Cynicism is easy. Changing the culture is hard. - At Political Animal, Nancy LeTourneau comments on Rebecca Solnit’s essay on cynicism in Harpers. She writes that when Barack Obama entered the White House ...
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Check out our new and oh-so-beautiful blog layout, now integrated with the Short Street Cakes website here! My wonderful friend Michael Frey (the LA-based designer who you might remember from my posts about his wedding earlier this year) created it. Thank you, Michael, and I look forward to seeing y'all over at the new and improved My Life in Cake!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Here, on the eve of my departure from New Orleans to head back to the mountains and home, I'm realizing that book tour really is very similar to band tour. Duncan often affectionately refers to my book and various other extracurricular pursuits as my "band," and, while I've never actually been in a touring rock band, I imagine that life on band tour is very much like mine has been this past week. I've had many meals consisting of bad coffee, sour cream & onion potato chips and beef jerky, and listened to more than my share of christian radio in the bible belt. I've also made it through hours of driving listening to some of the best country stations I've ever heard- old songs I haven't heard in decades, played by warm and interesting DJs who truly love the music. I've felt addled from driving long stretches through miles of cotton fields and small towns, and felt joyful from the oases of welcome at my gigs in between. Touring can also be lonely and taxing, and I'll be glad to get home to my boys, but in the meantime I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to visit some of my favorite places, meet new friends and old, and share this book, so long in the making, with them. My first stop was Oxford, Mississippi, at the beloved institution Square Books. cake blog. Highlights include the compare/contrast between myself and Paula Deen, where she deems me to be cooler. She also later tried her hand at Mary Moon's Fresh Coconut Cake, and blogged about that, too. She had some wonderful things to say about food and community, and her blog is a very ambitious attempt to bake 99 different cakes, and blog about it, in one year. Ace Atkins, a writer of Southern mystery novels, and also my dear friend Carrie-Welles' cousin (the South is truly like one big small town). We had a great time, and he gave me some advice on the writing life, and alot of good words about the Cake Ladies book. Turning Pages Books. She made some cakes for the signing!Satsuma Cafe in the Bywater, which is funny because I wrote the entire Elyse chapter of Cake Ladies while drinking coffee in the Satsuma, before she worked there. By happy accident, there happened to be other houseguests at Elyse's house this weekend: Justin and Nick of the Compass Green Project rolled up about an hour after I did, and we became fast friends. These guys, originally from Iowa, are travelling the country in their bio-diesel truck with a greenhouse on the back, teaching school groups an others about bio-intensive agriculture. recipe (even though we baked the one from the book).
Thursday, October 27, 2011
From now through Wednesday, November 2nd, Short Street Cakes will host our 3rd Annual Dias De Los Muertos altar to celebrate Day of the Dead. We have blank sugar skulls for sale ($5, with a portion of proceeds to benefit COLA- Coalicion de Organizaciones Latino-Americanas), a table with icing, glitter, and sequins to decorate the skulls, and an altar where participants can leave offerings to the souls of the departed. Please feel free to join us, and bring your family to participate in the sacred act of honoring the dead.
From Wikipedia: "Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures."
I first learned to make sugar skulls two years ago from Suzie Millions, and I blogged about it, along with the recipe and more history of the holiday, here.
The lovely and wonderful Miss Glo will be hosting her altar again this year in the back courtyard at Mayfels on Tuesday, November 1st, starting at 5pm, and we will be bringing the altar at the Cake Shop there to join in the festivities. You can see photos of last year's celebration here, and read the write-up of the festivities from this week's Mountain Xpress, here. Noche de Alteres/Dias de los Muertos Celebration. I feel grateful and excited to be part of celebrating the season of honoring the loved ones who have passed on. I feel we need their guidance now more than ever. It also feels really wonderful to continue to root the Cake Shop in a community where we are building traditions and have moments throughout the year to come together and remember the cycles of the seasons and our souls. Each year that we celebrate Dias de Los Muertos, I feel more grounded in our families, our community, and our rich and beautiful history. Much love and many blessings, Jodi
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Anatoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, NC. The Purple Crow. The proprietress, Sharon Wheeler, was happy to learn about the book, and ordered some for her store. So here's a footnote about buying local: most any bookstore you walk into will order a title if their customers ask for it, so asking for Cake Ladies in a store that doesn't carry it is a great thing to do. And if you want the convenience of online ordering while still supporting your local bookshop, you can order on indiebound.org and have it shipped to you through your local bookstore.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
My friend Keri and the community of Cedar Grove, NC, home to one of the Cake Ladies from the book, Betty Compton, have put together the following event down east in Cedar Grove, NC to celebrate Cake Ladies. This people of this community garden have been a friend to me and to the Bountiful Cities Project here in Asheville, and I feel so deeply honored to be in such fine company. I feel so grateful, too, that the community put this together on their own, to celebrate this wonderful woman Betty who has given so much to their community. I'm getting a little teary again.
You Are Invited to a
Book Signing, Cake Walk & Pig-Pickin’ Potluck:
At Anathoth Community Garden!
On Tuesday, October 18th
From 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Please bring a dish to share!
The book, Cake Ladies, Celebrating a Southern Tradition, written by Jodi Rhoden will be available for purchase at the event as well as one of the featured cake ladies, Betty Compton! Jodi and Betty will be there to sign your copy of this amazing new cookbook, featuring delicious cake recipes, inspiring stories, and beautiful photography. Betty will be the guest of honor at the cakewalk with her famous pound cake. You can also bring a yummy cake to put in the cakewalk.
There will be live music with fellowship, fun and great food.
Come join us and bring a friend!
Directions: Hwy 86 North from Hillsborough - 7 miles; take a left onto Carr Store Road; go 1 1/2 miles to flashing stop sign. Continue straight on Carr Store Rd. approx. 1 miles & take a left on Mill Creek Rd. & 1st right onto Lonesome Rd. The Garden is on the Right.
(In case of rain, the event will move into the Cedar Grove UMC Fellowship Hall at the corner of Carr Store Rd. & Efland Cedar Grove Rd. - next to the post office.)
For more info go to www.anathothgarden.org or call the church office at 919-732-8405.