Thursday, April 9, 2009

Love, Loss and What I Baked: Queen Cakes

One of my favorite books is Love, Loss and What I Wore, an illustrated memoir told told through clothes. The sweet, sad, and triumphant moments of author Ilene Beckerman's life are recalled in poignantly simple text and accompanied by a charming drawing of the outfit she was wearing at the time.

I've often said I wish I'd written this book, but since the exponentially more talented Ms. Beckerman beat me to the punch, I'll look back on the some of the cakes and treats I made, and what was going on when I made them.

These Queen Cakes were baked for an especially fertile baby shower. I worked at a publishing company with about 20 women, and in the spring of 1993, five of them were pregnant (I drank bottled water and wiped down all chairs before I sat down - I didn't want to catch what they had) The "Queen for a Day" shower theme celebrated three of the earlier due dates.

Queen Lynne's golden crown is made from melted peanut butter chips spread between sheets of wax paper and cut into a pointed strip

Queen Maria's tiara is white chocolate piped in squiggles onto wax paper and wrapped around the cake

Queen Barbara's ermine-trimmed crown was one of my first forays into fondant

This shower was the first one I can recall where friends of MINE, not friends of my parents or older relatives having a baby. Talk about your milestones. I visited Maria in the hospital the day after her baby was born. He was the youngest baby I'd ever seen and I'll never forget how impossibly little he was, the look of shock and awe on her husband Ted's face, and Maria's sweet, strong, satisfaction with the miracle she'd created.

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