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Posted by Maxine Cleminson - - 1 comments

It's that time of year again.  The school Fall Festival hosted by the PTA is just around the corner.  Ick.  I get shivers down my spine just thinking about it.  If it wasn't for the fact that my kids had a blast last year, I would be giving this event a (very) wide berth.  Not because I'm a party pooper.  But because it seems to bring out the worst kind of scarily competitive and over-zealous mothers, en masse!  Unfortunately, I am ashamed to admit that I am becoming one of them.  Help!

As Homeroom Parent for the Big One's class, I feel obligated to set a good example by donating homemade goodies to the Bake Sale.  Last year, I donated some homemade sugar cookies decorated with orange sprinkles to match the autumnal theme (despite the still virtually tropical heat & humidity of Texas in October!).  I even baked a Victoria sponge cake decorated with orange & black frosting to look like a pumpkin Jack-o-lantern.  I was delighted with my efforts... it took up several hours of my weekend for goodness sake ... and so I walked them proudly into school to hand over to the Bake Sale volunteers!

Crestfallen goes some way to describing how I felt leaving my efforts on the table.  Gutted is probably closer to the mark.  I kid you not... there were cupcakes that should've been displayed in the Tate Modern rather than on a fold up plastic table in a school gym!  And iced cookies that were so intricately decorated they made mine look like I'd attacked them blindfolded.  Cakes, gateaux, brownies, meringues ... all looking like something from a classy Parisian Patisserie, not a busy Mum's kitchen complete with 'helpful' toddlers.  I suspected foul play!

So, when I found out that the PTA definition of 'homemade' also included items bought from an exclusive local bakery (rather than just the standard supermarket stuff bought by us proletariat), I was ready to denounce the lot of them as cheating b$#@*~ds!  However, I have refined my plan since then and I've decided to take the moral high ground and beat them without cheating! Ha!  In your face, scary Stepford Mum with your french mani, perfectly coiffed locks and designer tennis outfit (for the carpool?  Really?!).  

Easier said than done, but I have been inspired by blogger extraordinaire, Bakerella!  Her amazing blog features her speciality, cake pops, in such astonishing, creative abundance, that it's hard not to be inspired! I first attempted cake pops for the Shouty One and Chubby Cheeks One's recent 3rd birthday party.  As is typical of me, I jumped into creative mode without really researching techniques properly, so although they tasted great and the kids loved them, I wasn't too happy with the results, aesthetically speaking.  Stupidly, I assumed that I could decorate them with some Wilton icing writing tubes I had already, but cake pops are coated in chocolate and so the icing just ran off.  Reading up on cake pop techniques since, it's now blindingly obvious that you need to decorate them with yet more chocolate and/or candy! Duh!

So, having now researched them properly, I am now excited to create a masterpiece to put those P.T.A. pretenders to shame!

Watch this space....

One Response so far.

  1. I am bookmarking this page for the (scary) day I have to contribute to a school bake sale.

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