Cake. What a fine and useful word. Piece of cake! You take the cake! It was a cakewalk! Time for cake! It feels good to say it, and even better to eat it.
Cake is happy. Mmm, I should qualify that. Cake is happy in my life. I read this book and was a little sad to see lemon cake, a fine cake that’s practically health food what with its citrus’y goodness, cast in such a gloomy light. Couldn’t Ms. Bender have chosen beets?
We’re talking about our hobbies this week. Baking is important to me. To call baking a hobby would be like sitting it for a timeout on the perimeter of my life. No, no! Cake is much more than a hobby. I’m Italian (Rossi Stagliano, it’s a dead giveaway.) Food is love. Love is food. More food is more love. Too much food is agita, but that’s another post.
I bake for my girls, who are on the gluten free/casein free diet. That means no wheat/oats/rye or dairy. We also avoid soy, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup and all artificial colors and flavors. (You’re thinking, “Tell Kim we’ll pass on that next dessert invite,” aren’t you?) Prepared GFCF foods are outrageously expensive. With three hungry girls to feed, it’s cheaper to make my own. I can make just about anything GFCF – from basic cakes to Hostess Cupcake knockoffs that would fool Little Debbie herself.
Baking is therapy. I love the sifting, measuring, mixing, prepping the pans, the whir of the stand mixer, all of it. It’s a rhythmic beat that yields a yummy treat. How can you go wrong? Like the wedding cake (see photo) I attempted last year for my girls’s middle school teacher. It was a traditional cake, loaded with butter and flour, but peanut free for the Bride. It was for a shower we threw at school, not for her real wedding! It wasn’t a Cake Wrecks blog disaster, but it was hardly a professionally made cake. Kneading fondant is therapeutic. Trust me.
About 8 years back I got into decorating furniture and old wood handbags (I find those on ebay) from the 1960s and 70s with retro art. I customized the handbags for friends and family and sold them too. I used art from old board games like Barbie Queen of the Prom. Here’s a photo of my “Chutzpah!” game purse. Chutzpah was an hysterical game about kitchsy Jewish life using old Borscht belt jokes and lots of Yiddish. It never fails that women ask me where I got my purse when I carry one of my creations. If you check out my website (HERE) you’ll see my baking and retro themes together.
I don’t paint much any longer. We’ve moved a couple of times and my games and paints are still in a box in my basement. But I bake weekly.
What do you do to unwind, relax and treat yourself to a creative moment?