We were eight women on a recent winter evening, practicing our buttercream letters. Some of us had made many cakes and were looking to perfect decorating skills, others were new at the craft.
Each of us carefully chose icing tips shaped like stars or circles or moons, and created dozens of beads, rosettes, petals and leaves. We did script writing and printing, most of us choosing “Happy Birthday!” We made hearts and pumpkins, curliques and balloons, and then when our icing ran out we replenished it with more luscious buttercream.
We had a wonderful teacher for the group, Georgia Finnerty, a baker with Hubbard Avenue. We watched as she showed us how to create cakes and decorate them beautifully. But what was even more interesting was studying each other’s techniques. We could watch mistakes, brilliant accidents, and successes among us. When one woman asked if there was another medium to practice with, rather than wasting (or eating!) all the icing, another woman suggested mashed potatoes. We learn from the experts and we learn from each other.