Monday, December 5, 2011

Birthday Cake

Calla lily fondant/gum paste birthday cake

This weekend was a birthday party for our friend Brooke. I was excited to have an excuse to make this calla lily cake which I've been eying in my fondant book since last winter. This was the first time I've had to roll out the fondant without Ryan's help - I'm glad it was a small cake! I used gum paste for the first time for the flowers and leaves. I really liked working with gum past. I wasn't very sticky, rolled out easily, was easy to color, and dried pretty quickly.

What I really wanted to say in this post though, is that Brooke is an amazing person - truly inspirational. The kind of person who makes me feel like I should be doing so much more to help people who need it. Brooke teaches children in grades K-3 with emotional and behavioral disabilities. The kids in her class come from so many backgrounds, some of them heartbreaking.

This fall one of her students wrote in his back to school book that his greatest wish was that his mom would have enough food so she wouldn't have to worry. Brooke already knew about the child's situation at home and had sent him home with food from her own kitchen before, but this time she bought bags full of groceries for him. When she posted the photos of the grocery bags on facebook, she was flooded with comments of people willing to donate food to feed kids like him. From those comments she spawned the idea for a backpack program at her school where backpacks full of food would go home with needy kids on Friday afternoon and come back empty on Monday morning. I cannot imagine what it must be like for a small child to know they're not going to eat a good meal all weekend (thanks to the federal school breakfast and lunch program they can at least have two meals/day during the week) or for a parent to know they can't feed their children. And that kids like this live here in Seattle, not just in third world countries. But I know people like Brooke make a difference in the lives of these kids.

And as if that weren't enough, in her spare time Brooke fosters cats, giving them a break from the shelter and works with her horse Denali who she basically saved from the slaughterhouse in 2008.

No time wasted cutting the cake!
Can't go wrong with Hershey's especially dark chocolate cake recipe!
Brooke and I at a pirate bar
The girls at the pirate bar

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