Okay, so this isn’t exactly nutrition-related, but I have to share the story of the lamb cake with you guys. It’s funny, and who doesn’t need some comic relief on a Monday morning?
So here it is:
My mom started a family tradition of making a lamb cake on Easter Sunday every year. As kids, we loved it. She had a mold in the shape of a lamb, and it split in half so you make two cakes – one for each side of the mold – and then bake them, put them together, frost them, cover it with coconut, use jellybeans for the eyes and nose, and serve it on a bed of Easter grass and jellybeans. In theory, very cute and creative, right?
I never thought it was strange until this year when my sister Alice decided to continue the tradition and make a lamb cake for Easter brunch with her husband Ryan’s family in St. Louis. She told her friend Sara about her lamb cake idea, and Sara was horrified. A lamb cake? Sara has a blog called Running From The Law, and she blogged her reaction to the lamb cake there. PLEASE read it – you will die laughing. You can find it here (you have to scroll down a bit to the lamb cake section – trust me, you can’t miss it).
After reading this, the lamb cake went from cute to creepy. I mean seriously, how were my siblings and I not terrified to death when we sat down do Easter dinner with that lamb staring back at us from the middle of the table? But somehow we weren’t, and we have grown up with an emotional attachment to the lamb cake tradition. So I could totally relate when Alice said she wanted to make one this year.
Alice went to her local kitchen supply store, The Kitchen Conservatory, and bought a lamb cake mold. And it cost her $80. I mean, $80 for a cake mold is ridiculous. The price of nostalgia! Needless to say, she wasn’t happy when I told her I found one on amazon.com for $14.99… but she had no time for online orders. She bought the mold on Friday and had to make a cake for Sunday brunch!
Alice brought the mold home and told her husband Ryan about the lamb cake. Clearly, it creeped him out too, as I got a photo text message from him on Saturday morning. It had this photo, with the words "Good Morning":
But I thought that Alice would pull through and create a lamb cake that was adorable and Easter-y and that all of her nieces and nephews would love.
Umm, sorry Alice, but you didn't deliver.
Alice’s lamb lost an ear when she was removing it from the mold. But don’t worry, she had a solution: whole wheat spaghetti noodles. She used the dry spaghetti noodles to create a spine for the lamb. In her words: “The lamb had a spaghetti bone structure. Without the spine, the head would have fallen off for sure”.
Then, she used chocolate frosting (my grandmother’s special recipe) instead of white. A black sheep – hmmm. Maybe this is actually the way to go with the lamb cake. Because real lambs are gentle and cute and fluffy, but lamb cakes are more on the scary side. So if you go with a black lamb cake, you are remaining true to the “black sheep” – which, by definition, means “A person who causes shame or embarrassment because of deviation from the accepted standards of his or her group” (dictionary.com definition). And the lamb cake is definitely a deviation from the more traditional Easter desserts – pies, chocolate rabbits, jellybeans.
Here is the final product:
If you look closely, you can see the lamb’s ear lying on the grass next to it. And you can also make out some of the spaghetti noodle spine sticking out of his head.
Apparently the lamb cake was called many names by her in-laws (which I won’t mention here), but ended up tasting really good! I give her credit for attempting the lamb cake. And I hope that she’s planning on making this a tradition, because I am inspired to start. Next year, I will make a lamb cake. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with the traditional white frosting or go Alice’s route and do a black sheep, but we’ll have one. Thanks, mom, for establishing great family traditions. And thanks to Sara for opening up our eyes to how weird the lamb cake really is!!!