And Recipe for the Raspberry Mascarpone Individual Cakes; her Family Famous Angel Food Cake will follow
Is she not the most beautiful 80 year old woman you have ever seen? And you should see her shop! You will drop; she will not.
Twas the hour before her party,
and all through the house,
everything was in order…
and ’twas as quiet as a mouse…
The candies were out, candles lit with great care,
The fairies and ladies had flowers in their hair.
The savouries and sweets were all lines on their trays
The coffee was ready, and the tea – there for days.
We snapped keepsake pictures of all of our pleasure
To share with out mother, later, and to treasure.
As she turned 80 on April 21. 2010
And we have to say it to believe it, over and over, again!
Our mother turned 80 April 21, 2010, and all who attended were blessed to be able to celebrate it with her. She has collected some very close and long friendships over her life, and many were able to attend. My sister, daughter, and I had just finalized the last of the finishing touches on every little plate in the garage (our set up area) and were taking photographs of the flowers when I heard the garage door open, and before I could even get to the door, there was mom – in all of her birthday glory, looking like the Fairy Godmother of Spring in colourful splendour.
Of course, she didn’t come in the front door. That hadn’t even crossed her mind on this special day. She has always been a back door kinda girl.
We didn’t miss a beat of our photo taking session. We whipped mom into position and started snapping before her eyes even adjusted to the inside light. And in true Helen form, she was silly, and funny, and bubbly and soaking in every minute of this “never dreamed she’d feel this young and be this old” birthday.
We had a few precious moments of family fun before guests were expected.
My sister, Judy, and I are hosting an afternoon tea to celebrate our mom, so let’s get some bubbly into this woman’s hands! Champagne, first!
Cheers to our dear mother, and may we be doing this for many, many more years to come. The guests began to arrive: granddaughter, Ragan.
And then more… some, friends for over 60 years.
Louise (mom’s first cousin), mom, Mary (friends since late teens), and Jean. Below, mom and Hazel are having a giggle over one of the many hilarious memories shared as life long neighbours in Red Deer, our first home town.
My lifelong friend, Marie, and Sheila, a dear family friend, enjoy a chat. Ninety one year old Kaye (sorry, Kaye – but I could not resist… you are just too perky for ninety one!) was too ill to come to the party, so she had her daughter drop a gift by (and was in the car to give a hug to mom). Again, amazing life long neighbours from Red Deer.
Helen and Mavis; Helen and Simone: mom never misses an opportunity for a hearty laugh.
Glasses filled and clinked amongst abundant hugs, energy and lovely floral spring perfumes fill the air as happy chatter, giggles and uproarious laughter ensue for the first portion of the “tea”! We had prepared nibbles set out on the island before opening the dining room for the tea sandwiches and goodies.
Cheeses, honeys, quince paste, and patéall brought back from Borough Market and Neal’s Yard Dairy in London for mom’s special day.
A bread basket prepared from my lessons learned at The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School in Bath, and Sesame Sticks were inspired by A Sweet Spoonful. I thought a retro shrimp jellied salad recipe of mom’s would be a perfect addition. Everyone used to rave about it, and at the party, all asked for the recipe! The patéin the foreground on the long white platter is actually duck rillette made by moi from duck confit legs and inspired by my recent trip to London. Vanja was all over this. (All recipes and the preparation involved in this event, will be posted shortly, so subscribe by e-mail if you are interested in them.)
I asked mom what it felt like to be old when she turned 50. (I was much younger then, and didn’t know any better.) And her answer has never left me. She said that her body ages and changes, but inside of her head she is a perpetual 35 year old. I believe that still to be true today, and know she would not disagree. As her daughter, I, too, am young at heart. Certainly, a lesson learned from my mother: Enjoy your life. You only live it once!
The double French doors were opened and the gals were invited into the dining room, or , “tea room” for the fancier goodies.
(Showing off my artwork on the dining room wall. Vanja actually likes to be involved in home decorating, but in this room, I have full reign!)
See the angelfood cake on the back of the table? My mother baked it for her own 80th birthday! Isn’t that phenomenal? She is unstoppable!
Another side note: my grandma Maude crocheted my tablecloth in the Queen Anne’s Lace pattern. When my grandmother turned 80, mom backed 20 of these angelfood cakes. They were iced in a delicate pink. I love that she baked this for her own birthday (at my request). No one could do it better!
I have collected antique and vintage head vases for the last several years, usually through ebay. I decked them all out in beautifully flowered hats for mom’s 75th party, too. At that time, I had little gossipy tidbits about mom that each was saying in speech balloons on little stands beside each head. This time, they were just posed beautifully in honour of mom. A friend of mine gifted me with two modern hatted headvase-type candles that I added to the display, lit, and they were charmed us with a warm twinkle.
There were several varieties of rolled and ribboned sandwiches prepared:
- Shrimp Salad (served at Maude’s 80th, too)
- Imperial Cheese and Dill Pickle
- Egg Salad
- Pear, Gorgonzola, and Toasted Walnut
And several open faced sandwiches and savory bites:
- Mushroom Paté(from Borough Market)
- Oak Smoked Tomato with Yogurt Cheese (Tomatoes from Borough Market)
- Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes filled with Kalamata Olives, Garlic and Basil
- Smoked Salmon wrapped around Homemade Boursin and a Caperberry, garnished with Dill
- Cucumber on Rye and Watercress on Rye
Left to right, below: jellied shrimp salad rounds on cucumber, olive stuffed cherry tomato, mushroom patéon rye
Second row: oak roasted tomato and yogurt cheese on rye, smoked salmon and boursin wrapped caperberry, homemade 24 hour dill pickles
The sweets were numerous:
- shortbread sandwiches in yellow and pink: coconut and almond, respectively
- a shortbread tassie dome filled with crÃ¨me fraiche
- miniature berry tarts and lemon curd tarts topped with sugared violets
- ginger tassies filled with crÃ¨me fraiche, topped with orange zest and a candied kumquat
- pistachio marzipan and almond marzipan stuffed shortbread boats
- chocolate ganache cranberry round
- candied orange pieces
- white and dark chocolate Bailey’s truffle filled hearts
- mini-macaron kisses sandwiched with Marzipan from Mary’s in Brussels
Time to indulge! And after the nibbles in the kitchen, that were heartily enjoyed, I was a bit worried that the “real” delectables would not be enjoyed. Wrong! After the gals breezed through, we replated everything, and some things twice. That made me feel so good!
It was a rite of passage for me, too. I was now my mother, hosting her 80th, as she had done years ago for her own mother. I have known, and loved, most of these faces all of my life. What a wonderful gift to grow old with dear friends.
And then it was time for the birthday cake. Our traditional family birthday cake is mom’s famous angelfood cake, as I have said, but, I did promise her that I was making her a special cake.
So, we repositioned her, and out came her cake. It took awhile to get her sitting and ready for us to sing to her again! She was just having too much fun!
She might have been surprised when we brought it out, had she not come through the garage and already seen all of the surprises. (double grin to you, mom!) But, she has a way of expressing her appreciation!
My mother is hilarious, as you can see. She is a woman who understands the power of expression and one who believes in relishing life and finds her joy in serving her family and friends.
And here is the cake I promised you, mom. For her 75th, I made individual chocolate mousse cranberry cakes with a miniature rose topping each. I wanted more of a celebration of Spring in this cake to celebrate the Spring of my mother’s life.
I love the Spider Mum on the top. It is like fireworks beaming out of the cake. And raspberries? She and I share many memories of raspberry picking throughout our lives, and this is definitely a favourite of hers.
Then the cards. And gifts. More laughs and hugs and giggles and hilarity.
Hilarity? Did I say she is undaunted? A gift of chocolates was opened and started to fall on the floor. As she went to pick them up, more fell as she was vibrating with laughter. She couldn’t retrieve them without getting down on the floor. Did I say she was a back door kinda gal? She gets a kick out of doing the unexpected.
On a more serious note, nothing does daunt my mom. If a job needs to be done, she does it. Even now. Tenacious does not begin to describe the quality of character my mother has demonstrated over the years when faced with hard work or challenge. Backing down, saying “no”, or not doing something has never been an option. Even at 80.
My dad and Don (Mary’s husband from Kelowna) arrived, as planned, when the cake was brought out and were enjoying some snacks in our conversation room at the front of the house. Wondering, no doubt, what in the world was going on in the next room.
Louise gave mom a bottle of gin. Hilarious. Yet, everyone knows that mom loves her double (triple) stiff drink at cocktail hour before dinner every night. She just doesn’t have it every night… but, on any special occasion, this is her party in a glass.
No one drank one drop of tea. The bottles of sparkly were poured and then a few cups of coffee enjoyed. My, oh my, how times have changed. Ladies in their eighties do know how to have fun! More chat and then farewells. Mom had her little thank you gifts at the door, though the first few to leave missed them.
What a beautiful day. It was sad that some very dear friends missed this time with us, but that happens. They, and my daughter, Lauren, and Judy’s son, Denver, were all missed on this day. The next day, the ladies and some treats were carted over to mom’s by mom and dad! My sister stopped by and took a few “day after” photos. I don’t think either of us have ever seen mom not looking lovely when we have just “popped by”.
Dad turned 80 in September. Now they are both “the same age”, and still growing together. They will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary November 6, 2010, and that will be a party! I cannot even imagine. I am not sure I will have the energy for it, but I know that my mom will! I love you, mom!
Helen’s 80th Individual Raspberry Cream Birthday Cakes
Makes eight 3 – inch cakes (I made 24, so tripled the recipe)
Recipe from Helene of Tartlette.
For the sponge cake layers
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour
pinch of salt
Prepare the cake layers:
- Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (80g) of the confectioner’s (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don’t have a mixer).
- In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks.
- Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible.
- Combine the flour and salt.
- Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
- Pour the batter into the prepared half sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly brown.
Egg whites being beaten while cake flour is sifted
Egg yolk mixture beaten and whites folded into mixture
Spreading batter onto pan
Egg white mixture and egg yolk mixture
Folding and spreading
I layered plastic wrap between individual cakes before freezing.
I wrapped the individual cakes really well, and froze them until two days before the party. Vanja cut the acetate for me, and taped it together the night before I needed it. I took the cakes from the deep freeze and put one into the bottom of each acetate round, and placed raspberries around the edges. Now I was ready to make the Mascarpone Honey Mousse.
For the mascarpone mousse:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 1/2 cup (125ml) honey
- 3 oz (90gr) mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
Mascarpone and heavy cream whipped
Mascarpone, honey and egg yolk mixture to the left, egg whites being added to the right, and folded in below
I covered the berries with the cream and then another layer of the cake.
At this point, I tasted the cream with the berry, and the flavour of the raspberry seemed to overpower the cream tremendously. The cream was so delicious. It carried a very pronounced honey flavour accompanied by the delicate sweet buttery mascarpone. I decided I would have to use less berries on the next layer. This was later found to not be necessary. When the cakes were eaten, the berries did not overpower the cream. The flavour of the mouse held its own, and it would have looked better, more symmetrical, had I continued with the same pattern of berries. (Note to self for next 80th birthday celebration.) So, the first layer had 5 or 6 berries, depending upon their size, and the second layer had three. You can see this in the bottom photo where I adjusted them.
Prepare the mousse:
- Whisk the egg yolks to break them up in the bowl of stand mixer (or with hand held beaters).
- Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 Tb of cold water in a small cup and let it bloom.
- In a heavy saucepan set over medium high heat, bring the honey to a boil and cook until it reaches 240F. Remove the pan from the stove and pour it carefully into a cup with a spout (easier to pour) .
- Dissolve the gelatin in the microwave for 10 seconds, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
- While still whipping the yolks, slowly pour in the hot honey, being careful to temper them and not cook them.
- Pour the gelatin over the egg/honey and whip together for a few seconds and add the mascarpone, one tablespoon at a time. Whip until cooled to room temperature and has tripled in volume
- In another bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks or if you are using a stand mixer, pour the mousse into a large bowl and clean the mixer bowl thoroughly, or use another mixer bowl if you have one.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the mousse trying to deflate the whole thing as little as possible. Use immediately.
I made the butter cream before I took these out of the deep freeze.
For the buttercream:
- 1 cup (200gr) sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 3 sticks (340gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
This is the beautiful marshmallow consistency you need before you take it off of the stove top. It then gets beaten until stiff, as in the photos above, with the whisk. The paddle is put on the mixer for adding the butter, piece, by piece.
This is the consistency of the finished mousse.
Prepare the buttercream (can be made a week to a month ahead):
- Place the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
- The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream (temperature should be about 235-238F or 113-114C).
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth.
- Once all the butter is in, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-8 minutes. Proceed per recipe or store for up to a week in the fridge or 3 months (well wrapped in the freezer).
Assemble the cakes:
- Prepare acetate molds to match the size of your cutter, and place them on a baking sheet.
- Cut the cake rounds and place each round at the bottom of each mold
- Place a layer of raspberries on the outside; fill with mousse to the top of the raspberries
- Top with one round of cake; more raspberries and mousse and a final round of cake
- Place in the refrigerator and set overnight
- When the mousse is set, cover with the butter cream and refrigerate
These cakes were not easy to ice. I had, and needed, a rotary stand. I am a perfectionist, and wanted the icing perfect. I did manage to get it perfect, for the most part… but it took hours to ice 24 of these cakes. Hours.
But, was it worth it? Absolutely!
Dear Valerie—THANK YOU for such a LOVELY FUN PARTY—As I’ve said to many this birthday lasted a whole week and today I relived it all over again with great howls of laughter – at those crazy expressions . The pictures are really great. XXXOOO
Oh what a lovely lovely post! It feels like I was there, and certainly can feel the joy and happiness! Your mom is sooooo adorable, I wish I can be like her at 80! What an amazing family you have, and needless to say that those mascarpone-raspberry tiramisu are gorgeous, looks like they come straight from a pastry shop. Happy mother’s day to Helen!
I made this angel food cake. It turned out great. I couldn’t save it for icing. I had to have it immediately. Thank you so much for this recipe. My first time ever baking this angel food cake. It won’t be my ladt time.
Valerie Lugonja says
I am tickled to hear this. Mom will be thrilled. Still our favourite!
Valerie Lugonja says
Great news, Linda!
Thrilled to hear this. Mom will be delighted!
Angie's Recipes says
Helen, Happy Happy 80th Birthday to you!
Valerie, that’s a great party! You made all the canapes, sweets and cakes??!!! Wow…I can’t even cook for 4 people! You are a super woman.
Your mom is such a lovely and charming lady! She is so happy! I love the picture of her sitting on the floor….so crazy, so fun, and so YOUNG…those scenes that you usually just see them in a student party!
The individual sponge cake with buttercream and raspberry looks so GOOD! I need to read the post one more time!
Angie's Recipes says
Valerie, could you ask your mom how she keeps the whole place so clean and tidy? LOok at the floor…oh man, so shiny clean…and I love that CLOCK! Now I am off to feed my cats..they are meowing and meowing…
Very sweet, Angie… it is at my house, and I confess – working full time. (Cleaning lady) And, my dad made the clock. From scratch. It is his hobby. Well, not anymore. He has made over 30 of them. One day, many years ago, he decided he wanted to build a grandfather clock, so he studied them, and drew a picture. He bought the walnut wood and made every piece by hand. He used his lathe and router to cut the decorative pieces. He would scavenge oak and recycle it, too. He also made stunningly gorgeous roll top desks. I have one that he gave me for my university graduation that might find its way into a picture one day. I know he will be thrilled you noticed. 🙂
Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says
Oh my, what a lot of work! Everything is so lovely. I’m sure it was fun to make it all. I hope you had some help! Or you would be saying HELP! You have a beautiful collection of head vases. I have only one – the green one so prim and proper, second from right in one of the first pictures.
Sarah! I am so excited! You are the first person I “know” that also has one! Aren’t they adorable? I love the charm they bring to a special ladies event!
Nikki Stoyko says
All I can say is that you have a pretty hip mom! I love her outfit! And all that food looked beautiful! What a fantastic celebration!
krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com says
what a fabulous party! you definitely made her 80th bday special! i loved the pictures with your mom smiling from ear to ear. you can see so much happiness on her face. just melts my heart!
i wanted to stop by your blog to respond to your question about the grape leaves on our site.. since i don’t know a lot about grape leaves, i found an article for you that would help you out –
hope this helps! let me know if you end up making anything with the grape leaves 🙂
Beautiful pictures Val! It takes me right back to the day. You made it a wonderful memory. Thank you so much. Mom is so beautiful!!
Your mom does indeed look fabulous! Her complexion and her skin and especially her smile (infectious) make her look decades younger!
What a wonderful daughter she has: in that she is truly blessed. If my daughter threw a party like that for me I would consider myself the luckiest person alive!
Wonderful conviviality and offerings; I don’t want to go over every single one, but they are all tops.
You have created amazing memories for your mom and the family, and in that you are to be highly commended. May your mom have many many more of these celebrations to come.
Hey Valerie! Yeah for Helen! She’s so cute-I hope I look that good when I’m 80. I’m going to look at her cake recipe with a bit more intent in a moment.
By the way, the photos aren’t coming up at all after your Mom’s pic. I don’t know if something is wrong from my end or not???
Christine @ Fresh Local and Best says
OMG! What I would do to be part of your family!!! It looks like you girls had so much fun! I love all of those hilarious pictures, and let me tell you they just kept on getting better and better as I scrolled down!
Also the food! What a magnificent spread!
Valerie, your Mom is such a beautiful woman. Woot woot for 80!! And then there’s Kaye at 91??!! Boy oh boy I’d love to know her secrets. How sweet of her to come all the way to drop off a gift and a hug!
What a lovely spread of cheeses, pate and bread. And the dessert, oh my the dessert. Talk about food porn lol. You sure know how to spoil your guests. If it made you feel good that stuff had to be replated, you’ll definitely love me…teehee. I loved all those pictures of your Mom with her birthday cake. That is such a beautiful cake Valerie! You’re killing me with all those yummy closeup shots though. Your Mom is definitely one of a kind! I laughed out loud at her little tumble (sorry Valerie’s Mom), too cute!! Now I’m starting to see your Mom’s secret, a huge loving circle of friends and family and LOTSA laughter 😀 May I add that she has such a contagious smile as well? When I look at that smile I can’t help but smile too. Thank you for sharing this oh so lovely post with us.
Happy belated 80th/35th Valerie’s Mom Helen! 😉
Hope you and your Mom have a super Mother’s day filled with s’more wonderful food and laughter! Until next time Valerie 😀
5 Star Foodie says
wow, your mom looks fabulous! And what a terrific celebration feast! So many yummy treats and the individual raspberry ceam cakes look just heavenly!
This is such a beautiful post! Happy Mother’s Day to your Mom! I can’t believe she is 80 years old. I wish I had even half her spunk when I get to her age – I’d love to outshop everyone!
Valerie, as others have said, your mother’s smile is infectious… I was smiling the whole way through your post! I love her dress too. And I know what you mean when you say she always looks great when you drop by – my Nanny is like that too.
Beautiful cheeses, terrines, cakes and treats for what sounds like an amazing party. That duck rillette sounds fab, and I’m keeping my eye out for your post on it. You certainly incorporated the spring season well! Happy belated to your mom!
Reading this brings tears to my eyes as I realize how wonderfully stong and young we are. I cannot believe that I was there to see grandma do this for Great grandma and now I get to see you do it for her. It is amazing that we can have this life fly by and yet, when you stop, just for a moment and look around, it mesmorizes you what has been done. It was amazing mom, and this entry is forever here to stay with the moments to charish for always.
Wow. I’ve been hoping for this post since the last one, when you kept mentioning how you were going to use all of the ingredients you picked up in London. But nevermind the food, I was too captivated by your mom! Congrats to her. It’s a really lovely post. – Rachel
Heavenly Housewife says
Wow! First of all, I officially love your mom, so I see why you would make such an extravaganza. Afternoon tea is such a fun way to celebrate. There is no person in the world worth more fuss than our mothers. What an absolutely beautiful spread, and your individual cakes are delightful :D. So cool that you saved your Borough market goodies for this (though i am a little surprised customs allowed cheese though customs–they always give me such a hard time with stuff… guess u must be very charming indeed LOL).
*Birthday Kisses* to your mom, and happy mothers day! Have a great weekend.
Lots of love, HH
Wow! Your mom looks absolutely stunning and she is 80??!! I am totally amazed! And what a fantastic party you threw her! Those photos had me laughing; your mom is indeed a great character. What a truly lovely mother.
Love your vases too! So funny to see them on that table with their lovely flower heads and that cake is just perfection!
bellini valli says
Thanks for sharing such a special day with us Valerie. My own mom is about the same age and headed on a trip with dad to the Lake District in England to do some hiking. Do we have our mom’s spirit and energy. I hope so!!!!
Absolutely incredible!!! Wow, wow, wow…you are quite the talented lady Val! I’m impressed but not surprised at this lovely day you put on for your mom:)
This is a tremendous post. If I may… confess that it has brought me to tears- literally!! If I am ever homesick, it is now. This blog is pure art in its purest form. Mother, you have a talent for writing. The words you used to describe grandma couldn’t have been more perfectly chosen. I am amazed at the effort you went through to show your love and celebration to grandma. You are amazing. Every little detail. How you described the birthday cake (“I love the Spider Mum on the top. It is like fireworks beaming out of the cake. I wanted more of a celebration of Spring in this cake to celebrate the Spring of my mother’s life”) is evidence that you don’t only love to bake and create, but there is 100% of LOVE behind everything you do. As I scrolled down at the description of that lovely birthday cake i teared up even more… how am I to ever follow in your giant footsteps by living miles apart? Mother, I am so amazed at your talent, your creativity, your love, your expression and your energy… ALL characteristics of grandma Helen. Now, if things are to align in my favor, I would be ecstatic to become half the women you two are!! MUCH MUCH MUCH LOVE!!!
Happiest 80th birthday Grandma! You are my inspiration! I love you for the high energy, compassion, love, dedication, exuberance, and comfort you show to me constantly! MISS YOU and LOVE YOU! xo Lauren
ps, mother dearest, did you notice how I transitioned my sentences to include capitals?? LOVE YOU!
Joan Nova says
I know this post was written for a birthday but it was lovely to read on Mother’s Day. Your mother looks as young as the Spring party you threw for her. This was a great piece, sentimentally and visually. I enjoyed everything about it (and those antique heads are too cute!)
Your mom seems like a hoot! Love all of the photos of her laughing so hard!! Your cakes are beautiful – love the mums on top (both pretty and appropriate as they’re made for your mum!)
I was really touched reading this post and it also made me cry; the love you have for your Mum and family and the wonderful party. Your Mum has such humour and spiritedness and I think if you have those, you’ll never grow old. Thanks for sharing these special moments which mean so much and for those cakes are incredible.
What a wonderful story and photos! You’ve really caught your mother’s joie de vivre, and that cake looks fantastic. What a tribute:)
How on earth did you get all those cakes (and everything else) made for the party and looking so lovely without having a breakdown?
You are amazing.
I love the photos of your Mom blowing out the candles. What a great day she had!
What a beautiful post and what a beautiful mother you have~God bless her!!!What would we do without our moms!!!
Valerie, I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of work you did to put on this amazing event for your mother. WOW! Everything looks perfect, and those raspberry cakes look especially fantastic. The cheese and meat spread from Neal’s Yard Dairy had me drooling. Clearly you are inspired by your mother who is going strong at 80! Congratulations to you both.
The Teacher Cooks says
Your parents are not 80! What a grand party and your cakes are stunning. Can you send me one for my birthday in July? I don’t know how you did all of it. Everything was beautiful and I love the head vases!
WOW. I agree with everyone else, I can’t even begin to fathom how long it took you to make everything. You must have been absolutely exhausted afterward. Your mother must have felt like royalty that day for sure 🙂
Diane Hayes says
Helen – I had no idea you were celebrating a milestone birthday.
I’m sure you enjoyed your celebration.
Thank-you for past favours and guidance over the years.
Wow, your mother looks amazing for her age!! Happy Birthday to her!
Excellent story and Happy 80th birthday to your mom. My sister and I are planning a surprise celebration of life 80th for our mom in February and hope it is half as good as yours. Thanks for sharing!
Lauren Rodgers says
reading this post again to poach pictures for the photo book i am putting together for G&G and honestly… you are amazing!! seriously! individual raspberry cream birthday cakes? i LOVE that idea!! love you! xo
Anna Olson says
Beautiful website Valerie! Thank you for the inspiring visits!
Congratulations on your mother’s birthday and your daughters wedding-well done Bravo!!
Wonderful of you to stop by! Are you “the” Anna Olson – or just “a” Anna Olson?
I will get back to you soon!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Oh, I love it! How blessed are you that your beautiful mother is still with you and so very spritely! Congratulations on the wedding too! Love reading your blog! Love and hugs L
Megan Gordon says
Wow, wow! Looks like quite a party and what an incredible looking, vibrant, beautiful Mom. Glad you enjoyed the sesame stick recipe. Have a great week, m
I LOVE YOUR POST! This is so awesome website! I would love to meet your family. After reading your posts, I feel like I already know them. I love your mother’s smile; it’s contagious. Looking at her, one can’t help but to smile too. Love your Dad’s huge smile too. It’s easy to see that you grew up in a very happy, loving family.
I was searching for a recipe and came across your post with your mother’s angel food cake and it so reminded me of my own mother’s special touch when baking angel food cakes. Tradition goes on, but I really need to try your mother’s step-by-step instructions! Recently my grandson turned 22 and his mother asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he said, “Mom, is there any other kind of cake? Grandma’s angel food cake, of course! I am one of 13 children and my mother always baked whatever cake each child wanted for their birthday and I always requested her angel food cake. None of my children have ever tried baking it, but I think when I try your mother’s step-by-step instructions, my daughter will be invited over to watch and to help. Thank you for your posts! By the way, my son moved to Canada, after his marriage, since that’s where the love of his life lived. I love Canada and will be there after Christmas.
Valerie Lugonja says
Wonderful to meet you, Marilyn!
Where do you live now and where in Canada has your son moved? Mom is now 86!! Would love to hear from you when you make the cake to know how it went.