Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Labor of Love

I have to say, I am so pleased with how this cake turned out. I have made many cakes over the years, usually for family birthdays, but have never tried my hand at roses. They just seemed so intimidating. While on a kitchen tour on our cruise last fall, a pastry chef demonstrated making roses from gum paste. He made it look so easy and I really wanted to give it a try. 
My opportunity came when I was given the privilege of making a 50th wedding anniversary cake for a very special couple.
I did some research, bought my supplies and began my first roses on Monday. It was a three day process as each petal of each rose is formed by hand and then the rose is "built" petal by petal. They are actually fun to make as long as you are not pressed for time. I love how realistic the flowers look with the gum paste and am planning to experiment with other types of flowers etc. I dusted the roses with an edible gold dust which sparkles in the light.
The bottom layer is chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream filling, the other 2 are golden cake with a hint of butterscotch and a mixed berry filling.

I now understand why bakeries charge so much for wedding is a lot of work!

The couple I made this cake for are worth every hour.
Marjorie and Barry are my "other parents", and we will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with them tomorrow.
I could write a book and not scratch the surface of the impact this couple has had in my life over the years. Twenty six years ago, they were the directors of Circle Square Ranch in Sussex, NB. I came to be a counselor for the summer and had no idea how life changing this couple would be for me.

Although I choose to honor my parents and love them for all the good that they have been, I grew up in a far from ideal home. Experiencing and witnessing abuses of every kind had left me with a death wish and no hope for a positive future.
I was wise beyond my years and had read statistics about abused becoming abusers. At 13 & 14, I prayed that if I was doomed to repeat history, I did not want to have children....
But God had other plans.

Marjorie and Barry saw with the eyes of Jesus...they saw who He had created me to be and they began to love me and speak words of life into me. Every day they told me I was perfect and that they loved me. I knew they knew I wasn't, (especially after having lived with me for 2 years), but they chose to speak positively and love unconditionally. Little by little, their words and love penetrated my spirit and I began to see myself and my future differently. 
God used them to show me another way, another kind of family.

Before I moved in with them, I thought they were perfect and had the perfect family...but the gift they gave me was so much more valuable than perfection. Perfection is unattainable and would have left me in my place of hopelessness.
They showed me they were real and that it was OK to have a disagreement or even a fight as long as it was fair. They taught me to never say anything I might regret, even in the heat of the moment. They taught me to pick my battles and to let some stuff go, to love unconditionally, to forgive quickly and always kiss and make up.
Marge and Barry taught me to make Jesus the center of my life and my marriage and that with that foundation I could over come any thing.

They even set Mark and I up over a lunch one Sunday after church. Though they saw him as a great suitor for me, I had other ideas at the time and it took a few years for me to see the light.
They have literally changed future history by pouring Jesus into me through their lives.
My descendants for generations to come will be affected by a couple who allowed Jesus to use them to minister love and life to a young girl with a whole lot of baggage.

I am so very thankful for them and the example of their marriage to so many.


The Hippie Moose said...

Beautiful! Great job! I took a gum paste course if you would like to borrow the book to try some other flowers!

Jen said...

That would be awesome...I would love to borrow your book. Was it a Wilton course? I was wondering what was offered without doing the cake decorating courses.

Holly said...

The Cake is stunning!!

And I loved reading your touching tribute to a special couple that poured into your life!!

You are blessed.


Holly said...

ps. I sent that last message too fast! I wasn't done yet...

You are blessed! You are also an overcomer and have great determination. That combined with God's power and people lovin' on you and speaking life to have changed the Spiritual DNA for your Children and your future grandchildren!!!


Jen said...


Thanks, I am still amazed if I stop and think about all that God has done in my life...with Him all things are truly possible.
It really was nice to see everyone after so was cold though...and Marge teared up over the cake and made sure everyone who commented on it knew I'd done it and that I'd never done flowers before etc....she was truly a gushing mom and made every bit of the work so worth it.
Carrie wants me to come down next year to make her a cake for her's and Brian's 25th....I said I'd use any excuse to get back East for a sure.

Maureen said...

What a beautufl tribute Jen.
Thank you so much for sharing.
The cake is stunning what great job you did.
do you take orders?

Williams Family Blog said...

Love, just flowed through that post from the cake to the written words about Barry and Marj. Jen, you are one gifted and creative girl.
So, when are you opening the bakery? :)

Jen said...

Maureen & Karen

Thank you both. I have taken some orders over the years, but need lots of notice to plan around life ;o)

Karen, I don't know how many people asked me yesterday if I ever thought about opening a bakery or being a pastry chef. I have, but I haven't figured out a way to do it and maintain a life.

One extremely well off couple was up from Florida and she was wanting me to come down when they celebrate their anniversary and make a cake...I am hoping they pursue that plan....I could fly all around and bake cakes and be called the "flying cake lady" or something!!! LOL!!

Actually, my dream would be to open a "Tea House" and make all finds of fun pastries and light fare and possibly do cakes as an off shoot of that.

Amy said...

Wow Jen! That's fantastic!!

With a little practice, they get easier eh??
So very well done!! I'm sure they loved it!!

Rhonda said...

Oh my goodness!!! That cake is gorgeous! What a gift you have Jen.

Patty said...

The cake is beautiful & I agree - Marge & Barry are gems.

Holly said...

I forgot to ask: HOW DID IT TASTE?!! I bet it was soooo yummy!