Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday cakes and gingerbread men

This is a week for birthday cakes. DH's birthday was near Thanksgiving so he opted to wait for his red velvet cake. The next weekend we attended a Christmas Open House with all sorts of treats so that wasn't a good time to have cake either. So yesterday I baked the cake and now I am in the process of frosting it. It is not a red velvet cake without the frosting - flour and milk are heated until thickened and cooled - cream margarine (or shortening) and sugar, gradually add the cooled milk mixture and some vanilla. It is really good frosting -- I had to do some grocery shopping after church to be prepared for the winter storm coming our way so got a late start on the frosting. I have the milk mixture cooling now but need to leave in about 15 minutes for Care Group so I'll have to finish it up when I get back home.

Then Tuesday is DD#1's 19th birthday. She will not be home from college until Wednesday but I will be making her a cherry chip cake. That is her favorite and we could not find the cake mix for a long time. Then last spring someone at work made some cupcakes for a bake sale and I bought them (not knowing what flavor) I brought them home and DD#1 got all excited when she realized they were cherry chip. So I had to call the co-worker and find out where she got the mix. For DD#1's graduation party we had one small cake made of cherry chip and decorated with a stethoscope and nurse's hat (she plans to go into nursing). I bought 4 boxes of the cake mix and have yet to use any of them - so will at least use one this week.

I have a small tree in my kitchen/breakfast nook and have placed some of our ornaments that are 'gingerbread'- related on that one. It is really the top section of our old tree. I added a few bead necklaces we had in red and green. I also have a wooden cutout gingerbread family that I painted over 20 years ago that are on the ledge by the tree. I have some ornaments that look like cookies hanging from ribbon in the windows and a couple other gingerbread figurines scattered around. Last night I decided I needed gingerbread garlands on each window. So today I dug out some brown (cashmere tan) felt and used the smallest of my wooden figurines to make a pattern. I am going to stuff them and do a blanket stitch in white around the edges. I picked up some ivory sheer ribbon to connect them and also some little buttons for eyes, mouth and nose - and some heart buttons to sew on the chest. I am going to put hearts on some and colored buttons down the front on the others. I think they will be so cute! DH thinks I am crazy and wanted to know when I planned to get that done. It really won't be that hard - most is handsewing so it is easy to take it along and work on the drive to work or at lunch. I guess I need to look through my tealight candles and see if I still have some gingerbread ones so I can burn one when my family gathers here for Christmas.

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