My oldest has been a budding “foodie” since she was about 2. Part of it is my fault: when I took a sick day from school as a child, I frequently spent it with Julia Child instead (all hail the cooking shows on PBS!) As a young mom with an absolute abhorrance of most children’s programming, I encouraged her away from Barney and toward Judith Olney and Jacque Pepin and Jeff Smith, and of course, Julia. Being a malleable little creature, my encouragement stuck, and she fell in love with food shows.
Now that she’s comfortable with fractions, and being possessed of pretty decent fine motor skills, she’s taken up baking, and has become quite good with cake. (My favorite is her cinnamon-struesel coffee cake, personally.)
In preparation for a church party, a contest was announced: an award would be given for the cake voted “Ugliest”, and there were no limits on the minimum age for entry.
My Girl started planning. She consulted with my sister (who decorates some really nifty cakes herself–including a birthday cake that got decorated while she was in the hospital in labor with another baby. She’s dedicated. Screw the toiletries bag–don’t forget to pack the decorating tips and fondant cutters!), and then proceeded to make and bake and decorate an excruciating work of art.
Her competition was all adult, and every one of them had gone for Gross, rather than Ugly. But my girl didn’t take the easy potty-joke way out. No, she stood firm to the theme, and drew upon a phrase bandied about in our faith’s culture, but seldom applied so very, very well.
Here is her cake:
Is that not the most truly ugly cake you have ever seen? Lumpy, grey, blobby… and every bit of it, deliberately so.
The thing that made me the most proud is the inscription on the cake:
But I have a Sweet Spirit.
My girl is on her way to being Not Molly. I’m so glad.