We attempted cake yet again. Using a box mix (the Super Moist variety), we added cream in place of water, some extra vanilla, and several dashes of cinnamon. Once cooled and frosted, Andy held his restraint as we let the cake "set." We learned about a smoothing technique where you place a paper towel on a frosted cake (after the frosting was dried) and rub your hand over the paper towel. This caused all the little bumps and waves to smooth out. It gives it a nice finish in the end.
It was a very delicious cake and it looked pretty too!
Fortunately for me, I don't have to make cakes any more. My friend Virginia has offered to take on that roll. So, I'll just focus on making birds and ties...
As Paper Whites are blooming in a jar on my kitchen table, I'm am thinking about my flower CSA. It was really important to Andy and I to support local farmers, so we found a farm in Cincinnati that has a flower CSA (Community Supported Agriculture: you pay for a "share" of the crop before the season starts and it turn you get the bounty throughout the season regardless of how big or little). Turner Farm is offering 250 stems of flowers for $50! The typical share picks 25 stems 10 times throughout the season...how wonderful would it be to have that many fresh bouquets in your home all summer and fall. But they are letting us pick them all, and we have two shares, at one time for the wedding! I'm excited just to wander through a flower field and pick them!
My friends are helping pick them the day before the wedding and then Tiffany, a bride's maid, is going to arrange them into my grandmother's blue mason jars for the tables. And then we'll get to make my bouquet! I think it will all look lovely. And best of all, we will be supporting a local farmer, and I love that! We found Turner Farm through Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association at http://oeffa.org/productsearch.php You can search by product or county (look at the bottom of the page). It's a great resource for Ohio for fresh food!
Saturday, it was 50 degrees outside and sunny. Sunday morning, we woke up to a snow shower that left us 3 inches! Good thing we like snow. I was starting to miss it.
Mt. Mansfield from our town Sunday night
This wet and heavy snow is called sugar snow because it happens in the early spring during the maple sugaring season. The sweet maple syrup we like to eat so much comes only from the sap of the early spring maples. The nights have to be below freezing and the days must be above. The wet snow helps the tree's sap to move quickly (carrying that much needed water) when it may otherwise slow down...ummmm syrup.
Maple goodness straight from the tree
All the snow reminded me of a time not too long ago when we had so much more than 3 inches! There were several occasions where Andy, being his wonderful self, had to shovel us out before work. Twice, he had to carve stairs out of ice and snow when all the snow from our roof fell and made a wall between our cars and our front door.
My dress is purchased and getting ready to be made! I never thought it would happen, I must admit. I tried on dresses at David's Bridal and liked a few of them, but I always felt like a cream puff. Then I tried on this dress from The Cotton Bride at a small boutique in Vermont and almost passed out from the sticker shock (about 12x what Andy and I had budgeted for my wedding dress). But I loved loved loved it. I felt beautiful and comfortable, despite the dress being 6 times too small. The words cream puff and marshmellow didn't come to mind at all. The best part? It's made from cotton, and yet still so elegant.
Knowing I couldn't aford even the zipper on the dress, I looked into other options. I could buy it used, but I have been on the preowned wedding dress curcuit for months now and never came across a Cotton Bride dress as they are still a fairly new designer. I considered outsourcing to China...you send them a picture and you get a dress for the low, low price of $250. But that left a bad taste in my mouth when I thought about sweat shops, young women working in a factory towns hundreds of miles away from home, and my money (however small) going to China instead of staying in the United States.
So I considered making my own with my new sewing machine (!) and this pattern with some alterations:
I'm not seamstress. The last piece of clothing I made was a tank top 8 years ago and I threw it away. My lack of confidence led me to Porshe's Place, a seamstress named Femia who adores vintage clothes. We had two weeks of conversation about the pattern, the fabric and how to make the belt, so it really feels like my dress. The order has been set, the measurements have been taken, and, with the help of friends (thank you, thank you, thank you), the bill has been paid!
Now I just need shoes and linens and dishes for the dinner and invitations and music and...
Andy and I have already decided to have a dessert buffet with cookies, cupcakes, lemon bars, and whatever else people come up with. We think the fun, eclectic choices will add to the festivities. We still want a wedding cake though, mostly because it's Andy's favorite dessert (I'm not sure why, but I do know as soon as we became engaged he wanted to go to Wedding Expos so he could eat lots of cake). Plus, we need a place to put these amazing cake topper birds we want from this amazing designer, Red Light Studio!
So, our solution is for me to make a two tiered cake. We are thinking vanilla/lemon/poppyseed with a raspberry filling and vanilla frosting. Here's my first attempt:
Oliver can't stay away from anything food related.
It didn't look terrible, but it didn't look wedding-y either.
But Andy liked it, so I think I'm on on the right track.