When I was 5 I participated in a cake walk. Earlier tonight when I was starting to write this post, I typed "cake walk" into google, because when I was telling this story at a 2 year old's birthday party this weekend, the phrase "cake walk" elicited blank stares. I was shocked to find this to be the wikipedia entry for "cake walk" :
Cakewalk is a traditional African American form of music and dance which originated among slaves in the Southern United States. The form was originally known as the chalk line walk. The dance takes its name from competitions held on plantations prior to Emancipation, in which prizes, sometimes cake, were given for the best dancers.
Uhm, what? That has NOTHING to do with what I was talking about. Is this the common understanding of the term? What did I just say to those neighborhood parents? JESUS CHRIST!!! I read further, and way down at the bottom, there was this little footnote:
The term "cakewalk" is often used to indicate something that is very easy or effortless. Though the dance itself could be physically demanding, it was generally considered a fun, recreational pastime. The phrase "takes the cake" also comes from this practice. Along the lines of this "easy or effortless" meaning, there is the modern Cakewalk (carnival game) which requires no dancing skill at all to win.
OK! that's what I meant, carnival game. I think it was in a church parking lot or a public park. It was just a bunch of little kids walking in a circle, while music played. When the music stopped, you landED on a number, and that number was the cake you got. It went something like that. Well, I landed on the number 20, (my brain is backed up with all kinds of useless information like this, but I can't remember anything important whatsoever) and the cake I got was a ladybug cake. And that cake was round, and red, and had black licorice spots, and was the most beautiful thing my sheltered little eyes had ever laid eyes upon. I was beside myself. I WON THE LADYBUG CAKE!!! I WON THE LADYBUG CAKE!!! Two hands lifted as in prayer, I carried my beloved ladybug cake carefully back to our table. But somehow, one of my feet tangled with the other, and down I went, slow motion, John Woo style, knees crashing to the ground, ladybug cake overturning, and smashing to bits in the grass below. Sob... It seriously still makes me sad to think about it. The cakewalk ladies offered me another cake, but it was futile, there was no consolation.
Jack's friend Cleo turned two on Saturday and I decided that she was the perfect reason to shake off all that cakewalk sorrow and bring back the ladybug cake. I baked two, a pink, and a red, in case of some sort or ladybug cake curse. If one went down, we'd have a backup. I wasn't going to let Cleo experience cake grief at such a tender age. As I walked up the hill to the party, I was repeating in my head "DON'T drop the cake, DON'T drop the cake, DO NOT DROP IT!!!!" Internet, I have shaken the curse of the cakewalk once and for all.
I've also included some photos of an owl cake and owl cupcakes that I baked for Jack's friend Hattie's 2nd birthday back in February. Hattie's mother, my dear friend Sadie, loves owls. Well, she loves them for Hattie. We always joke, that in ten years, Hattie is going to be like "mom, what was the deal with all those freakin owls? I HATE owls!!!" Sorry little Hoot.