Monthly Archives: April 2011

Easter Bunny Cake Carnage!

I’m writing this post so that next year I don’t make a bunny-shaped cake that looks like an unfortunate hunting incident (see example of real life hunting incident below.  Thanks Lauren and Jake for the photo!)

Real bunny carnage. Not a sight for the squeamish.

Pieces and parts of my failed bunny cake attempt

Even if my baking attempt didn’t result in a perfect product, the cake part still tasted delicious.  Here is the recipe with a few modifications to avoid the falling apart problem in the future:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites

-Coat mold with Crisco (not oil, not butter!).  Don’t be skimpy!
-Flour the mold.  Be sure to tap off excess flour.  If any surface is not covered with flour–cover it!
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Sift flour.  Sift again with baking powder and salt added
-Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
-Add milk, vanilla, and flour to this mixture
-Beat eggs until they reach soft peaks.  Fold into the above mixture slowly
-Place batter into mold.  Try to avoid disturbing the floured surface as much as possible
-Gently tap the mold to reduce air bubbles
-Attach lid and place on a baking sheet
-Bake for about one hour
-Remove from oven and let cool before removing lid

Cast iron bunny cake mold

Bunny cake with simulated carnage (strawberry sauce)

I’m not sure my grandma was amused.

Cabinet of Curiosities

When I was a kid, I imagined that there was a secret door in my closet.  On the off chance that a burglar entered the house, I planned to run into the closet, shimmy past the clothes rack, and squeeze through the child-size secret door to a safe room that only I knew about.  Perhaps most of us imagine secret places like these; I think this is one reason so many people are captivated by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I don’t think I have ever really left the idea of a secret place behind.  I like dusty attics full if boxes that haven’t been touched in years, forgotten corners of museums (like the Field Museum’s botany hall), and cozy places to hide away and read a book.

In the past few years, my apartment has become more and more like the places I used to imagine; part museum, part living space—a place to display collections and combine them in interesting ways.  My aesthetic is like a cabinet of curiosities in the Renaissance sense: a room filled with items that range from natural history to art to relics of the past.  As I’ve discovered, creating this collection hasn’t come at great expense.  When most things you enjoy are considered “old junk” by everyone else, you are in luck.

As I’ve worked on decorating my living space, I’ve tried to renegotiate my relationship to all this “stuff.”  I strive not to own anything so precious that it can’t be broken.  Unlike museums where most everything on display is for viewing only, I want my friends, family, and guests to open up drawers, pick things up, and possibly drop them if that is part of the discovery process.  I used to enjoy storing away my little collections for an imagined future when someone would open up my boxes and discover my “treasures.”  Now I find that future rather difficult to imagine, so I’ve moved most of my things out into the open.  Here are a few images from my little corner of the world.  And if you are in the market for an old roller skate key, let me know.