Sunday, August 22, 2010
Quilted Birthday Gift - and a platypus cake
This past week was my daughter's 14th birthday. Here in Alberta she can now apply for a learner's (driver's) licence. Scary to think of a 14 year old behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, but that's the way it is here. Of course there are limits and he/she does have to be with an adult driver, but still... I'm surprised by this early age, but in an agricultural area I bet the kids are driving the farm trucks a lot earlier than this! While she can get her permit, Sarah isn't really interested in doing this quite yet, although some of her friends are very excited and are eagerly studying the driver's manual so they can apply. I think we'll let this simmer for awhile until she shows some interest.
So what's a quilter do when it's someone's birthday? Yes, we make things. Sarah and I had previously collaborated on a small fabric purse using the Pick-a-Pocket purse pattern at All People Quilt and it worked out very well, so... I chose some fun feline fabric and whipped up a bag just for Sarah. I did make the straps a little longer on this bag so it will fit over her shoulder. Since the first one worked out so well, this one would too, right? Well, not quite.
Everything went fine until I was attached the straps and realized that I hadn't actually finished constructing them correctly. So, off they came (hard to get that stitch ripper into triple stitched seams), fixed up and back on they went. In the end it turned out very well and Sarah will look very stylish when she goes out.
Now you're probably wondering about the platypus cake, right? Well, Sarah loves dolphins and platypuses, so she requested a platypus cake. Now I don't know about you, but this isn't one of the cakes I usually make - and it had to be an angelfood cake too, so I had to do some thinking. Oh, and it had to be orange too - Sarah's favourite colour.
I made the angelfood cake in a 9 x 13 pan, using parchment paper on the bottom to avoid sticking. That's okay, but don't try to turn it over to cool or the bottom comes away while the sides are still sticking - ask me how I know this! I just let it cool right side up and then put it in the freezer. Out of the freezer it came on her birthday and I cut it into a platypus shape (or figure 8) and then made some 7-minute frosting for the top. I coloured it orange (except for a small amount which was coloured yellow to use for the bill), slathered it on and added some features, such as a bill and feet. I used chocolate wafers for the feet and three ladyfingers for the bill and covered them with the yellow icing; some scotch mints for the eyes and Good & Fruity for the eyes, nostrils and eyelashes. Oh yes, platypuses have eyelashes, in case you didn't know! So, it was a very colourful platypus and not technically correct (it didn't have a tail either), but I think it turned out kind of cute and Sarah was delighted with it. Plus, it tasted yummy!
Sarah had a great sleepover party with a few of her friends in our tent trailer parked next to our house. I'm hoping that next year I'll be able to do a normal cake, because I really don't think I'm up to a dolphin one!