Sunday, November 22, 2020

Squid cake



This is a cute looking squid from some video game for a 14 year old’s birthday.  I made the cake from a picture and this is how it turned out.  It was a coconut cake with whip cream filling. 

So COVID-19 is on the surge.  As the pandemic drags on, it is becoming harder and harder to follow the prevention guidelines. Distancing efforts have increased feelings of social isolation and loneliness for many people.  Human beings are social animals, so social isolation can be particularly unpleasant and can lead to very negative impact on physical and mental health.

Complacence is dangerous at this time, but it appears like nothing can keep us from celebrating Thanksgiving and getting together with friends and family.  We are experiencing pandemic fatigue. In-spite of news of vaccines I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel just yet.  This sounds pessimistic but this strange year has imbued a rather toxic uncertainty in us. 


This too shall pass----- 


 



Thursday, November 5, 2020

Lipstick cake

 


During the great depression of the United States in the 1930s, Mr Leonard Lauder, of The Estee Lauder group, first proposed the theory of “lipstick effect”.  This theory stipulates that when facing an economic crisis, consumers can not spend a lot of money, but wearing lipstick will increase their confidence, enthusiasm and excitement.  In my opinion wearing lipstick can help us overcome ANY crisis. 

In serious cases of depression or anxiety, no one would suggest that beauty is an acceptable replacement for professional help or medical treatment. Nevertheless, dedicating a little time to ourselves and our body each day can help make us feel a little happier, a little more at peace, and a little less afraid and more in control.  That red lipstick can certainly initiate a jolt of confidence but make sure you wear a smile with that lipstick. 
This birthday cake was for a lovely friend who is a skilled makeup artist.   “The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.”― Calvin Klein.  She specializes in painting that “natural” look.  
Each section of the cake was a different flavor; the bottom was carrot cake with cream cheese filling, the long tube was almond cake with almond cannoli filling and the red part was a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling.  Enjoy!



If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.”  ― Coco Chanel







Sunday, October 18, 2020

Coffee mug cake



Its an edible coffee mug - a cake for my dear friend's 92nd birthday. She is an inspiration and a role model- God bless.  She drinks her morning coffee in a huge mug that she insists must be filled to the brim.  So I made a tumbler that is even larger.  It is an almond cake with intense almond filling.  The "tea" was caramel spread on top. 

In spite of the COVID-imposed social distancing a few of her friends and family gathered to celebrate. Her daughter cut generous pieces of the cake to distribute among the neighbors who were respectfully distancing for her protection.  Love you loads my friend, I hope to make a fabulous cake for you again next year in-shaa-Allah (God willing). 



So COVID-19 a subject of fear and fascination is still a threat,  in fact surges in the number of cases are being reported all over the world.  It has been over six months of social distancing and masks and no hand shakes.  Social contacts can buffer the negative effects of stress so this quarantine fatigue is leading to serious depression and uncertainty. While we will never go back to pre-COVID state we all crave for some sort of normalcy--- a new, post COVID normalcy. This historical experience is shared by all who live through the year 2020; but will it end once 2020 is over?  Perhaps not, but it WILL be behind us eventually.  Here's to a new, post COVID era of heightened consideration for each other, more compassion, better health- Amen. 




Saturday, September 5, 2020

Absolem on a toadstool- cake

Absolem is a really cute, hookah smoking caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.  This cake was not for a Mad Hatter tea party, but for a post COVID-19, "enchanted forest" theme party.  We are not quite "post" COVID-19 yet, but the infection is lower in intensity, in some parts of the world.   It has been a strange year, indeed. Who knew that washing hands would be the novel new trend? Money is passed around many hands yet we don't disinfect it perhaps we should iron our dollar bills.

Humans are social beings so this "social distancing" has been the cause of serious physical and psychological effects on the quarantined. Some are responding by involving in domesticity of baking cakes, reading books and taking long baths, nevertheless the strain of isolation begins to fray even the most optimistic.  We miss the smiles (now hidden behind a mask) hugs (no longer allowed) the familiar energies of other humans we are so used to. 

Perhaps the worse is over?  No one really knows.   There is really no prescience of a vaccine  so far and the threat of a serious resurgence still looms like a dark cloud.  But life has to go on so my friends had a backyard party with "enchanted forest" theme.  Absolem on this cake watched us socialize for the first time in 6 months. 



So after the party everyone gargled with salt water and some inhaled steam as an added precaution. 
This too shall pass- In-shaa-Allah (God Willing)
September 2020


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Rikshaw cake





Colorful, bold and ornate art and poetry on trucks has become a sign of  cultural expression of Pakistan. In Pakistan, in the 1920s Bedford trucks imported from England were fitted with large wooden prows on top of the truck bed. Known as a taj, or crown, the ornate prow was also accompanied by decorative bumpers and wood paneling along the cabin. In the late 1940s, when trucks began long-haul journeys to deliver goods, each company designed a logo so that illiterate people would understand who owned the truck. Over time, these logos became increasingly ornate; the more flamboyant the design, the better for business.  In addition, humorous statements and poetry add to the exclusivity of the designs.  
"Truck art" has been adopted by auto rickshaws of Pakistan.  This rickshaw cake was fun to make, especially the final painting of "truck art".  It was a coconut cake with whip cream filling. 



Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pineapple


This was a cake for a Hawaiian theme birthday party.  It did not seem much of a challenge, but it was fun to decorate. It was a vanilla bean cake with pineapple filling. 

In this day of pandemic and quarantines it was refreshing to do something creative. I could really not make interesting cakes during quarantine since there was no party to share the cakes at. I delivered this cake on the second day of unlock in NY. 

We all have had a tough 11 odd weeks of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was not happy about canceling my travel plans, but I am thankful I was in my home with all facilities of comfort. My lovely friends played quarantine games and socialized through on-line party rooms where everyone talked and no-one heard. Then there was a lovely Facebook group "View from my window" where people from around the world posted pictures of their views--- along with some news tidbits about themselves leading to some major cathartic posts. Much thankful for all these 21st century gadgets. Also MUCH MUCH thankful for health and safety of myself and my friends and family.  

The world is a different place now; I believe life has changed for us and the new norms will be different.  perhaps better? We shall see.



May God protect us from harm in all shape and form, Ameen. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Cuckoo Clock Cake


Cuckoo clocks, in use since the middle of the 18th century have become cultural icon of Germany. I got my first one from the Germany pavilion in Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida’s Disney World.   It was a pendulum regulated clock so needed to be winded every day.  This cake design is very similar to the clock I had many moons ago.  I had to build a support structure to give it a suspended look and also to include the weights and pendulum.

It was my famous carrot nut cake with cream cheese filling.