Last week, my friends Peter Parpan and Hannah Dansie decided to collaborate on a mural project on an abandoned storefront two doors down from the Cake Shop. The inspiration for the design was an educational poster printed in the 1970′s, which Hannah, like many others, remembers from her childhood. With minimal investment of time and materials, they were able to create a very beautiful work of art on a large scale. It was so beautiful to witness the process, and all of the cheesy things you may have heard people say about the transformative and magical nature of art in community cannot be underestimated, and, I have come to understand, are very true. Very special thanks is due to Lucy, Jeremy, and Duncan for helping out on the hottest day of the year to get ‘er done. (photo gallery after the jump)
We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. -William Butler Yeats, “Anima Hominis,” Essays (1924)
So, we headed north for Thanksgiving and book tour. Highlights included:
-Visiting wonderful friends
-Thanksgiving dinner with Clan Macfarlane
-Book signing at Global Libations, hosted by Go Indie!
First, let me say, Happy Birthday to Jasper!
I am so incredibly lucky to be the mom of such a thoughtful, loving, curious, and fun creature as my son Jasper. We had a great birthday party yesterday with friends and family at the fair! I love you, Jasper. I’m so happy that, for the rest of my life, even when you are grown, these earliest of fall days, when the leaves are still green and the sky is still blue and the first sharp cool breezes of autumn come in, will remind me, first and foremost, of you, your sweetness, and your birthday.Ahem.And, in other news, I have so much to tell you about the Cake Shop! First: The Shelves.
We now have these awesome shelves, built by my dear friend Peter Parpan!
We’ve been putting things on them, to sell! Like these Short Street Cakes T-Shirts, that my friend Tubbs printed up so excellently! We’re selling them in Ladies, Youth and Mens Sizes, for $15 each.
We’re also putting Hannah Dansie’s artwork and magnets, and when my Cake Ladies book is out in just a few short weeks, we’ll have those on the shelves, too. And here’s a little photo essay I did today of the most recent rearrangement of furniture in the Shop, along with bonus shots of Anna and Lucy ruling:
And one more announcement: NEW MENU DROPS ON TUESDAY.
AND:I love you forever, dedicated cake ladies, Emilou, Anna, Lucy, and Hannah (not pictured)! (And I’ve got a lot of love for the newbies too)
And: One more thing.I just went by Push Gallery to see the group art show that my friend Ursula Gullow put together. And I think it is amazing. Tara Jensen, Anna Jensen, Lauren Whitley, Courtney Chappell, Lisa Nance, and others explore the layers of process behind making art. Here is a shot of Ursula’s work, a collection of small, contiguous canvases with drawings on the wall connecting the narrative:
I don’t hesitate or exaggerate when I say that art saves lives, makes lives richer, and often makes life worth living. And speaking of art, here’s Lucy and Anna executing their creative inspiration in the form of cake, today:
I know I say it again and again, but it bears saying another time: I am so grateful for the Cake Shop, and the ladies therein. Together we are doing something that is greater than the sum of its parts. And I guess, also, what I’m really trying to say is that I had a good day at work today.
Step 2: Go try to buy a lemon from Tod’s Tasties, because you can’t bear to get in the car on your day off:
(Tip: if you are accompanied by two adorable children and a puppy, they might just give you the lemon)
Make the dough. I used a recipe from a cookbook my bank teller gave me, Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters:
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine in Food Processor:
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
Make the filling:
I used my tried-and-true filling method:
4 cups fresh fruit (in this case it was contraband figs and some blueberries that had been in my fridge for a little too long)
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
generous pinch of salt
Stir together and let sit.
Gently beat one egg in a bowl and coat the dough with a pastry brush dipped in the beaten egg. Now, say, for example, that you own a Cake Shop and all your home baking utensils have absconded to said Cake Shop, and so you can’t find a pastry brush? Well, fear not, dear reader, you can just as easily use one of your 5-year-old son’s watercolor paintbrushes. Its totally clean, I promise.