Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On old cake and older traditions

TLOML and I had a fairly traditional wedding, when all's said and done. Among the traditions we adhered to was that of saving the top tier of our wedding cake for a future christening. As Lady P was 8 weeks worth of embryonic development inside me at the time we did so with confidence, knowing we'd be eating that cake within a year or so. (And yes, I'm counting being knocked up before your wedding day as a time honoured tradition too.)

We were married in July 2012, and the cake was made in the spring of that year. And Lady P is going to be christened in July 2013, by which time the cake will be about 17 months old. Just perfect! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Now the concept of a cake that keeps for months, if not years, is a strange one for Americans to grasp. It's up there with the idea of keeping eggs at room temperature. Something amazing happens to a rich fruit cake when it's doused in rum and wrapped in foil for months on end. It gets even richer and more moist and just irresistibly sticky. TLOML has enjoyed my mum's Christmas cake - usually made in October - for enough years now to know that it's okay. In fact he'd agree that not only is it safe, it's actually delicious.

I know some of his compatriots don't feel the same though. My sister rather mischeviously waited until the Americans she was seated with at our wedding had taken a bite or two from their cake before announcing 'You'd never know it was 6 months old, would you?'. They left the rest. All the more for her and the other food-safety-flouting, life-on-the-edge-living Brits at the table to hoover up.

Unlike the cake, the icing does not get better with age. Egg whites, and all that. I (or perhaps more accurately, my mother) need to remove it and re-ice it. Today I dug the cake out of its hiding place so we can take a look at it together.

It was then that I realised the flower cake topper is still on there. All those beautiful, hand-made sugar flowers. (They are freesia and roses to match the bouquet, which is exactly the sort of detail you spend time and effort planning and no-one pays a blind bit of notice to.)

Now I'm wondering if there is a traditional way to re-purpose these too. Or were we supposed to eat them on the big day? If they keep as well as the cake I was thinking I could serve them to TLOML for breakfast on our wedding anniversary. Or save them and give them out as favours for Lady P's first birthday party? Other suggestions welcome...

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