Every family has their ways of celebrating. In mine it has always involved cake. Just about every time our family gets together there is a cake present. We usually take a picture of it. One time my scrapbooking friends noticed that most of the pages in the album I was working on featured a cake in some way, they thought that was so funny and started calling me Mindy-cakes. We celebrate every birthday, with cake. There's always a bunny cake on Easter. When I was a baby my first cake had my face on it. I can remember my Grandparents often showing up at our house with a white box containing a torte cake from the bakery, layers stacked high with fruit filling in between. When my kids came along and we had to deal with their allergies, that just meant that more cakes had to be home-made with egg replacer and soymilk. I have made a cake in the shape of a car, a caterpillar, a baseball and a music note, to name a few.
For mother's day this year we obtained what is generally acknowledged to be the "mother" of all cakes, the very best one of all: Sanders Bumpy Cake. For those of you who don't know, Sander's is local to Michigan, it used to consist of little shops all around in mainstreets and malls, where you could go and buy fancy candies, or sit at the counter and get a hot-fudge cream puff, or a sundae in one of these special stainless steel cups lined with a paper cone...or buy a bumpy cake. Well the company was sold out a few years ago but they have kept the name alive by offering a few of the products for sale in grocery stores, such as that fudge (straight from the jar with a spoon, baby) and the cakes.
The box for our Mother's Day cake said "Original" in the lower left corner, but in the upper right it said: Now Even Better! What? How can you improve on perfection? We tasted the cake, it had all the elements, cake part, white bumps, fudgy frosting...but....nowhere near like the original. You used to be able to peel off that fudgy frosting. The bumps were higher, the cake moister, this just wasn't that good. It wasn't the kind of good where you would sneak to the empty pan and scape off every last bit of the "edges" that were left stuck there, and snarl at any unsuspecting just-married-into-the-family who might make moves to dispose of the box before it had been licked clean. (Not that I would ever have done that, y'know) It just wasn't that good. So our party conversation centered around the woes of the decline of the bumpy cake, and therefore the decline of Western Civilization and the world as we know it.
Then my younger sister, Marie Antoinette, sighed heavily and proclaimed with despair: "Now I have to find a new favorite cake!" Things are already looking pretty bad in the state of Michigan, with $4 gas, the auto industry in the tank, home prices free falling, the great lakes drying up, and now THIS.
So I ask you, dear readers, in this time of need, to recommend a new favorite cake. And while you're at it, tell me what YOU do when you gather with your extended family members, if not to gather around a sugary confection, and sing to it, take pictures of it, eat it and talk about it. Drink beer and watch sports? I can't even imagine.
Please help, leave a comment about your fav cake: