Ask the Gracious Ladies: Birthday Cake Edition

Dear Gracious Ladies,

I live in a safe house with a small group of survivors, and we have a birthday coming up!  I would love to make a cake or other delicious, fancy dessert for the surprise party, but my recipes from the old days all involve electric mixers and many ingredients.  Do you have suggestions for desserts that won’t tire out my zombie bludgeoning arm, and have easily looted ingredients?

Hostess in trouble

Dear Hostess in Trouble,

Ah birthdays! Celebrating life has become even more important given the uncertainty of the times we live in, hasn’t it? I remember when making birthday wishes were little more than an empty gesture on a Facebook wall. Nowadays, surviving another year from the onslaught of zombies is a genuine accomplishment. How nice of you to want to properly celebrate!

Now, to your question. The most easy part to answer is about the lack of machines in modern day baking. In order to fix this problem, I recommend you delegate these tasks to the children or less popular members of your survival group.

As for your question about ingredients, I’ve created a handy little list of the most common substitutions for when you are having difficulty looting key baking items.

  • Flour – you can make flour using acorns, corn, barley, rice, etc. You can pound most any grain into a passable flour mixture with a homemade primitive mill. All this takes is a large hand-held pounding rock and a flatter rock to pound on. I have the children mill as a part of their chores.
  • Sugar – stevia, honey, maple syrup, molasses and other ingredients should pass for when you are out of traditional sweeteners. (This is a great area to be creative in your looting. For instance, I once made a pastry using sweet n’ low packets I scavenged from tables at a diner.)
  • Eggs – this is a tough one to substitute but I’ve found that a ½ banana and/or ¼ cup oil will do the trick.

If your pantry is truly low, I recommend you consider taking a creative approach. Why not make a layered meat birthday cake out of venison steaks? You can carve-out root vegetables into an attractive floral arrangement. While nontraditional and a bit gamey tasting, this can satisfy everyone’s’ need to celebrate. After all, isn’t it the thought that counts?

May you make it to your next birthday,
Miss E

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One thought on “Ask the Gracious Ladies: Birthday Cake Edition

  1. Pingback: Strange Brew and Sweet Wine: Cocktail Parties for the New Age | Gracious Living in a Zombie World: A Ladies’ Handbook

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