Monday, April 21, 2014

Saving a Slice of Family History

Family history is so much more than a collection of documents. It's also in the holiday traditions passed down from generation to generation.

In my husband's family one of these traditions features a special Easter cake made by his mother.  A lamb with a jelly bean necklace. Over the years she'd perfected the recipe and the appearance of this symbolic cake creation.  Unfortunately, she's no longer able to make that cake.

 Yesterday we wanted to make the day special for her.  She's had a rough time lately and we thought the lamb cake would make her smile.  The only problem was that we couldn't find the mold for it.  My sister-in-laws looked high and low in her kitchen.  We discussed the possibility that my father-in-law had thrown it out (gasp!).  A few weeks ago, we packed up her kitchen and discovered the mold in the cabinet with the mixing bowls and plastic storage containers.  There was so much whooping that the movers thought we were crazed. We were cake crazed.

I took the challenge and decided to try my hand at recreating it.  Oh the pressure!  Do you have any idea how many disastrous lamb cakes are on Pinterest?  Enough to make me sweat.  I searched the web for instructions.  The end result was far from perfect.
I didn't have her cake recipe. I decided not to use her beloved 7 minute icing recipe from the Joy of Cooking.  Oops! I baked it in two pieces instead of one. Those web directions were WRONG.  A little green Easter basket grass around the edges of the plate would make it look better.  Toothpicks held the two halves together.

Thank goodness I snapped pictures of it and sent them to my sister-in-law's. When I went upstairs to change my clothes I overheard my daughter say, "Oh...Mom is going to be really upset."
Yup.  The neck broke and the head fell off.  We took it to dinner anyway and my mother-in-law smiled. Seems that very thing often happened to her cake.
My husband looked at our daughter and said with a smirk on his face, "you better pay attention, it's your job to pass it on to your children." You can imagine that wide eyed stare. 

Next year I'll try again. My resolutions are to make a one piece cake, use her icing recipe and edible green coconut.  No way am I picking all that artificial grass out of the servings hoping no one got a toothpick.
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