Friday, March 29, 2019

Fixing cracks, tears and elephant skin in fondant icing

I'm in the middle of icing Lydia's 1st birthday cake, and in the interests of time, I got Tom to buy me some pre-coloured fondant icing to cover the cake from a local supermarket. This stuff dried out very quickly when I rolled it out, probably due to the amount of food colouring in it to make it the blue colour.

So when I draped it over the cake, I got the dreaded elephant skin cracks around the edge of the cake despite my best efforts.

A LOT of Googling later, and it turns out you can make a paste of fondant and a small amount of water, and use this like polyfilla or royal icing to fill the cracks. Using a palette knife you smooth it on and scrape it off. Some people call this 'gunge'. I used it to fill the elephant skin cracks in the fondant around the edge of the cake, and in some cracks in the sides where I'd not eased out the folds of fondant very well.

The smoothed cake edges, no elephant skin!

I got a kind of smoothed buttercream look which was fine for this cake. Might not be so good if you need a pristine wedding cake for example, but better than nothing.

Sharing in case it helps someone else out!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

How to talk to your daughter about her body by Sarah Koppelkam

A friend passed this on to me and I thought it was brilliant:

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight.

If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

"You look so healthy!" is a great one.

Or how about, "You're looking so strong."

"I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.
~ Sarah Koppelkam