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    Birthdays, Musings, and More

    May 23, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    I‘ve been a busy bee lately. We had a sick little one earlier this week. She’s fine now, but she cramped the week’s chores into a much smaller space. However, she is one of my less-cuddly children, so I was grateful to be allowed to hold her as long as I wanted {and more}.

    E.’s turning six this weekend. Six. It is hard to imagine that we’ve been parents six years now, but I suppose that is how it works. Each year adds on to the other until suddenly you have a bit of experience.

    Anyhow, he has decided he wants to be a farmer when he grows up. I consider this a noble calling, so I try to encourage it as much as possible while keeping in mind that very few of us knew at age six what we’d really be at twenty-five.

    What better for a future farmer than a garden cake? Some ladies collect magazine clippings and printouts to serve as inspiration for decorating their homes. I live in a rental, so I clip and print out inspiration for birthday cakes. I’m combining three different ideas from three different sources to make a garden cake that is simple but actually looks like a garden.

    It’s not easy.

    Last night, for instance, I stayed up, sculpting tiny vegetables out of chewy candies. I made a deal with my son that I’d make him a great-looking cake as long as he agreed not to eat the off-limits part of it {candy is often covered in gluten because factories dust the conveyor belts with wheat to keep it from sticking}. We shook on it, and now I am the proud owner of a pile of carrots fashioned from orange-flavored Starburst.

    Wow. It just started raining.

    So anyhow…

    I don’t have any photos of the garden cake. However, I do have photos of the butterfly-inspired cake that I made three months ago and never posted. It is a wonderful and simple GFCF birthday cake. Of course, I’m using the term cake loosely here. It is actually a GFCF tapioca-honey sugar cooking, frosted with GFCF white frosting.

    Does that make it a tart?

    All artificial flavors and colors are off-limits for the kids’ strict diet, and I wasn’t in the mood to gamble on “natural” coloring, so we covered it with fruit instead, and I made some candy butterflies out of melties from the grocery store. {The butterflies were cute, but the kids, of course, couldn’t actually eat them.}

    I do this because the kids so delight in having fun cakes.

    Anyhow, here are a few photos. I rolled the cookie {actually, it was cookies because I made two} out real thin in a jellyroll pan. It didn’t take long to cook {maybe 10 minutes}. Then I frosted it. I saw this design in a magazine somewhere years ago. The next step was to pile blueberries in the center:

    Always work out from the center with something like this. Sliced kiwis ringed the blueberries, and then I place strawberry halves around that:

    I skipped to the outside to place a border of grapes. This would help me eye how much space I needed to fill with mandarins (from a can) to finish:

    I drizzled all of this with a glaze made from orange-pineapple juice. Then, I placed two butterflies (one pink and one yellow) on each cake. I tried to make it look like they landed there for a snack. Here’s the finished products:

    Have a wonderful weekend. Someday, I’ll post photos of the garden cake. Actually, I’ll also post a recipe if it turns out well. I’m trying my hand at a GFCF chocolate cake with chocolate frosting…it’s the color of dirt, of course!

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Lynette May 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    That is so cute. You did a wonderful job!

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