Mum Reflections: The Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book

The Australian Women's Weekly Birthday Cake BookI’m not talking any of the later imitations – I’m talking the original circa 1978 version with jelly swimming pools, milky bar and licorice piano keys and fairy castles with turrets made from cleverly disguised upside down ice cream cones.

My sister and I would spend at least six months pouring through the glossy pages weighing the merits of the sweet shop (with miniature candy and hand drawn sign) over the dolly varden with custom iced skirt (that starburst pattern was tricky).

As a result I can still name my birthday cakes from age 3-15, in order and totally from memory (it is important you know that I am not exaggerating here).

On reflection it was the perfect DIY manual – clear pictures, basic tricks and cheap, cheap, cheap which meant (from our mothers’ perspective) a bit of time in the kitchen with the Kenwood on full and a trip to the dairy for the freckles or musk sticks or chocolate fingers and you were home and hosed.

And the shame if all your mother produced was the stink old number of your birthday (inevitably rolled in the coloured dessicated coconut) ….proof she didn’t really, really love you.

As much grief as this book caused our mother throughout the 1980s, to this day, she refuses to pass on her battered, icing smeared copy to me.  You can’t even get a decent first edition on trademe anymore and I’m not interested in those “new” versions – they’re only for pretenders.

One Comment on "Mum Reflections: The Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book"

  1. Rebecca says:

    Mum won’t let me have hers either. It has all the birthdays of 4 kids written beside the photos. I have the new one and there’s only 4 changes so it’ll do us :-)

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