Thursday, March 31, 2011

Of cakes and music

This past weekend was a fun one and packed as we swiftly moved from one activity to the next.

Friday night was a choir rehearsal from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. More on that later though.
Saturday morning was a choir rehearsal from 9:00 to 12:00. Again, more on that later.
Following a quick lunch at my parents' house, Rebecca and I made our way to the NoVA Community College - Annandale Campus for the National Capital Area Cake Show. My mom took her to the show last year, this time was my turn. Entries ranged from "youth" to "master" and while there appeared to be a theme of "under the sea"
3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show
cakes were everything from lovely
3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show
to bizarre/creative.
3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show
The talent even from the youngest entries was inspiring. I hope next spring Rebecca will create something for judging. After all, she has the perfect tools to practice.
Just before leaving she bought a 3-set of mini topsy turvy square cake pans. They are SO cute. The cakes bake as though they have a flat bottom, but create 3 lopsided layers. The top tier is only 2" across. What I really like is that making tiny cakes will allow her to practice anything she wants to practice without baking enough cake for an army. Shells, roses, laying fondant, whatever she wants to try is possible in small amounts without reverting to cupcakes. There's nothing wrong with cupcakes, but fondant only goes so far with them.
Across the hall was the cake decorating challenge. If you watch Food Network cake challenges or Cake Boss on TLC then you know the folks who participated.
3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show 3/26/11 Capital Cake Show
On the left is Mike from Ultimate Cake Off, and on the right is Dana from The Next Great Baker and now on Cake Boss. The theme for the 4 artists was "Castles of the Silver Screen." I have no idea what Dana was making, someone mentioned it was from the movie Troy which I haven't seen. Mike's creation is obvious, right down to the holy hand grenade in the corner and the coconut. And if it's not obvious to you then you don't watch enough old British comedy. Apparently cake was an option in this competition as 3 of the 4 competitors used foam as their base. Foam? Seems lame to me especially when the majority of the Wizard of Oz cake was a sloping hill with the yellow brick road, and you can see the mound-of-something in Dana's picture. The only design that actually used cake? Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
We could have stuck around for the rest of the afternoon/evening to participate in a cupcake challenge, with tastings even, but Ian and I had other plans. We ditched the kids with grandparents for a much needed night out. More on that in a different post.
Back to the other thing I mentioned up there, the music. For the past several weeks Rebecca and I schlepped ourselves to Messiah Methodist church in Springfield on Sunday nights for festival choir practice.
Listen to this:
That's not us but a sample of one of the simpler and sweeter pieces of music we learned. On Sunday the 27th, we performed with about 80 other people including my mom for an audience that included the composer, Bradley Ellingboe.
Ellingboe has written a number of pieces, two are Revelations and Requiem. You can also hear the Kyrie. The greatest challenge was driving to the rehearsals Sunday evenings for 4 weeks. It doesn't sound like much but if you're anything like us when Sunday night rolls around you really don't want to go anywhere or do anything. Yet, we did, and it was fun. The composer showed up for the Friday rehearsal and gave us his thoughts. Saturday morning we tried to fine tune, and Sunday afternoon was the big show. Of course we messed up a couple times, but even so, if you can get past the portions that resembled West Side Story and Cats it was an enjoyable concert.
Ellingboe's Revelations and Requiem: 27 Mar 11

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