My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Saturday, June 21, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: Nailed it!

I could admit that I'm a frazzled day late with my SkyWatch Friday post. Or...I could claim that I've intentionally timed posting this beautiful sunrise to sync with today's Solstice! Yeah, let's go with that second one and pretend I nailed it!

Sunrise from our patio, 6/15/14

The day of that sunrise was also our next door neighbor's birthday, and since Carol had contributed greatly to BW's birthday earlier this month, we decided to surprise her with a cake. I'd seen this one on Pinterest,…


thought it looked fun and fell for the old "shoot, that looks easy!" trick. And it might have been, except that #1, cutting jicama stars freehand is harder than one might think, and #2, when Carol replied to our birthday ecard at 7:45 that morning, she mentioned she was heading to church and as soon as she returned they were leaving to spend the day and evening in the mountains. So yikes, instead of having most of the day to make her cake, we only had an hour! I'm sure we looked just like the frenzied chefs in those sadistic TV cooking competitions (much as I'd rather think I bore a striking resemblance to the gorgeously unflappable Chef Chloe!)

Anyway, after feverishly hacking and hulling and peeling and carving and impaling with toothpicks various fruity raw materials, we ended up with this rather pitiful yet somehow still deliciously festive birthday offering:


Though probably a candidate for one of those humiliating, sarcastic, hysterical "Nailed It!" epic fail collages, at least Carol seemed pleased with it! (Of course, it helps that I didn't show her the photo we were working from!)...


June has certainly provided us with lots of excuses for celebration, starting with my seventh "Blogiversary" on the 4th, several birthdays beginning with BW's on the 6th, Father's Day (and Carol's birthday) last Sunday, our 26th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, and now Summer Solstice! Whoo-hoo, party on!!!


Partying - yep, nailed it! ;-)

No fails here ~ just skywatchers around the world nailing celestial photography:

24 comments:

  1. Wow, you have had a lot of celebrations in June! Happy Anniversary to you! Your cake is cute! I just love your sunrise capture, gorgeous! Happy skywatching and have a great weekend!

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    1. I know, we really should spread them out more because there are some months we have to celebrate for no reason. :-) Glad you like the sunrise, and hope you have a great week, Eileen!

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  2. Love the solstice - all of them, your sunrise, and that cake.
    It looks the very best type of cake to enjoy. Full of flavour - and some of my most favourite things.

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    1. Thank you, Ellie Sue - and a belated happy Winter Solstice to you! I must say, we bought way more fruit than we needed, so in addition to the fruit we bought that didn't make it onto the cake (red grapes, bananas, pears, apples, cantaloupe) we had plenty of leftovers from those that did, and enjoyed every bit! Love this time of year with all the fresh fruits and veggies!

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  3. What a wonderful cake ~ very healthy and Happy Solstice ~ Happy Anniversary too! And Fantastic Sky shot for SWF ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you! :-) Enjoy your week!

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  4. Carol is one lucky woman to have received such a lovely cake! I love it! Even though it doesn't look like the original photo it still has a ton of charm (and I can just imagine what trying to slice jicama into stars is like!).

    The sunrise is stunningly gorgeous. The colors are so deep & rich!

    Happy solstice to you and may you not have a party fail like that last picture! ha! :)

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    1. Thanks, Molly! She told BW that no one had ever made her a birthday cake before (I'm guessing she means as an adult? Though since she's the youngest of a dozen kids, maybe not!), which I found pretty amazing given that she has 4 kids of her own and a step-son from her current marriage, plus she worked as an elementary school teacher. You'd think someone would have made her a birthday cake at some point in her previous 64 years!

      I'd bought a star-shaped cookie cutter (it's what made the star on the cake's top), thinking I could use it to make a template, and then just cut the star shapes smaller. Nope!! BW suggested the jicama "stripes," though if I hadn't been so rushed, I would have cut them into pickets so it would have looked like a white picket fence going around the cake. That would have looked cute!

      It was a beautiful sunrise, and it had been a while since we had one that colorful!

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  5. The photo is stunning. And anytime one makes another person smile, you have nailed it! As for the stars, some folks have expensive little cutters just for food designs!

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    1. Thank you, and I love what you said about nailing it when you make someone smile! :-) I reckon the person who made the "model" cake had a much larger watermelon than we did, as well as better cutting implements and definitely a small star-shaped cookie cutter. The only one I could find was a big plastic one. I was definitely shopping for cookie cutters at the wrong time of year! I need to keep my eyes peeled for some of those smaller ones, though I'd rather find them at a summer garage sale. :-)

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  6. Snazzy looking sky...and cake! :-)

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    1. Can't take credit for the sky, but am glad you think the cake was snazzy! :-)

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  7. A wonderfull czke, happy summer!

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  8. What a lovely sky AND good-looking tower of fruit. Hey, looked good to me...nailed it fer sure ;-).

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    1. LOL - you're easy to please. :-) I think it only looks a bit pitiful when you see the two cakes together. I'll say this for it - it was colorful, juicy, tasty and healthy! :-)

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  9. What a wonderful cake made of fruits! And a lovely sky shot too.

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    1. Thank you, the cake was fun to make, despite being rushed. And skies that beautiful are always fun to photograph (as you know!) :-)

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  10. I can't believe you can see such skies from your patio! I think the cake has a kind of quirky charm that's missing from the original — and to think you pulled it off in record time makes it even more special. I have to make a cake that will be served at our son's wedding, and while my cake making skills are just fine, my decorating skills are about a zero on a scale from 1 to 100.

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    1. Thank you, Andrea, we think your'e right about its unique and quirky charm! :-) Plus, I recently noticed that one of the blueberries had fallen off the prototype cake in the Pinterest picture, so I didn't feel so bad about ours after that. LOL

      When is your son's wedding? Wow, that's a bit of pressure! Maybe you could subcontract out the decorating part? Or maybe your cake-decorating skills are better than you give yourself credit for. Or maybe your son and daughter-in-law to be would appreciate some unique quirkiness of their own at their wedding! :-)

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  11. First off, I commend you for attempting to do anything "new" at all. These days, I'm not finding time with keeping up with the old, never mind trying the new.

    And I think your offering for Carol was very festive. I'd have scratched the whole thing knowing I only had an hour and made a bowl of fruit. Clever of you to go ahead with the project and just make a few small adjustments begining with making only one 5 pointed star and using rectangles for the rest. The watermelon is surprisingly flat and round so that's already a huge success. I can imagine that it'd be more likely to become the leaning tower of pisa.

    I think it was just as well that you didn't show Carol the original because NOTHING looks the same as on pinterest and your "fruitcake" was really pretty and so much better than traditional fruitcake that most people just pass along and never eat!

    Thanks for sharing and congrats for trying something new AND getting it done in an hour!!

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    1. Thank you for your generous compliments! :-) If I lived nearby, I'd make you a watermelon cake for YOUR birthday - it's perfectly timed for watermelon and other fresh fruits, after all - and with my now incomparable skills, I'd fashion it to look like a quilt, in the pattern of your choosing! LOL (Can't you just picture it??? What a debacle - but a delectable one!) :-)

      Your imagination is right, it was surprisingly challenging to get those hunks of watermelon to be round and flat! It leaned a TINY bit, and wasn't PERFECTLY round (at all), but it managed. And you're right, it's just as well Carol didn't see the template - all those DIY pictures on Pinterest, especially the ones labeled "EASY," are lies! Lies, lies, LIES!!! LOL

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  12. Of course you are NOT a candidate for "nailed it". It looks very nice both to the eyes and to the stomach. And for sure you are superwoman for having prepared it in just one hour.
    I didn´t know the word "unflappable", thanks for teaching me new vocabulary ;D.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra, you're very kind! But I was much too frazzled to be labeled a Superwoman (besides, I had a lot of help from Superman!) :-)

      And I hope you find lots of reasons to use the word "unflappable!" :-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"