap the whole idea and move to fresh flowers. I really like the way they turned out!

I struck gold at our local Hy Vee floral department with the great bouquet of flowers I was able to purchase for $5.00. The combination of the bright pink Gerber daisy and the chartreuse pom pom chrysanthemums was perfect! I have absolutely no clue what the little purple flowers were, but they matched the purple on the cake perfectly. I secured all of them with heavy gauge floral wire pushed through all of the fondant layers. I know that if I'd used a lower gauge floral wire the wire simply would've buckled and not been able to stand up to the hardened fondant. I'm so glad to have this project under my belt, and am up for the next big fondant challenge! I'm considering a class at the Culinary Institute in Kansas City geared primarily at food art/decor. We'll see how that pans out!

The church ladies scored big with our family on Thursday night. I made an incredibly simple recipe entitled, 'Easy Baked Pork Chops'. When I read the recipe I sincerely wondered if the pork chops would be cooked using a 100-watt lighbulb. Luckily the 'Easy Bake' referred to in the recipe had nothing to do with lightbulbs and everything to do with Stove Top stuffing. I rarely, almost never, purchase food from a box, and purchasing STUFFING of all things from a box seemed like a culinary sacrilege. However, once again I had to bow to the church ladies and purchase an unfamiliar item! The recipe turned out fabulously and everyone indulged, including one of the many extra children that seem to find their way to our dinner table each evening! Paired with some lovely fresh strawberries and green beans, it made a terrific meal!

From the church lady experience I have learned that many of the main dish recipes do NOT photograph well and really aren't about presentation. I guess I have to look at it the way I look at French food. French food is ALL about the presentation and very little about being hearty and comforting. Church lady food is ALL about comfort and has almost nothing to do with presentation. Perhaps that will be my mission in writing a cookbook... churchlady flavor wrapped in a chef's presentation. Yeah, I'll do that in my free time!

Good eats,

Oh yes, and as I promised... a little picture of sweet Patrick immediately post-op with his lovely Dermabond sealed sutures. He's doing well and the Dermabond is starting to itch. Good sign? I guess! :)


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  2. I love, love, love the cake. It is beautiful and unique just like my daughter. I knew when I asked you to make one, that you would put your heart and soul into making a perfect cake. Cait has had a rough year and we are celebrating her health and recovery. Thank you for helping make our celebration perfect!

    P.S. My previous post had a grammar error, so I deleted it and chastised myself for not proofreading!