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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apple blossom time

The flowering crabapple trees have been so glorious this year that I wanted to share a few pictures with you.

The residential streets of Marysville are lined with these beautiful trees. It's the only time of year that I wish I lived in town.





At our son's house, this one is planted outside the breakfast nook window.



The view of Jaye's front yard from the sidewalk. It's a great sledding hill.



For my friends who might be the teeniest bit interested in how my first course in cake decorating went, here is the final lesson's cake.

We are so sick of cake and "buttercream" icing that I want to hurl every time I smell it. I'm taking this one to the Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet tonight. Won't all the boys be disgusted thrilled with the pink and green? I wish I had done a little better planning. I would have done the signature colors.  It's the Boy Scouts 100th Anniversary this year, so that's the reason for the inscription. Icing writing is not my forte, as you can tell. And those roses? They're not supposed to have those big holes in the center. I'm workin' on it.



Course II starts next Wednesday. I can't wait.

By the way, I am NOT fishing for compliments, so I would appreciate funny comments rather than sort-of-gushing ones, if you know what I mean.



















For your springtime enjoyment, I give you the lovely Andrews Sisters.......

51 comments:

Oliag said...

...I'm going to post photos of my blossoming crab apple tree this week too:)...didn't think of wonderful accompanying music tho...perfect!

...as for the cake... I'm afraid you will only get compliments from me...I sincerely doubt that boys of Cub Scout age will care what color it is if it tastes as sweet as it looks:)

dutchbaby said...

Oh Susan, so much to say on this post! Let's start at the top... literally. Your new banner - delish!
The bird house - enchanting! The sledding hill - wish I had one, but wait, we have no snow!

Now for the cake. The list of our similarities continues. When I was a freshman in college I taught cake decorating to bring in a little cash. This was your first lesson? OMG! I used to end with roses. It looks like you are teaching a master's class. As for your open centers. I spent last week hoping and praying that all of the roses I was working with will blow wide open for the wedding. Yours look spectacular - please forgive the gushing word. :-/ They are just the way I wanted mine to look.

Can't wait to see your next lesson! Brava, Susan (oops there goes another gushing word).

Char said...

oh, you can send a big ol' vat of buttercream to me anytime. i adore it...and roses - my favorite birthday cake each year was a 'store' cake with roses as we never got that at home. i used to cut off the roses and freeze them to savor them later.

yum

those blossom shots are just gorgeous.

yeah...roses handmade though, you go girl. they are better than mine attempts i've ever made.

Elle Bee said...

Okay, I'm going to gush on the flower photos: Oh my goodness those blossoms are gorgeous! Just beautiful. I could just keep scrolling up and down those photos for hours. God's beauty is overwhelming!
Now. Trying hard not to gush about the cake...can't...stop..fingers..from typing....YOUR CAKE IS FANTASTIC!!!!

:o)

Wanda said...

Those boys will be so distracted by wanting a piece they won't even notice the pink, just like I never noticed the holes, until you mentioned them! All the blooms and the cake are beautiful, Susan!
♥...Wanda

Susan said...

Gail, I can't wait to see your blossom photos! I know they will be gorgeous. I just love the Andrews Sisters...that harmony.

Thank you, sweet lady!

Susan said...

dutchbaby, those photos you posted of the vases were perfection, Ma'am! Thank you for the gushing compliments.

So, did you teach Wilton classes? Cause if you did, you know it's kind of about conformity, at least while you're there. And that cake was done for my 4th class, not my first. I should have been a little more clear on that! I hated, hated doing the roses and really could not get them at first. After I relaxed and just kinda let it flow, they got better. That white one in front is the one I did yesterday in class and, of course, it turned out to be the best one, so I had to put it on the cake!

Thank goodness we're only doing one cake at the end of the next course, but it will be the much-dreaded basket-weave cake. NOT looking forward to that one!

Susan said...

Char, darlin', I'm not sure you would want a vat of this buttercream, because that is a misnomer...it should be called shorteningcream. If you could see me right now, you would see me gagging. We have to use Wilton's recipe in class, but at home, I will be using real butter. I don't care if my roses don't stand up!

Thank you, dear!

Susan said...

Elle, you are too sweet! What a love you are! :-}

Susan said...

Thank you, dear Wanda! You're probably right about the little sugar fiends! They'll groan about the pink, but I'm sure it won't stop them from sampling. I, on the other hand, will NOT be having a piece! lol

dutchbaby said...

No, they were private lessons I taught to the ladies for whom I babysat. I learned from fantastic class offered by a local cake-supply shop when I was a senior in high school.

I found the basket-weave to be far easier than making those roses. But then again, I'm drawn to those geeky geometric activities. Based on what I see here, you will do great.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Yeah, you just go ahead and send those big buttercream roses my way. They can be any color, I don't care. It would take alot of buttercream to make me want to hurl. I'm really pretty impressed with your talents!

California Girl said...

The blossoms are "sumptuous"...how's that for a description? They are so beautiful, aren't they?

And that cake! Well, you may be sick of buttercream frosting but I love it and it looks good good good to me. As for the Boy Scouts liking the flowers...they'll enjoy eating them i'm sure.

alaine@éclectique said...

All of the above and I sang along with the Andrews Sisters! Happy Spring!

Snappy Di said...

Oh.. the Andrews Sisters. Love the lyrics to the older songs. So romantic and dreamy most of them were. Sure don't find that in today's songs.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Tattered and Lost said...

Okay, first, as I sit at my desk I'm looking out on the apple orchard where the blossoms are swirling around in the wind before falling to the ground like snow. Some trees were in blossom weeks ago, the remainder now. Lovely time of the year.

NOW...cake decorating. My mother and my best-friend's mother's friend took a class when we lived in Hawaii. We ate cakes so often it got to be a bit boring. I know what you mean. However...there was this one doll cake my friend's mother made. You know, the one with the doll in the middle and her dress is the cake. All covered in dubious overly sweet icing. When we sat down to cut the cake my friend's father would not let us cut the front off the dress. We had to eat the back. He, a country gentleman from Tennessee, said it would be rude to leave her bare in the front. So there dolly stood with her butt hanging out.

VioletSky said...

Love the blossoms.
Yes, all the trees coming into bloom transform the city in an exciting way. One feels a new sense of wonder around every corner.

I think I missed something - I didn't know you were taking a cake decortating class (did I? is this something else that has slipped my mind?)

I am not overly fond of icing. In fact, if I had to eat cake, I always wanted the inside bit that had the least icing on it. And why are the flowers alwyas roses? why not daisies?

Susan said...

dutchbaby, I'm going to take you word on the relative ease of the basket cake...we'll see in 4 weeks! ;)

Susan said...

Sandy, believe me, if you were messing around in this stuff a couple times a week, you'd be sick of it, too. It makes such a mess in the kitchen, I'm overrun with those little sugar ants, and you have to clean that gunk out of all those tiny little tips. ((shudder))

When I start making them for my family and not under the watchful Wilton eye, I will be using real butter. At least it doesn't leave that nasty shortening coating on the roof of your mouth. Bleh

Thank you for the vote of confidence! XOXO

Susan said...

Cali Girl, on your trip to KY swing through OH and I'll whip up some buttercream for you! I'll even make you a couple of roses! ;)

At the banquet I didn't hear one complaint about the roses being pink, and all I brought home was some goo on the plate. Yay! No cake for me!

Sumptuous is a very lovely way to describe those blossoms!

Susan said...

Thank you, Alaine! I've been playing that video over and over and singing along, too!

Happy Autumn to you!

Susan said...

Di, yes I'm in love with all the old standards....so romantic and sweet. I really like a lot of today's music, but my heart belongs to the oldies.

Susan said...

Tattered, that's a hilarious story and I know exactly which cake you're talking about! They still sell that cake pan, which I won't be buying, thank you very much!

Spring is my favorite time...glad you're enjoying it, too!

Susan said...

No, Sanna, you didn't really miss anything...I didn't actually make an announcement...just mentioned that I was entertaining the thought that I might take a class. Well, it turned out there was one starting the next week, so before I could talk myself out of it, I signed up and there you have it!

As you can probably tell, I'm not that fond of icing myself. In fact, I usually scrape it off and just eat the cake, unless it's chocolate fudge icing and that would be a sin. ;-}

Ruth said...

Well too bad, sister, because the cake is gorgeous. I couldn't do that. What mine lack for in beauty, I guess they make up for in flavor. Haven't baked a vegan cake yet . . .

When your blossoms loaded on google reader yesterday I couldn't believe how lush and loaded they are! So healthy and ebullient. What a spring it's been. The coolness has made for long lived blooms of all kinds. I love it.

Susan said...

Ruthie, you have nothing to worry about, dear friend! It's all about looks in the Wilton classes....has nothing to do with flavor, and I'll go with flavor every time!

I guess you'll have to just dive in and try a vegan cake, or maybe if I can find a good recipe, I'll take the bullet for you....your cake tester! :)

I have just been overcome with the beauty of this spring! And I think you're right about the cool weather adding more life to the blossoms. Lovely, lovely Spring!!

culdesacchronicles said...

the apple blossom photos are absolutely beautiful. gorgeous. i know, i'm gushing, but seriously.

i took cake decorating years and years ago. i can tell you that your roses are lovely. it's nice to know how to decorate a cake but i've long forgotten, i'm sure. i think it's a skill one has to continue to practice. it's not like riding a bike.

Deborah said...

OK, I believe in taking people at their word so I'm not going to pay you all kinds of compliments on that cake that's so beautifully decorated and the roses which look like absolute perfection from where I sit.
Carp apples trees!I was just talking about these yesterday at lunch, especially the one in my grandmother's back yard in Calgary which gave fruit that needed no pectin to jell. My favourite thing to put on toast is crabapple jelly and I haven't had any for years...:(

As for those gorgeous roses - I just hope you let the kids eat them!! My mom used to make all kind of icing roses and leaves and we were NEVER allowed to eat them! Years later when I cleaned out her house I found a whole box full of them, but couldn't eat them then either cause I would have broken a tooth! Always thought that was such a waste of a good thing that they went back into a box after sitting pretty on a cake.

Way to go, Susan!!!

CottageGirl said...

Oh my gosh! What gorgeous pictures! Those apple blossoms are so gorgeous, I can almost smell them!

Yeah, Yeah ... sorry no funny comment from me, because that cake looks wonderful! I thought it was from a bakery! I'm sure those boys didn't care at all about the colors, but concentrated more on the yumminess of the cake!

Can't wait to see your next creation!

CottageGirl said...

OH! ...

LOVE those Andrew girls!!!!!!!!!!

The Bumbles said...

I'm pretty sure even hungry Boy Scouts will eat girly cakes.

You should visit our friend Penny - she has a main blog, mostly about music and musings, then a photo one, and finally - one about all of her cakes and baking projects:

http://pennysweetscustomcakes.blogspot.com/

Susan said...

Bella, you are very kind! It's easy to take pretty pictures when you have such a lovely subject, and a good camera doesn't hurt either.

You would probably pick the decorating back up pretty quickly...it probably is like riding a bike, a little wobbly at first, but then...watch out!!! :)

Susan said...

HA, Deborah! That was some pretty creative breaking of the rules! :) Thank you! And I do let the kids eat the roses! Funny about your mom...did she not want you to have the gobs of sugar, or did she not want her perfect creations destroyed? I wonder...

I LOVE crabapple jelly, too! It's right up there with orange marmalade and red raspberry jam! You should make nice with Ruth's husband Don. He makes delicious crabapple just like Grandma used to make!

Susan said...

CG, you're so sweet to me! Love you, girlfriend! You're right, the boys had no problem cleaning up that cake forthwith! Nathan managed to snag a piece with two roses!

I could listen to the sisters all day!

Susan said...

Ha! You're correct, Molly! They gobbled it right up! I'm not sure their little sisters even had a chance!

Thanks for the link to your friend's blog! It sounds like my cup of tea, or plate of cake, as it were!

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

We'll aren't we kindred spirits! So glad that you stopped over to my blog so I could come and 'meet' you. I'm trying not to gush over your cake, in fact, I would LOVE a piece of that right now. I"m jonesing for some buttercream!! I think you did a great job, and it's something I've always wanted to try. Even bought the bags and tips!

Love your blog - we have an awful lot in common. :-)

Susan said...

Hello, Jayme, and welcome!! So glad you came over to the Swamp. Yes, it seems we do have a lot in common and I'm eager to learn more about you and your lovely place.

Next time I make a cake I'll invite you over for a piece and a cuppa and a nice chat. Thanks for stopping by today!

Cora said...

Love the beautiful blossoms...they are gorgeous.
Hey your cake is a whole lot better than what I could have done...so in my gushy eyes..it is perfect!! And those boys will not even think about the colors...they'll just want to eat it up!

Cindy said...

At first I thought the Happy 100 meant that's how many cakes you decorated when you created this beauty! Can I just say I AM SO FREAKIN' IMPRESSED!!! And this is after your first course? I can't wait to see what you do in Course II. It looks like you have a natural talent to me!

Are you familiar with Charm City Cakes? If not, here's some inspiration for you: http://www.charmcitycakes.com/noflash/index.cfm?rd=blog

They make me want to create something with fondant, even though that stuff doesn't taste very good. I went to a wedding where the cake was beautifully decorated using fondant, but the bride had a hard time sawing through it. Needless to say, the individual pieces looked very unappetizing.

Your buttercream frosting looks delicious!

maggie said...

Susan-I was drawn to your blog from your title: Apple Blossom Time. This is my first year blogging and my first year to see so many gorgeous blooms. There isn't one to be found here yet- so with seeing everyone elses I've been pining for spring more than ever. What a plethora you have. I'm more than a bit jealous. I wondered over here after visiting Deb @ Temptation of Words.
I can't imagine what you'll get up to in Course II. What's better than roses????

Susan said...

Cora, you are so sweet to say that...thank you! And as crafty and homey as you are, I'm pretty sure you would have no trouble learning to decorate cakes!

Susan said...

Cindy, silly girl, you make me smile...you're very easily impressed! :-} Mostly the second course is building on what we learned in the first.

There's a third course which teaches the "wonder" of fondant. I'm not a fan of fondant, although it does make some gorgeous cake creations. My instructor assures me that she has a recipe for it that will render all preconceived notions about the palatibility of it past history. The one cake I've eaten with it had buttercream underneath, so I just cut off the fondant part and ate the rest.

Thanks for the link...I'll check it out. My favorite cake site is www.cakewrecks.com.

Susan said...

Hi Maggie and welcome to my blog!

I went over and checked out yours, and it is lovely! I took a quick look around, but I'll be back for a more in-depth perusal. Love your romantic comedies post....some of my longtime favorites are on there, in fact there were only two I haven't seen.

Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I hope you'll be back often.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

I've always wanted to learn cake decorating....I bought some Wilson's tips and a book when my kids were little. All I use it for is stuffing deviled eggs. WHAT? They're pretty.

So, your cake looks MAH-velous to me - the cub scouts won't care - as long as it's edible. Yeah, I've heard the amount of shortening and sugar in "buttercream" is a gaggler.

You're new topper is very pretty.

Cindy said...

I love Cake Wrecks! Do you have their book? I've been a FB fan for awhile now. Also here's a link to my blogger friend Alice's recent creation: http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/03/kids-birthday-cake-idea-converse-sneakers-cake/

Happy decorating!

Susan said...

Jackee, that's probably what I'll use my tips for when I get burned out on doing cakes!

I like the word "gaggler" and I'm sure I'll be using it often. Thank you and also for the compliment! :)

Susan said...

Cindy, I should have known CakeWrecks was on FB! Thank you for the link to your friend's blog!

Snappy Di said...

Cake? Did someone say cake?? *ears perk up*

We have one last piece of coconut cake sitting on our countertop and neither of us can bring ourselves to eat it. Was good, but have had ENUF!!

Thanks for entering the contest!! Best of luck.

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

ds said...

Gorgeous blossoms, gorgeous cake!! (was here a while back trying to say that & my computer froze, c'est la PC)I don't believe real roses could be any more beautiful than your sugar ones. Awesome job!

Susan said...

Di, I'll take that last piece of coconut cake...just happens to be my favorite!

Maybe I'll win the prize!

Susan said...

ds, you sure know how to stroke a girl's ego...thank you! I was trying to copy my sister's pink roses...believe me, there's no comparison!