A Visit From Mom

I apologize for the long hiatus – I spent most of last week preparing for my mom’s arrival, and then this week we have been enjoying having her staying with us. Hannah has grown quite attached to her Gigi, so hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before she comes back!

Since my mom had to spend her birthday and Valentines Day alone due to my dad’s plane getting stuck in snow and ice, I decided to make her a birthday when she got here. To that end, I made her a cake, and also saved her present. I got her a real present (the fabulous nesting mixing bowls from Williams-Sonoma), but then I also made and embroidered a bread cloth for her with “H” on it (for her last name). I did the embroidery freehand, so it’s not quite centered, but Mom professes to like it. The H is done with satin stitch, and the garland is done with a plain stitching for the vines, outlined satin stitch for the leaves, and french knots for the flower buds. I really enjoy embroidery, I should do it more.

The cake turned out pretty bad. Well, it tastes good, but it LOOKED scary. I made it from scratch because I was going to try a new recipe, and I only wanted it to be half since we didn’t need a huge cake. The cake part turned out well, and I sliced it in half to do two small layers, and used apricot filling, which is so yummy. We had apricot filling in our wedding cake and it’s my favorite. Anyway, my brilliant idea was to try making sugar-frosted mint leaves to decorate the top. The recipe I had called for a huge amount of meringue, then you were supposed to paint the meringue on the individual leaves and cover them in superfine sugar. The effect is SUPPOSED to be that the leaves look like delicate fairy leaves. Right. Mine came out looking like they had plant leprosy. So I decided to use food coloring when I made the frosting (I think homemade frosting sets better on cakes than the stuff you buy premade), thinking the colored frosting would distract the eye from the over-pale leaves. Sadly, I only had yellow and blue food coloring to choose from, so I chose yellow, and then put in WAY too much of it. Instead of a nice spring light yellow, my cake looks jaundiced. A jaundice-leprosy cake. Happy Birthday Mom! 🙂 I should have stuck to red velvet, which I’m reasonably good at! Next year.

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