Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! And Happy Cake Day, Too!

Today is Thanksgiving, but it's also "National Cake Day." Incidentally, this Saturday happens to be "International Aura Awareness Day." Are you aware of your aura? A friend of my grandmother's once told her, that she and I shared the same aura, but that's a story for another time. Today, we are focusing on Cake Day! Who decides these "official" days, anyway? I didn't feel like doing any more research, to find out! I recently found this 1973 Wilton "Cake and Food Decorating Year Book," in my mom's kitchen cupboard.

As the cover states, it's "a month-by-month calendar of cake and party ideas." It starts out with some suggestions for January and February, and then continues with ideas for the rest of the year:

I actually remember this magazine from childhood, mainly because of the Disney cakes and cake pans that were pictured in it.

"Let's Take A Trip To Walt Disney World!" Walt Disney World would have only been two years old, when this was published.

What, no turkey-shaped cakes for November?

A special cake pan was available, to create Cinderella's cake-dress.

If you were going to make a princess or royal-themed cake, there were plenty of carriages to choose from.

More "doll" cakes:

Who knew you could make hard sugar figures and designs, out of just a little sugar and water? Here's the recipe:

The back cover listed a variety of molds that were available, for making solid sugar figures of the Disney characters.

And while we are on the subject of cakes and cake the 1990's, Disneyland sold these copper Mickey and Minnie Mouse pans/molds, in the "Le Gourmet" shop, located in New Orleans Square.

I bought these with the intention of hanging them in my kitchen, but instead they remained wrapped up with the tags still on them, for over 20 years!

The pans had been coated with a protective lacquer finish, to prevent tarnishing. If they were going to be used for actual cooking, rather than just for decorative purposes, instructions were given on how to remove their lacquer finish. It's nice to know that acetone is available from any chemist. Now, where do I find a chemist?

The Le Gourmet shop also sold a matching set of refrigerator magnets.

To give you an idea of the size of the magnets, I photographed them together, with the copper pans.

By the way, the Le Gourmet shop also carried "Unique cooking and serving accessories, exotic spices, and cook books for the connoisseur." That description is from a 1985 Disneyland Guidebook:

The shop opened along with the rest of New Orleans Square, in 1966, and closed in 1998....probably so they could sell more plush toys and T-shirts out of that space! (Remember the "people" who were in charge of the park, back in the 1990s?)

Here are a couple postcards, showing what the shop looked liked in it's original location, next door to "The Court of Angels." By the time the shop closed in 1998, it had been relocated to the space formerly occupied by the "One Of A Kind Shop."


Happy Thanksgiving, to all....and a very happy Cake Day, too!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Cake Day, too, TokyoMagic!

I’ll be back later to comment when I have a little more time; am getting things ready for Thanksgiving...

K. Martinez said...

What a delightfully strange post this holiday. I absolutely love it. The George Washington cake is my personal favorite.

I believe I remember seeing those copper pans of Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland before. I used to love Le Gourmet Shop. Unfortunately I used the the things I purchased from there and no longer have them.

I wonder if Charles Phoenix is making a Cherpumple today?

Again, I love this post. What an era! Thanks, TM!

Happy Thanksgiving and National Cake Day!

Andrew said...

Happy Thanksgiving, TM! These cakes are incredible, but those individual "beads" of icing on the Disney characters would take hours to do. I'm sure that for most people, the finished product did not look half as good as the picture!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, come back anytime! ;-) I hope everything turned out nice for your Thanksgiving!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I wonder how difficult it would be to "do" George Washington in frosting?

I also bought a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter at the Le Gourmet shop. I still have it and now that I think of it, I probably should have included it in this post!

Charles Phoenix should make a George Washington cake, on top of a Minnie Mouse cake, on top of a Mickey Mouse cake, on top of a pumpkin pie. Then he could top the whole thing, with a Cinderella "doll" cake!

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, you are right about those cakes probably taking hours to frost, applying just one "bead" at a time. I'm sure they had cake "experts" create those samples in the photos....but I hate to think what the end result would be, if I attempted to duplicate one of them!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, TokyoMagic! I did have a nice Thanksgiving, and I hope you did, too!

Nice taste in cakes, Ken! George Washington is my favorite, too. If you made one, today, I don't think the kids would know who it was, sadly.

TM! I LOVE those magnets!

I wonder how many people have used those copper cake pans without following those crazy instructions?! Who would've thought you had to involve a chemist and all.

If you want more laughs, google "failed birthday cakes," "failed cakes" - you get the idea.

Great post, TokyoMagic!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, thank you...I did have a nice Thanksgiving!

Wow, I would hope that kids would at least be able to identify Washington and Lincoln. However, I know there are a lot of things that we learned, that they no longer teach in school. And that's sad!

I bet there were a lot of people who used those pans, without removing the lacquer first. I wonder if anyone got sick?

Okay, I couldn't resist, so I Googled "failed cakes." I'm probably going to have nightmares about the "Elsa" cakes that I saw! ;-)

DrGoat said...

Hope your Thanksgiving went well Tokyo. Ours was nice and quiet.
Great post, now I'm hungry again. Time to hit the leftovers and watch some more British Baking Show.
Those Disney character cakes look yummy. So do all of the rest for that matter. George bet.
So if yesterday was National Cake Day, today must be National Ice Cream Day or it should be. Second breakfast and elevensies coming up.
Thanks TokyoMagic!

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, my Thanksgiving did go well, thank you! It was held entirely outdoors, and was VERY socially distanced! It was very nice....and I'm glad to hear that yours was, too! Oh, and I still have some leftovers. I guess I better finish them off today!

Since you mentioned it, I just had to look up National Ice Cream Day. That happens in July (the third Sunday of the month). And there is even a National Ice Cream Cake Day (on June 27th). But surprisingly, there is not a National Cake AND Ice Cream Day. Now you know! ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Sorry I'm late to the party (again), happy belated Thanksgiving to you! This is so funny, my mom went though a cake decorating phase right around the early 1970s, though I don't remember her making any Disney character cakes. We loved it, because we'd have new cakes every week. I remember a clown cake, and she did a Snoopy cake for me. It was just something that was in the zeitgeist I guess. I'm sure I would have been very happy to have a Disney cake too.

The funny thing is that I assume my mom bought specialized pans to make her cakes, but I don't remember her ever making more than one of any particular design. A friend of mine worked in Animation and she'd just bake several rectangular sheet cakes, and hand-trim them to look like a character from the show she was working on. They always came out great! I wish I had photos.

Fun post today, thanks!

I assume there was a specialized frosting tip that made that "beaded" look easier than doing 1000 individual blobs... but I don't really have any idea.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, "new cakes every week".....I would have loved that, as a kid! It sure would beat eating a packaged Hostess Cupcake, Snowball, or Suzy Q!

I wish you had photos of your mom's and your friend's cakes!

I know a "star-shaped" frosting tip does exist, and the Cinderella cake instructions even mention something about "filling in with stars." But I do believe that each one of those stars is put on, individually. I think I would go crazy after applying about 20 "stars." Who knows, maybe now there is some sort of "short cut" tool, for frosting cakes like this.

Anonymous said...

What a fun post, Tokyo. How great that you had this book right on hand.

My Mom never made anything so elaborate, but my wife made a Cinderella cake for our daughter's birthday. She also made a "dirt cake" with cookie crumbs, gummy works, and a little 4-wheel truck toy for our son one year.

We are fans of Bake Off too, but never get into anything that complex for ourselves.

Glad that everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday. We had both kids home and a splendid visit.

Wish you well.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, the funny thing is, I don't remember my mom ever making a cake. When she baked "treats," it was usually cookies or brownies. If she needed a cake for something, she usually bought a Van de Kamp's one at our local Lucky's grocery store.

I like the idea of the "dirt cake." My aunt did that once with cupcakes (and the chocolate powder and gummy worms), but placed each cupcake into a very small terra cotta pot!

I'm glad to hear that you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving, as well!

Anonymous said...

Tokyo, Mom was always baking something. My Dad had a sweet tooth, and it seemed like we always had a cake or pie on the counter. She did use cake mixes and canned frosting, but also made "angel food" cakes (that I never cared for). Those were made "from scratch", I don't think there were mixes for those. Church picnic kinds of things.




Wow!! Funny you did this post! A few weeks ago while visiting my mom in San Diego I came across 3 of those Wilton books 1973,1974 and I couldn’t find a date on the other but I think it’s 1975. My mom and her friends took cake decorating classes and these kinds of cakes were BIG in the 1970’s . One birthday party of mine was Indian ( Native American Indian) she made a center cake that looked like a Indian drum on its side ... with some plastic indians with totem pole ( shown in the Wilton catalog section) on top and some sugar candy rocks on top. Then there were multiple mini cone shaped cakes decorated to look like tee-pees! Those were made from a Wilton mold . Each kid guest got their own tee-pee cake and adult guests got a slice from the “drum” cake .

The Wilton Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle sugar Mold set looked like a miniature model! Today those WDW castle molds sell for big bucks on online auctions.

Sugar mold things were big too in the 1970’s .... my mom made these decorated Easter Eggs with a frosting frosting appliqués and sugar molds ..... when completed you would look inside of them and see little easter scenes of miniature rabbits, ducks eggs etc in little scenes. The scenes were made from a combination of plastic figures , frosting flowers and other paper punch out pieces sold at the cake decorating store.
The frosting used on those sugar mold Easter eggs viewers was not edible .

And yes ...... in the 1970’s there were stores for only cake and candy making. You could buy molds , decorations , supplies and take classes.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, that is a pretty funny coincidence, that you also came across your mom's Wilton catalogs. The tee-pee shaped mini cakes sound pretty neat. I'm assuming they were about cupcake-size, more or less? I do remember these type of pan/mold cakes being popular for a period of time, during my childhood.

I also remember those Easter egg peek-in/viewer thingys! I never had one, but I did always wonder if they were edible. They kind of looked more like a toy, than candy!


Yes - the individual Ti-Pi cakes were about the size of two 1970’s cupcakes.... maybe a tad bigger : or a single 21 century cupcake. I remember each ti-pi cake was on a birthday size paper plate covered in tin foil - lol... tin foil isn’t very “native American” feeling lol. We had a scavenger hunt in the back yard - all the kids had Indian head bands with 2 feathers and mine had more feathers like a “Chief”. We also played a “pin the feather on the headdress” like “pin the tail on the donkey “ and a stack the totem pole game : they were empty soda cans covered in construction paper and decorated with paper appliqués to look like totem pole sections and whoever could stack them the highest won a prize.

Those sugar mold Easter egg “peek-ins” were delicate ... my mom stored them in a white (cake??) box gently covered in plastic wrap . Every Easter she would set them out on a mirrored tray that had a silver decorative edge - like something a girl would have on her vanity . I think my sister and I “accidentally “ broke off prices of the trim frosting on the eggs to taste it. I remembered I broke off a light purple flower with a yellow center .... it tasted like chalk - and probably even harder than chalk.

I don’t know what happened to the eggs but I think they didn’t survive the move to new house in 1978..... as I have no recollection of them in that house . ( same house my mom lives in today)

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, that sounds like a fun theme for a birthday party! I hope you also had a "Dance Circle," and that someone dressed up like Kurt Russel and someone else dressed up like "Mr. Gridley." ;-)

It makes sense that your mom saved the sugar eggs for future years. I think some people also save Christmas gingerbread houses and reuse them, don't they? I think they can be "treated" to keep the bugs away. My aunt has a little house that she made out of sugar cubes, when she was little. She still puts it under her Christmas tree every year!