Saturday, October 10, 2009

Eat Cake

Now I am the kind of air traveller who cannot sleep a wink on a flight. Not a wink. But I also am that wierdo who can't watch movies on flights. No matter that some of the airlines have excellent in-flight entertainment.

Books - now that is an entirely different story. Nothing like a good book on a flight. So, when we went for our vacation last month, Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray seemed like the perfect book to keep me company on the 10 hr flight.

Bad Choice. Very bad choice. There you are, thousands of feet above sea level, with nothing but some (good) sandwiches and chips to eat, reading about a book that has some cake or the other on almost every page of the book. That is a very sad situation, is it not?

So, when you read this book, make sure that you have some cake squirelled away somewhere. You're going to want to eat some.

For Ruth, the protagonist of the novel, baking is the best way to relax and unwind. Living with a rebellious teeanged daughter and her sometimes cantankerous mother, it does seem that she needs a lot of cake to maintain her sanity. In this already chaotic household, things come to head a when her husband, Sam, is given the pink slip and her estranged father, left physically helpless after a fall, has to move in with them.

Under subtle encouragement from the father-in-law, Sam loses sight of the urgency to look for another job and instead tries to 'discover' himself. With the monetary situation starting to look grim, Ruth decides to turn her avocation into her means of livelihood.

I simply loved this book. Firstly, because I love baking and this book celebrates eating cake. "A slice of cake never made anyone fat."

And just like the icing makes cakes even sweeter, everything works out very nicely for Ruth making it a typical 'happily ever after' book - and I think that was precisely the reason I loved reading it. After all who wants anything but a easy-breezy read at the start of a vacation!

I just wished Ruth to be more like a normal woman - one who raves and rants - at least sometimes. She was just too accomodating all through the book!

The last few pages of the book are all cake recipes. Yes, I read them first and was wondering which one to make...till I read this:

"the cakes I made for my children, especially before they were old enough to ask me to tone it down a little, were tributes to the architectural abilities of frosting. Any mother who brought her child to our parties must have left our house shaking her head. Poor, bored woman, they must have thought. That was the height of my frosting phase. I made trains and pine trees, tracks that spelled out Happy Birthday, Wyatt. Ballerinas that pirouetted over Happy Birthday Camille. The bigger the sheet cake, the bigger the canvas. Mine were enormous."

That sounded terribly familiar. So, instead of baking anything, I will leave you with some cakes that I have baked:







The above 3 are the ones I made for my daughter's birthdays while the ones that follow were baked for some friends' daughters.



Do check out what the other members of the book club have made: Simran , Jaya, Ann and Curry Leaf.
Do join us next month, we are reading Hindi Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan in October.


23 comments:

  1. Hi! Such beautiful cakes. Give me also some baking, icing tips dear.

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  2. Aqua, wish i could learn how to make out these gorgeous icing cakes..Beautiful cakes..

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  3. Wow!!!!! you are a great baker.Excellent icing

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  4. Gosh! I never knew you were such an accomplished cake baker. I break out in sweat just thinking of plain buttercream.

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  5. You are so talented Aqua and I am sure your daughter would have been so happy. Wish I could make such icing, that would have made my DS so happy :-)
    Oh btw, I am like you, I cannot sleep a wink in the flight, but I do watch movies :-)

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  6. Terrific cakes, Aqua esp the doll one..They look great:)

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  7. Lucky daughter, oh my u re such a talented baker!

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  8. wow those are some really cool cakes!..you should really think abt doing a step by step if you get time..:)

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  9. Great cakes! I admire bakers and decorators, not being one myself.

    I can't sleep a wink either, when I'm travelling. Just how poor a sleeper I am - went to the US a few months ago - didn't sleep at all on the flight from India to Brussels nor from Brussels to US. Same on the way back! And went to work the afternoon I landed!

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  10. love those cakes.Would like to know the recipes for the types of Icing you have used.As srivalli suggested, do an elaborate post whenever you get time.It will greatly benefit people like me who are crazy about baking

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  11. Mmm.. lovely cakes with icing!

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  12. Beautiful cakes - you are very talented... I love that ace of cakes show... yours looks like that...

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  13. Looks lovely, wish i could also make them.

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  14. Wowow! You did such a great job with these cakes! Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. you sound exactly like me.. even before i got here, I was thinking.. but books are a different story:-)..

    gosh have you considered opening your own bakery? I wish my kids got even one of these kind they would have the most memorable bday!

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  16. I agree with your review of Eat Cake. An easy-breezy book but I too was hoping for Ruth to rave and rant or break down at some point. Especially when she is in the middle of cooking and the doorbell rings and she waits for a few mints to see if any body else in the house would answer it. I mean how lazy was her out of work husband, watching games and hanging out on the den sofa with his FIL?
    Love your cakes and hats off to you for all the creativity and patience that goes into making these elaborate cakes. You are made of stronger mettle than I am.

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  17. Wow !! those are spectacular!

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  18. Amazing! My cake decorating skills are dismal. I can't even get the frosting to go on smoothly, never mind the fancy embellishments. Did you make the fancy bits from fondant?

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  19. Luved the cake with the swimming pool! Perfect!

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  20. All your cakes look beautiful. Luved the swimming pool one a lot. You are very creative:).

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  21. thank you all very much! Putting up a post on cake decoration very soon. Stay tuned :)

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It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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