Wednesday, May 14, 2008
A First Holy Communion
We have been busy but I wanted to share a bit of a very special day. Our son Christian, age 8, received his First Holy Communion on Saturday morning, May 4th. We had another commitment later that afternoon so his party was held the next day. All that week I fretted over impending weather reports - we have a small house and we were counting on an outdoor barbecue. Saturday was a bit drizzly and cool but the by the next afternoon the clouds opened and the sun was shining!
We covered the picnic table with a light blue table covering and added a beautiful bouquet of flowers in blue and white and our Mary statue - we had completed a Novena of our own to Mary under her title "Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament" to help Christian prepare for his First Holy Communion. (I really think she had something to do with our beautiful day!) I also put out some of the books and resources we used for our First Holy Communion preparation.
I had spied a lovely cross shape cake in a bakery that we like but the price was a bit more than what we felt would be appropriate. So we made our own. We didn't have a cross shaped pan or time to order one so we simply took our cake recipe and baked it in a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish - it was a little tricky to remove but - that's what frosting is for after all! To make the cross we simply cut off a section lengthwise and cut that into two pieces to add onto each side of the larger center piece - there was a little extra left over for snacking. Alternately, you could also make a template out of wax paper. we trimmed all the edges square. Then we just covered the whole pieced together cake with frosting.
Christian helped big sister Katie bake the cake the night before which is from one of my favorite books for old fashioned desserts, The Country Mothers Cookbook
Daisy's Nutmeg Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease and lightly flour two round 9" layer cake pans (we used a 9"x13" Pyrex baking dish)
2 cups sifted cake flour (we used unbleached white)
2 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (we used ground)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Sift these ingredients together into a medium sized bowl, set aside
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl cream butter and vanilla together until light. Add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition. Add beaten eggs, one-third at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Then alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk by thirds to the creamed mixture - beating only til smooth after each addition - don't overdo.
Turn batter into prepared pans (or dish) - bake until cake is light brown and tests done when pressed lightly with fingertips - about 30 minutes. Turn out on a wire pan to cool. If using the Pyrex baking dish - loosen the sides with a knife and use an offset spatula to loosen the bottom.
Ice when cool - this recipe makes plenty -
6 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
4 cups sifted powered sugar
In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, lemon juice, and peel. Gradually blend in powered sugar. If frosting is too stiff, blend in 1 tsp cold water at a time until desired consistency.
Katie collected and rinsed the fresh violets that adorned the cake - they are edible. The pan was dusted with powered sugar.
My mom found a little something for the center of the cake -
The rest of the menu included-
grilled hamburgers and hot dogs
fresh green salad with grated beet and carrot
walnut lentil salad
Really very easy - we had some family and a few of Christian's friends - a bunch of boys running around the lake catching newts. fish, frogs - they loved it! Christian had a very special weekend - can you tell?