Grandma’s birthday cake

A few weeks ago my grandma celebrated her 75th birthday. Determined to find inspiration for a cake, I took a seat next to a giant box of old photos, rifling through hundreds of envelopes. I settled on one of her and I somewhere around 1993, complete with a “Happy New Year!” headband (which would be changed to Happy Birthday for our purposes). I popped in some DVDs and got to work, painting with gel food coloring atop a fondant disk.

The cake is strawberry almond amaretto with strawberry filling. With the intention of preservation, we slid the fondant off the top of the cake before eating to keep the portrait in the freezer.

While digging through those photos, I scanned in a few of them to share.

Baking funny shaped cakes since ’98:

Painting everything but paper was one of my earliest hobbies:

As was blogging (thought it would be a few more years before I understood that writing a letter and putting it on the table next to the computer would not “send it through the phone line and email it”):

And of course, petting animals!


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