Posted by: Michelle Mitton | June 13, 2008

A Mermaid Cake and A New Crush

A Mermaid CakeYes we had another birthday around here and I can report that there were no broken arms. Whew! Lillian enjoyed every minute of her day and said with pride at breakfast, “This is fun–I’ve never been six before!”

Lillian insisted on a Barbie cake (you know, the kind where you stick a doll into a volcano of batter, bake her and see how she holds up? Kidding.) but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not ANOTHER Barbie cake! I’ve done pirate ships, killer whales, Death Stars, horse heads, picture books, sheep, butterflies, rainbows, spiders, dinosaurs and salmon but NO MORE BARBIES!

So I “suggested” a mermaid cake. Of course in her mind she had visions of Ariel but I wasn’t about to tell her that Disney wasn’t getting any piece of this action and by the time I went to frost and decorate she was so excited that she didn’t even remember Barbie or Ariel or anything else.

I was, however, a little disturbed at the results. Is anyone else seeing Raggedy Anne as a mermaid? There’s a reason that one was never marketed–it’s just creepy.

But as for details: those are madelines you see strategically positioned as seashells, licorice strings for hair and Necco wafers for the fish scales. The pattern takes a bucket load of cake batter–I made a 9 X 13 inch cake for the body and tail and then a second batch in a glass bowl for the face (there was enough left over for cupcakes).

Oh! And another thing about this whole birthday extravaganza–I was putting off shopping for Lillian’s present because 1. I really dislike shopping in general and 2. I had no ideas. Add to this the fact that all the grandparents always send me cash to buy their presents for them so I have not just one idea but four ideas to give birth to. I was paralyzed with indecision.

Anyway, I had half an hour to kill in between piano lessons a couple days before her birthday and on a whim I ran to the nearby local toy store Over the Rainbow Toys which just set up shop around the corner (I was avoiding Toys R Us like the plague–I don’t like going there). I walked in and there were millions of real toys. Not tiny stripper dolls or walls of video games or merchandising from the latest blockbuster but real toys. It took me all of fifteen minutes to find four great gifts and then (the icing on the cake) when I walked up to the register the friendly and helpful clerk asked that magic question: “Would you like these gift wrapped?”

She must have thought she had the village idiot staring at her because I kind of stood there for a second in a stupor, analyzing all the ways that this must be a scam or a dream, before she quickly said, “It’s complimentary!”

So in less than a half an hour I had found terrific toys and had them all gift wrapped and in a big brown bag for my shopping pleasure. And boy was it a pleasure. And they’re not even paying me to say that.

***

And speaking of healthy desserts loaded with sugar and more sugar here’s a video clip sent in by Alex, a kind reader who put me onto this funny thing. It had me chuckling at “sommelier sauvant” and then had me on the floor with “constantly hugged goats.” Go on, watch it . . . I dare you.

Sponsored by: Victoria P. Zurcher Designs–hip and fresh clothing for kids

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