Back in high school I went on a class trip to Washington DC during cherry blossom season - which, if you've ever experienced, you know is pure magic. It made such an impact that John and I later went back just to see the trees bloom again.
Anyway, I got to thinking about cherry blossoms this week, which led me to some truly stunning cakes.
The cherry trees in DC were a gift from the people of Japan, although the trees are also found throughout China and the surrounding areas. Since I've gotten lost on a rabbit trail of gorgeous cakes, today I'm going to focus more on Chinese designs to narrow it down, but please bear with me if I get any details wrong!
Regardless, I think we can all agree this is STUNNING:
The sea bell was old, pitted from years of exposure to salt spray and ocean gales, and blue-green with oxidisation. It felt both incredibly heavy and as though she was holding nothing at all, and Janet had to focus on the reality of it to keep it from slipping through her fingers.
The swan-shaped pedalo bobbed in the swell of the waves that broke around the ghost reef, anchored there by a single strand of spider silk and Janet's own fierce belief that this would work. She slid back the white canopy of her little craft, took a deep breath, and put one rubber-soled foot on the semi-translucent rock.
It held, and she stepped from the boat onto the slimy stone, the huge, half-visible bell clanking softly in her hands. Here and there, ghost shrimp swam in puddles of ghost ocean, their white shrouds drifting dramatically around them. The rising ghost-tide would carry them home, if the seagulls didn't get to them first, and they seemed happy enough where they were.
The protruding spire of rock that she'd picked as her makeshift bell tower was jagged, twisted, and black as those tiny sea serpents Simon erroneously thought he was keeping secret in the tank behind his parent's house. It radiated malice, and streaks of waterproof paint along it's sharp edges told of all the vessels it had gleefully dragged beneath the waves.
Janet wrapped the coarse, heavy rope around one jutting angle, looped it seven times while humming the sea shanty that the Jenny Haniver had taught her. The stone vibrated with outrage beneath her cold-numbed fingers, and she ignored it as it deserved. Murder-rocks with shitty attitudes forfeited her consideration.
The sea bell's clapper was suspended in a protective sheath of blessed lambswool, and it glistened new-penny bright when she slipped it free. Resting one hand on the bell's curved lip, she pushed gently, relishing the rich, deep sound that echoed over the water as it swung on it's makeshift headstock.
"That's what you get," she told the reef that snarled faintly beneath her feet. "Maybe if you'd behaved yourself, I wouldn't have had to bell you."
She returned to her swan boat, ready both for dry land and an end to the sad waterlogged ghosts who kept showing up at the restaurant, soaking the floor. A hungry mermaid grabbed for her and she kicked it in the face.
And now, the conclusion of Jen living out her dreams of being a Richard Marx cover band.
(Wait, can one person be a band? Am I a one-woman-Marx band? Huh. Tell you what, let's skip this discussion and just get on with the rest of the song. Unless you missed Part 1 yesterday. Then click here first.)
I took for granted, all the dyes
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I sense the fears
Why is it always clowns?
Oh can't you see it, bak'ry
Your old windows are cray-cray
Wherever you go Whatever you do They will be wrecked here, waiting for you
For how long it takes,
Until this clown wakes
They will be wrecked here, waiting for you.
[whispers] Waiting for youuuuu.
Thanks to Meg M., Jen V., Laura J., Jeannine A., & Thy D. for that surprisingly creepy turn at the end there. Way to bring it home.
Don't worry, I won't terrify you with any more clowns down here. Instead, how about we go back to our cleaning theme with these adorable dusters?
It's National Cleaning Week, minions, which feels appropriate since that's what a lot of you are doing with your extra free time at home. Not me, though. I already work at home, so I have exactly the same amount of free time as before, and I need all of it for browsing Instagram and annoying my cats.
Still, I'm all for cleaning out the old grody stuff and giving things a little refresh. Which was a hint. Directed at these bakeries.
Ahem hem hem. Spotlight over here, boys.
::dramatic hair flip to reveal 80s style mullet::
Cakes fall apart
day after day
And I slowly go insane
I know this whale isn't mine
But it doesn't stop the pain
If displays won't last forever
Why do you clean them never?
[chorus of Muppety cake voices starts to sing]
Wherever you go
Whatever you do
We will be wrecked here, waiting for you
For how long it takes 'Til they make new cakes We will be wrecked here, waiting for youuu
Thanks to Rachel W., Tina H., Sarah H., Wut, Tom H., & George V. for Part 1. That's right, I WROTE THE WHOLE DANG SONG, so tune in tomorrow to keep this 80s ear worm going.
P.S. If you're like me and would rather have a clean house without actually having to clean it, then do I have the bunny slippers for you:
It actually took me a minute to realize what this was supposed to say. Now I feel so... empty. #ThatWasAHint #NoticeTheLackOfShoePuns #StraightLaced #OkJustOne #NoIDontKnowWhatVOTBSIs #WhyAmIUsingHashTagsThisIsntTwitter
A grocery chain that shall not be named is doing a big Monopoly-themed promotion this month, so naturally, they had their bakers break open a game of Monopoly... and do this:
Mmm, Crisco-soaked paper.
(Do not pass "GO," do not collect $200.
JUST GO TO JAIL.)
Speaking of old board games, it's pretty clear this next baker doesn't...
HAVE A CLUE.
Words cannot describe the wild hope that seized my heart when I saw this cake:
...but sadly, I don't think that's the baker's actual credit card number.
Thanks to Aeron B., Cheree G., Jefferson L., Michelle R., & Tom S., who knows the only way to stop a charging baker... is to feel their shoes.
I know I'm a couple of years late on this, but did you know there's a Downton Abbey version of Clue?!
They're real roses perfectly preserved in a pretty metal gift box - which comes inside another gift box, which is then put in a shipping box and then mailed to you, so I suspect Yzma's involvement somehow. BONUS. They also come in gold and with lots more pretty colors! (The red and gold is totally Beauty and the Beast.)
It's St. Patrick's day, minions, and as I look out there, I can practically read the excitement on your faces.
Oh, are these not yours? My bad.
Now, obviously our St. Paddy celebrations will have to be curtailed this year. Or they will if you're the type who'd normally spend tonight at Irish bars kissing strangers with sprayed-on red hair and light-up shamrock necklaces.
Let me (and the CDC) be perfectly clear on this:
NO KISSING STRANGERS TONIGHT. Irish or otherwise.
Also try not to touch anyone. I'm talking air high-fives only! Here, this rainbow and shamrock will demonstrate:
We'll just have to find other ways to celebrate St. Paddy's. You know, like painting a rainbow on the backs of our legs & bum so when we sit on the work photocopier it looks like this:
Or was that example too specific?
I suppose we could also craft a pretty floral cowboy hat and display it on a pickle:
Or play that game where you send this picture to all your friends with no explanation:
... then see how long it takes them to A) figure out what it says, and B) respond with, "What's THAT supposed to mean?"
(I genuinely had to give up and read the e-mail for the answer. I still only see "Wehty You.")
Well, however you choose to celebrate today, minions, I'd like to leave you with the wise words of a baker who was once asked that age old question, "Can you write 'Happy St. Patrick's Day?' And add a shamrock?"
Happy Paprack, y'all. HAPPY PAPRACK.
Thanks to Patricia D., Margaret C., Mona T., Sarah H., Isabel A., Kenneth K., & Shannon M. for discovering the best new holiday since Falker Satherhood.
Yesterday I showed you the cutest miniature dragon, but hold on to your hats: