Saturday, April 27, 2013


Today the boys' Cub-Scout Pack participated in the Rappahannock River Clean-Up. This was an exceptionally well-run volunteer clean-up effort, coordinated by the Friends of the Rappahannock organization. 
All volunteers met at Old Mill Park for a briefing, overview of safety procedures and dispersal of collection paraphernalia: trash bags, gloves, tongs... Each registered group was then assigned a collection area. 
All the boys involved were somewhat *disappointed* to find that there was limited trash to find and collect in their area - somewhat heartening to discover!
After the collection, all volunteers returned to Old Mill Park to dispose of collected trash, clean-up and partake in a lunch sponsored by Dominos Pizza.  
I was SO proud of the boys who were so dedicated to their task and learned some very valuable lessons in conservation and civic duty. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cake Walk

The boys participated in a 'Cake Walk' for their Cub Scout Pack. This involved making a cake, decorating it and then offering it up for a silent auction. Luc made (another) Carrot Cake. A relatively easy cake to make, the only difficult task is to grate carrots to measure two cups - enough to try the patience of a nine-year-old... for the second time in a week! He frosted it with a cream-cheese frosting and decorated it with letters and carrots he had made from another batch of fondant I had made. 

A busy schedule for Nic resulted in me making his cake - the fastest cooking cake I could find: the good old Swiss Roll. All Nic had to do was to spread it with freshly whipped cream, spread over some fresh raspberries, roll it up and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Easy. 

When at the function, each child became obsessed with a particular cake: Luc coveted a Pineapple-Upside-Down cake, Nic desperately wanted a cake covered with Marines in battle and Mietta was convinced she was going to get the much-admired (and highest bid) Campfire cake. The Campfire cake was SO very appropriate with a couple of marshmallows roasting over a burning log fire. It was truly breath-taking. 

We had two major meltdowns once it was discovered that only Luc had been successful in winning his choice of cake. Warren & Sarah, who had helped their son Jackson with his brilliant Campfire cake, stepped in and very graciously offered to make Mietta her VERY OWN Campfire Cake. 

We had one VERY happy young lady the next day when we collected her cake. 
Still very impressive, this cake was not half as spectacular as the cake sold in the auction. The marshmallows hadn't (yet) been toasted on the cake above, and the fire wasn't quite as roaring (flames were made from melted butterscotch and Lifesaver candy). 
Nic was appeased with the promise of some plastic Marine figurines to decorate his own (future) USMC cake. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Poor Luc always seems to have a delayed birthday party. It always seems to snow, or some bad weather makes entertaining at home seem like a really bad idea. This year was no exception... his February birthday party was held in April - after one postponement. 
Luc has several current obsessions - namely Minecraft, Doctor Who, Diary of a Wimpy Kid... but he decided to theme his birthday party an 'Everything' party (I'm not sure if he wanted to restrict himself to a particular theme).
Luc helped make his birthday cake and was going to help decorate it... but it got too late and he had to get to bed. As seems to be the case when I am doing things at the last moment, I changed my mind. Instead of making and icing 'cubes' of cake a la Minecraft style, I decided to change the theme to another of Luc's obsessions - Doctor Who! I had envisaged a TARDIS cake, but our 'round' carrot cake didn't really suit... how about a Dalek? I knew this would be a hit. I made a quick Banana Cake for the rest of the body. 
For those who don't know, Daleks have been scaring kids for generations. These are alien beings, indestructible, without a skerrick of emotion. They are fond of chasing around humans chanting "Exterminate. Exterminate! Exterminate" - before doing just that. I did a quick image search to look for the vital Dalek features. It turns out that there have been MANY Dalek cakes made over the years - very elaborate, very realistic and very time consuming! 
Of course I roud my decision when I found we were out of black gel color, and that with a bit of extra planning, I could have prepared some really great Dalek accoutrements, organized some silver spray color, bought some fondant instead of having to search for a recipe and then make some... 

Anyway, once I started, there was no turning back. 
You will understand how happy I felt when I found a beaming Luc in the morning - happy, surprised and totally appreciative. 
We served a simple lunch: Grilled burgers and sweet corn, chicken drumettes, tossed salad, asparagus... a perfect spring party :-)