Music: Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen
My grandmother, Rose, is a domestic goddess of mythic proportion in my mind. She could do everything. She made dresses for my mother that I am still able to wear. She hosted dinners for over 50 people on a weekly basis. Everything she created in the kitchen was extraordinary and the best I’ve eaten – even just spaghetti with meatballs (which was really the only thing I ate as a kid, earning me the nickname “the spaghetti wrangler”). She hosted pea parties where only dishes with peas were served (and it wasn’t gross!). She left her Christmas tree up all year long. She could knit an afghan, read a book and watch “Days of Our Lives” all at the same time. She had a built-in brick oven in her kitchen. She used to buy me gold lamé bathing suits and took me to the diner with her friends. Maybe it was her special Grandma touch, but she could do no wrong.
She also used to make the most remarkable wedding cakes. I was sorting through some old photographs with my mother this weekend and we found these pictures of cakes she made in the late 60’s to the early 80’s. They aren’t in the greatest condition but you’ll get the picture. These are the wedding cakes of yore – you’ll be hard pressed to find a baker who still makes them like this (except for maybe in the Bronx?) and, although, it’s not necessarily an aesthetic that’s stood the test of time – you can certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into them. They have electric fountains and angels and sugar roses for crying out loud! I don’t know who they belonged to. I wish I did. Even though they were promptly eaten on someone’s wedding day I am happy that I can share them with you here.