Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mom's Cakes

I had way too much fun going through old photos trying to find a picture of one of Mom's great cakes for the Mother's Day post. There were so many good ones that I decided to post a bunch. The thing that impresses me the most, now that I am a mother, is how much time it must have taken to do each individual little star of icing. I just don't think I would be willing to do that, and if I was, I probably wouldn't let anyone eat it!

October 1974, Becky's 3rd birthday cake.

October 1974 (David, Becky, Don) This photo says Army Brat all over it. The boxes in the background indicate a recent move (must have been when the family moved to Monterey, CA for Dad to attend the Defense Language Institute) and the kids are eating Jack-in-the-Box for dinner, a sure sign that Mom was way too pooped from unpacking to make dinner. But she totally came through with the cake! I wonder how many boxes she had to dig through to find her decorating supplies...

October 1975, Becky's 4th birthday and Aunt Retha's ? birthday. Mom, the overachiever, decorated two cakes! Nowadays you just have to share!

February 1976, David's 11th birthday, with Mom and little me (6 months).

February 1976, me by David's second birthday cake (for the friend party.)

This is one of Mom's coolest cakes ever. She made it for the bicentennial celebration in July 1976. (Totally sweet bonnet.)

August 1976, Don's 8th birthday cake. When you go to the trouble (which I'm sure involved some mail order from the States to Germany) to buy a giant bell cake pan, you have to get your money's worth!

August 1976, my first birthday. One word: beaver.

Apparently Mom had a reputation in the neighborhood for being the cake queen because she made cakes for other kids, too. I have no idea who this kid is, but he's sporting some totally sweet lederhosen.

February 1977, David's 12th birthday. Can you believe how much that little rag-a-muffin in front looks like Amelia?

February 1977, again, a second cake for the friend party. I noticed this trend for David and Becky's birthdays, but not Don and I. Must have been because they had birthdays during the school year and could only have their friend party on a Saturday. Since Don and I had summer birthdays, we probably just had one party because kids could come over any day of the week.

Summer 1977. I never knew Mom made wedding cakes, but I stumbled upon these while looking through the album. I especially liked this "in progress" picture because the tupperware pitcher with the handle (back left corner) is the very bucket we use to rinse the girls' hair in the bath now!

Good military wedding, with the Stars and Stripes accenting the wedding cake. Pretty impressive, Mom!

August 1977, Don's 9th birthday.

August 1977, my second birthday. I wonder how many fingerprints were in that cake by the time it got eaten.

August 1977, Don giving me some pointers on how to blow out the candles.

October 1977, Becky's 6th birthday after the infamous hair butchering.

October 1977, Becky's cake for the family party. Man, the doll cake pan sure got a lot of use!

There were dozens of cakes that I couldn't find pictures of because they're all on slides at my Dad's house. There are hardly any pictures in my Mom's collection from 1979-1984 when we lived in Ft. Leavenworth, KS and Ft. Sill, OK because they're all on slides. I've got to get my hands on those!

Two of my favorite birthday parties were (I think) my 8th and 11th. For my 8th (I know we were living in Ft. Sill) birthday party my Mom made a CareBear cake and there were lots of fun party favors. For my 11th birthday, I got to have a sleepover and we had a BBQ on our deck in Burke, VA. Mom let me shop for party favors at a little store called Daring Gifts. I got things like cool pencils and erasers, kitten stickers, and other fun girly stuff.

Thanks for all the great birthdays, Mom! My only regret about posting these is that Lily is going to see them and have expectations for her next birthday. At least we live with the master...


Lori Gerten said...

Where were the cakes in the summer of '89, '90, '91?? I missed out on some serious cake action!!!

Becky in Wyo said...

Okay, I also remember the totally sweet cakes. The pumpkin cakes were my favorite! Gotta love the October birthday. But I'm having a traumatic flashback to my ultra-short hair-shearing. That WAS NOT MY FAULT. I DID NOT do that to myself. I have no idea why my mother cut my hair that short (some weird fashion trend, I'm sure), but I still remember that as a traumatic event. I cried and cried. But I still love you, Mom!

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Ok those cakes rock. And I so appreciate the cakes with the boxes in the background. Your mom is officially one of my hero Army wives. That's so classic. Every Army wife has that "thing" that has to come out of the boxes first that is totally random in order to make her house a home. For your mom, it was clearly her baking/caking stuff. She's obviously awesome.

Sue said...

Lori, I think the fancy cakes disappeared when Mom started working full-time, around age 11 or 12. Bummer! My favorite part was getting the icing tube and just sucking the icing out and then walking around with a blue or red or green tongue.

Becky, Dan just looked at your hair and automatically assumed that you cut it yourself. When I told him that it was Mom's doing, he was like, "What the heck was she thinking?!" Although I do have to admit that you look like the perfect little German girl. I don't know if that's really what little German girls looked like back then, or if that's just what I associate them with because that's what you looked like during the 1970's Germany era. BTW, did Mom do the handiwork herself or did some crazy Army barber do it?

Spymommy said...

I'm officially a loser mom when it comes to cakes. although I did fulfill soren's wish to have an R2-D2 cake last year. it just wasn't as professional as any of your mom's cakes. wow.

Anonymous said...

I don't hold your mom responsible for Becky's bad haircut...unless she cut it!!

My mom cut my hair until I was 16!


Becky in Wyo said...

Yeah, I have no memory of the actual hair-cutting. I just remember how I felt afterwards. But I like the idea of some army guy just butchering my hair willy-nilly. Makes it a more interesting story.

I like the idea of the sweet birthday cakes, but I don't have the patience to do them. I'm so glad our Mom took the time to do them. Just one of the great memories she's given us.

Yeah, icing, icing. I'm sure I loved the stuff when I was a kid, but you couldn't make me eat it now. One of the downsides of growing up. Low tolerance for grease and sugar combos

Hil said...

I love to make the girls birthday cakes (and do a pretty decent job), but my sister, Alison, is a cake master like your mom. :)
My favorite part is the graham cracker frosting cookies afterwards...

Anonymous said...

What wonderful reviews you and Becky have posted about your growing up years with your Mom. Becky is totally right about the memory loss thing - that is one reason why I suggested you do the "essay thing" for Mothers' Day this year. Lots of love to you both for taking the time to express your rememberances. As I recall, I got interested in serious cake decorating when we lived in Stephenville. I volunteered to decorate cakes for some kids' home there (about 30 something kids?) and every month someone from there would call me and tell me whose birthday it was that month. I got a lot of practice that way :-)

Your Mom, now The Grammie

The Nelson Family said...

My mom made great shaped cakes too (like panda bears and barbie doll cakes) but these are amazing! I love you tribute to your mom. Lilly and Amellia will have amazing memories from you too!

You should watch this. Pretty funny.