Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet Memories

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you....." Jeremiah 1:4

God knew baking would become one of my passions, that I was destined to explore this world and share my life through measuring and mixing, kneading and rolling, frosting and decorating.

 In other words, it's in my blood......which also means, I must confess, I love to eat baked goods!

If God uses verses like "Taste and see that the Lord is good" as a way to demonstrate the use of our senses to experience God's goodness, then taste testing my products (as well as those of others, of course) is part of my calling...... and certainly part of my experiencing God, right?

My love affair with all things baked began with a jiffy cake mix at 6 years old. It has found its continuous expression throughout my life in the form of breads, cakes, cookies, and pies. No recipe, no matter its complexity, kept me from experimenting...... and yes, there have been some significant and memorable flops along the way! Just recently I had to redo a batch of sticky buns three times to get the desired result..... nothing less than perfect for my good friend Cindy Benson who I express mailed them to in North Carolina. She has been a fan of those sticky buns for many years!

Watching my Aunt Eleanor decorating a wedding cake when I was about ten years old first sparked my idea to try that aspect of baking. In high school my Stepmom and I briefly attended a Wilton cake decorating class. My first attempts were less than glorious, something my Dad has been sure to remind me of....."hey Den, remember how lopsided those first cakes you made were?" Maybe it was his poking fun that motivated me to keep trying, so thanks Dad!

Once I began having children, doing cakes for their birthdays drew me further into decorating. I seemed to have a knack for it and loved the look on my kids's faces when I created something special just for them. Cake decorating became a wonderful creative outlet for me, one I used as a way to share my love with others, routinely making cakes for the children of my close friends, and sometimes for my friends themselves. There were cakes I made for church functions, anniversaries, graduations, baby and bridal showers, all while I was chasing six children around at various ages. (For those who don't know, I have six wonderful kids, now ranging in age from 15 to 29 years of age.)

Decorating a cake produces a work of art quickly devoured, but the joy it brings is worth all the effort, even the lengthy clean-up involved afterwards. All those necessary licks of frosting during this process give an immediate sugar rush, enabling me to finish washing all those decorating bags, tips, and bowls.

In the past three years I have been upstaged in the Grandfield cake decorating department by my daughter, Lisa-Noel. She is an amazing baker and decorator...... and of course, I don't hesitate to remind her where she learned all her skills from! You can check out Lisa-Noel's baking blog at

Just last week I made a special cake for Kim and Paul Ruzicka's 25th wedding anniversary. Kim, my dear friend, is an extremely talented cake decorator, someone I attended a decorating class with many years ago. We met through our children- my son Chad and Kim's son Paul were in kindergarten together (they are both now college sophomores). Kim made my beautiful 50th birthday cake so it was a privilege to make her anniversary cake. Congratulations Kim and Paul.... love you so much!

Below is a gallery of some of my favorite creations in years past. I dedicate this "sweet" trip down cake memory lane to my children Dale, Amber, Josiah, Chad, Rebekah, and Lisa-Noel, who have truly been my inspiration to become like "a little child" again and again. God continues to startle and amaze me through your lives. I love you so.

 Dale's Luigi cake

 Amber's Barbie cake

 Dale's Star Trek cake

 Amber's mermaid cake

 Josiah's tiered clown cake

 Rebekah's Teletubbies cake

  My nephew Tyler's teddy graham swimming pool cake

  Rebekah's funky fondant cake.

  Lisa-Noel's Power Puff girls cake.

 My nephew Mason's R2-D2 cake

 Lisa-Noel's pumpkin bear cake (Can you tell she has a fall birthday?)

 Josiah's Lava/ Star Wars Episode 1 cake (yes, that is Anakin and Obi-wan dueling on top)

My great nephews' Evan and Taylor's first birthday clown cakes  

 Chad's Bugs Bunny cake

 Chad's Donkey Kong cake

 Festive pumpkin cupcakes

Hannah Getter's 16th birthday cake

 My husband Terry's 50th birthday golf cake

This cake makes me laugh. It is the only cake I have ever made that never reached its destination. My son Dale asked me to do a cake for church, which I dropped off the night before at his home. I will never forget the call the next morning, Dale informing me he and Brad's cat, Dr. Zeus, had helped himself to the cake. He was merely testing it out to ensure it was "good", so he could give "thanks." Apparently it passed his taste test, but unfortunately that meant it was not fit for human consumption!
So Dr. Z,, I dedicate this photo to you!

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