Formerly known as The Old Hen and Mom and Dotter.

Before the Ace of Cakes There Was Dixie… and Her Daughter

I owe you an apology. I have been a bad blogger. My new gig has been taking up much of my time but I haven’t forgotten you. I’ll be whipping up some new recipes for you soon. I am working on one today, in fact, but it’s not ready to share yet. You might want to find a snack while you wait.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this story from my past.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who didn’t like to eat quiche. Oh wait, I already told you that story, didn’t I? You want new material? Oh, okay…. um…. let’s see… did I tell you about the time I ran into a mailbox when I was learning to drive. No? You’re not interested? Fine… um… I’m sure I can find something to share with you from this crispy old photo album here… No, that won’t do. That accidental mullet  that made me cry and is far too embarrassing.


Oh! Here we go. How about a story about what it’s like to grow up with a mom who is a professional cake decorator? I know, it probably sounds like no big deal to you but this was back in the seventies and eighties  before Duff from the Ace of Cakes was even born. There was a cute, short little lady making the cakes of people’s dreams before fondant was popular and icing was made of 10 parts lard and 1 part powdered sugar. That lady happened to be my mom.

She worked at Scandia Bakery and Lefse Factory in Stanwood, Washington. Before the Food Network, you just made the newspaper and local news and that she did. I cannot even begin to tell you how many bowls of lard icing I’ve stirred. I’ve had too many nightmares about frosting to count and my father had a wallet that had a fold-out picture holder that dropped to the ground when he opened it with pictures of my mom’s cakes. Yes, I am still recovering. Thank you for asking.

I shall now share with you my very first cakes – the cakes I shed tears over. These are the cakes for which I won money, hard rock record albums (before I even knew what hard rock was) and ribbons. I spent hours trying to make them look like my supermom’s cakes. Now I must warn you before you move on that you have not accidentally happened upon the Cake Wrecks blog. What? You’ve never been? You must. You must go now. No wait. Finish laughing at this and then go. No. Don’t laugh. I will hurt all over again if you do.



Do you remember Precious Moments figurines? Yeah, I still have some in my attic. Anyhooo… How about that? Grand champion winner! Yeah, pretty sure that ribbon must have belonged to the cake on the left side of the ribbons. How nice of my parents to take the picture this way to make me always think I won. I’m not even going to try to comment on her race. I’m just plain not sure.



Those tears I mentioned? This is the photo for me to remember them by. The cake, in case you can’t tell from this awesome 126 film  that was developed about 15 years after the picture was taken, is of a red-haired country girl fishing on the world’s largest stump or at the world’s smallest pond. Not sure which. The tears? Oh yeah, those were because her huge head kept falling off. In case you were wondering, toothpicks will not hold your head on. ‘Nuf said.

Okay, now for my final picture.


Evidently, I liked big stumps. I don’t know why. Easy to see why the grand prize ribbon is way at the other end of the table. They didn’t want to give me false hope. Poor little bunny. Good news is that his head stayed put and it appears they showed me a merciful second place.

Thank you for humoring me by making it to the end of this blog post. You’re so gracious. You should consider being a judge for cake shows.

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