The big snow that I talked about in my previous post has finally melted, and I can almost hear Mother Nature saying, “Now where was I? Ah yes, spring!”
Tiny flowers in the shade garden are no worse for the wear after being buried for days under a heavy white blanket.
Amazing. And such a cheerful sight.
I decided to bring some of that spring cheer indoors for a small family birthday party that I was hosting.
An Easy Spring Container Garden
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As part of the party decor, I set up this little indoor container garden.
I used a primrose, a fragrant hyacinth, and spike moss to fill this cute footed pot that I found at Goodwill.
After the party, the birthday girl took it home with her (which is why I included the plant tags in the container).
A Whimsical Table Setting
For the table, I used a mix of newer and vintage blue-themed Villeroy & Boch pieces.
We’ve collected, inherited, and been given these pieces over the years. What I love about Villeroy & Boch is that many of their patterns, even the vintage ones, are a bit playful. They put a whimsical spin on classic china.
Repurposed Valentine’s Day Flowers
For the centerpiece, I just used some of my Valentine’s Day roses in a vintage fan vase.
It didn’t take up much table space, and it added a little visual tension to the blue-and-white theme.
So the dinner went well, and by now my family was lulled into a false sense of security – because they had not yet seen The Cake.
An Experimental Orange Rum Cake
Here I should mention that this is not a cooking blog. And I would never, ever, claim to have expertise in baking.
You’ll see why when I show you the birthday cake that I baked.
What is that brown stuff on top? We’ll come to that.
I knew the birthday girl would enjoy a fruit-flavored cake with little or no frosting. The words “orange cake” popped into my head. So I googled it.
I found this recipe for a syrup-infused orange cake. But instead of following the recipe for the cake, I just used a boxed yellow cake mix and substituted orange juice for the water.
Then I followed the recipe for the orange syrup portion, but I decided to make it an orange rum cake. So I substituted some of the orange juice that the recipe called for with spiced rum.
It was all going really well. The syrup was infusing into the cake.
It was time for the final step: Making the glaze. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but my glaze cooled into rock-hard clumps the minute I spread it onto the cake. It stuck to the spatula. It stuck to my teeth. I knew then that if I finished spreading it on the cake, I’d need a chain saw to cut into it. So I stopped. All done!
Next time I’ll skip that part. I served the cake with whipped cream, and it was actually pretty tasty – for an experiment.
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