Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mid-Century Mom Bakes a Cake!

Good evening, all. I hope every single one of you has had a chance to watch the premiere of Mad Men tonight. :) Not me, alas. Once again, living in a Mid-Century Modern home on the edge of a forest has led to us being without power...for the tenth time since we moved there in 2007. Sigh. At least my dad lives near us and has power for me to get this post done. No Mad Men here, though, as my kids really REALLY want to watch PBS Sprout. I feel like such a good mid-century mom, putting their happiness before my own desire to see people in beautiful outfits drinking. LOL.

Thank you, Getty Images. This image suited my needs just perfectly today! :)

You know what feels REALLY very mid-century mom to me? Baking a cake! I mean to me (and probably many others) this seems to be the activity I see most when watching old television programs or talking with ladies of that generation. Baking was an art form!

The lady in this image is 100% mid-century mom with her frilly, colorful apron, conservative dress, and bright, beautiful smile. The cake she is holding out may not be the stuff of current TLC programming, but it has a subtle, gentle beauty, small and well-formed with the yummiest looking buttercream frosting.

Before we get to what I actually look like baking the cake, I have to show you my festive, fun outfit. I didn't just bake a cake because I enjoy it (more on that later)...but because it was February and my husband and my son share birthdays (almost--one is the 11th and the other the 12th). I needed to show them some love and at the same time fulfill one of my blog needs. (Anything for you lovely 36 followers!)

Like the lady in the photo, I have a full face of makeup, nice hair, pearls, and a very lady-like dress. I also have my baby girl in tow, but she is often there. ;)

But what shouts mid-century mom in the kitchen more than an a graphic apron? Exactly. Anthropologie has a TON of great aprons, and I just adore this one with its green/ivory floral print and snazzy blue buttons.

I had baked the cake for the prescribed time (from a box--baking is NOT my thing--miracle this one turned out so well) and once cooled, I brought out the very fabulous, in a can, whipped buttercream frosting (yum, yum, YUM!). I could eat it straight from the can but I do have to maintain my figure, so I will leave it for the cake.

Yes, that is a spatula, and yes, I am smiling nice and big. This is FUN! (I think the scents of the frosting and cake had put me in a sort of sugar wonder so many mid-century moms enjoyed baking...)

Trying to spread the icing perfectly is an art form...I really desired that it stay even and smooth. I think the little bend to my leg helps. (Either that or I really wanted you all to see the cuteness of my Boden kitten heels...aren't they just TDF?)

What would a birthday cake be without the candles? Since this was for both my husband and son, there were balloon candles AND number candles. If I was a better baker and artist, I would have piped balloons and written their names and ages in blue and purple. (Maybe in another post!)

Yes, that smile means I know I am nearly done. :)

And there it is...all spruced up and ready to go. Yes, Mr. Mid-Century Mom and Rex were very pleased. The cake lasted all of two days. (And there are four of us in the of whom is a baby and one who doesn't really eat cake--me! So for it to be gone so quickly is saying something!)

Final Thoughts: I am not a very good baker, have never been. The cakes, muffins, breads, etc. I make are fine, just not luscious. But you know what? Like the mid-century moms of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, my family was just fine with what I make, actually more than fine...based on the family's reaction, you would think I was one of the DC Cupcake girls. And that is perfect enough for me.

Ease of being a mid-century mom: 3 out of 5 (5 is the easiest to be a mid-century mom). I find that baking in heels and pearls is just okay. I find cooking in general a lot easier in flip-flops and shorts, but it wasn't terrible. The heels made me taller, so I had to bend over more and that got a bit tiring. And I was a bit concerned for my pearls, as they are real and very special to me. (Nothing happened...maybe if I had been working with hot oil it would be a different story, but baking doesn't really affect your The apron helped with the dress, and I felt like I could get into it more knowing my clothes would be fine.

I am so glad I was able to do two of these today. (See this post on making a snowman if you missed the one from this morning!) I do look forward to doing more, and hopefully it won't be another 6 months before I do the next one! ;)


  1. Um, this post would be absolute perfection if you were hanging out the window, showing off your cake to all the other mid-century moms, while you lovingly call out to the kiddies to come in because dad will be home from the office soon.

    Otherwise, very cute ;-)

    ha ha ha!!!

    Love these posts!

  2. Dina,

    So, I made it to your midcentury mom blog. I like the pearls, nice touch. :)

    I will have to see if I can find any pictures of your grandmother. Growing up in the 50s, mom, your grandmother, was definitely a midcentury mom. She wore nice dresses, had make-up on, and often pearls to work around the house and do errands.

    In the late 50s and early 60s she used to wear those capris pants like Laura wore on the Dick Van Dyke show. ;)



  3. i LOVE your apron! I've been eying anthro aprons for awhile but I can't bring myself to spend 30 bucks on one yet. cake looks yum!

  4. You look gorgeous my friend. So glad to see your MCM posts are back! It is fun/inspiring to see how women did things in that era and how you're carrying on a bit of it today. Lovely. I like your Dad's comment too. :)

  5. Aha! The only other person on earth aside from me who wears an apron while cooking! :-) It's a big joke in my neighborhood when I'm spotted in my apron. But I can't help it. I don't want food on my clothes. lol

  6. So adorable. Love the apron and I think you look so perfect while baking. I am sure the cake was delicious!

  7. You're too cute, especially in your heels and apron in the kitchen!


  8. I love your apron. :) These pictures are adorable! Great blog. I'm now following you!!

    Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Maddox is doing so much better! :)