Celebrating America’s Birthday With Some Fireworks In The Kitchen


The Flag Cake.

It’s a classic confectionery salute to the birth of our nation that steals the spotlight at celebratory picnics throughout the country.

God bless America and God bless The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten for motivating me to attempt her “how easy is that?” recipe for my own Forth of July gathering.

Yes, it would be much easier and cheaper to let a major mega-grocery store do the baking and decorating for me, but it’s America’s birthday.

Doesn’t she deserve a homemade cake with a half-dozen eggs, a pound each of butter and cream cheese, real vanilla and sour cream?

What better way for lady liberty’s hips to continue to expand and be the target of Obamacare.

There’s also the question of why heat up the oven when we are in the midst of a record-setting heat wave that has caused a Burn Ban to be in effect indefinitely.  That’s right, no fireworks.  No sparklers, no bottle rockets and no pyrotechnics show in the cul-de-sac.

As I put on my red, white and blue cruise wear made in Indonesia and prepared my baked beans in a casserole dish made in China, I was even more determined to bake the best flag cake this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Little did I know that raising the flag cake would be more like a battle from The Sands of Imo Jima than bringing to life the pages of The Betty Crocker Cookbook.

It seems the non-stick cooking spray couldn’t quite keep my cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan and it took two of us to beat it out onto the cooling rack.

And then, “bam, pow, bang!”

The beautiful pound cake came out of the pan in several pieces.

Determined to fly the cake flag, I ignored the kitchen hecklers and pieced the cake back together in the pan.  Spackle on some buttercream frosting and Betsy Ross couldn’t have made a more beautiful flag.  Flags have flown with bullet holes, what’s a few cracks?
And, what’s a Fourth of July celebration without good old American rock-n-roll?  Represented by my mother who rocked a Brett Michaels-like star-spangled Do-rag.  Though she looked more like Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Luckily our city elected to put on it’s public fireworks display despite many being cancelled all around us.  It was nice to listen to Lee Greenwood sing about proudly being an American and hum to the marches of John Phillip Sousa as the red, white and blue bursts of beauty filled the night sky.

Only to hear the following words ring out after the grand finale, “Oh my God, I’m so hot I just want to strip down naked.”  Those words spoken by our own star-spangled Rhoda, my mother.

Happy Belated Birthday, America!

© 2012 Terri Spilman

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18 thoughts on “Celebrating America’s Birthday With Some Fireworks In The Kitchen

  1. Always love your posts. I think I would have a hoot with you. Many of my cakes have stuck to the pan and required surgical assistance with tons of frosting. Like yours no one complained and leftovers never lasted long.

  2. Haha, that cake recipe looks like a heart attack in the shape of a flag! But it sure looks good. I do experience the same problem with non-stick spray, where things still stick. Must be made in China. 😉

  3. God Bless America, and Grandma “Rhoda.” 😉 This is a highly entertaining post. Mark it on your calendar to try to submit it to a magazine or contest –they’ll need several months lead time for a holiday piece.

  4. Ha, nothing says America like chaos and cussing I always say! Well, actually I never say that, but it’s true, and maybe I will start!

  5. I swear buttercream frosting is the new duct tape. Anything that can’t be put back together again with duct tape can be pasted together with frosting. And if you make it from scratch, with real egg whites, you can use the leftovers for a spa treatment face mask.

    Kudos to you, Terri, for making a cake from scratch. I can barely remember how to turn on the oven, so I’m quite impressed. Just like my aging, middle-aged face, I bet your cake had way more character with a few cracks in it. 😉

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