Part of the Invisible Diaries series
Week 1/Day 6 Week 1/Day 5
We made cupcakes today and then sat around the table decorating them with sprinkles.
It occurred to me this would be a good replacement activity for decorating eggs, as my children are not really into boiled eggs, and they were born into an age when the Easter Bunny usually brings chocolates.
Understandably, Easter feels a bit low-key this year, but several things have converged into this cake-making activity. One, it’s a weekend and we are not behind our screens for work, so we are doing things together as a family. Two, my four-year-old has been going on about wanting to make a cake ever since she got the idea the other day about hosting a party. Three, I have been homesick so have been looking into recipes for some Serbian cakes, but have not dared introduce those to the children just yet, especially after husband’s rather successful attempt at making a ‘Kaiserschmarren’ (which is basically a torn-up pancake) was greeted with tears this morning, as it was neither a pancake nor a chocolate cake. Four, the failed baking experiment this morning only increased calls for some sort of compensation. Five, isn’t everyone baking at the moment anyway?
Someone shared a joke that’s going around Serbia at the moment along the lines of: people are working less, you can rest at weekends, everyone is asking after your health, people are playing cards, baking cakes every day, watching the news in complete silence, nobody is allowed to say anything against the President — this is basically socialism all over again! The ‘baking cakes every day’ particularly struck me — it is a small detail that rings true... And I’m particularly missing my grandma’s cakes at the moment, something called ‘koh’ (a semolina sponge cake soaked in milk), and something called ‘šnenokle’ (probably a bastardisation of German ‘Schneenockerl’ — snow dumplings made from separated eggs cooked in milk). As I said, potentially too much of a risk to attempt on my family...
Additionally, Orthodox Easter often falls on different weekends in Serbia than the rest of Europe, and as we don’t normally stay in London for Easter, we don’t even have a particular way of marking the occasion as a family. The cupcakes idea came about this afternoon quite spontaneously — as a result of the four-year-old getting out the paper cases and going on about wanting to make cupcakes — but it worked wonders on so many levels. Everyone got involved (well, with me mostly behind the camera making this photo story).
Husband said it was the first time he had ever beaten egg whites and the first time he made icing too — he had the idea to make sugar icing to help us stick the sprinkles on, as we didn’t have any other toppings and the sprinkles were absolutely indispensable, according to the four-year-old! It gave rise to much excitement and kept us all pretty busy for a while!
In the end, on his way to bed, six-year-old came up with his own corona-time joke: ‘I need a holiday! I have an idea, tomorrow, let’s all stay at home and do nothing!’
Images courtesy of Duška Radosavljević.
Duška Radosavljević is a writer, dramaturg and academic appointed as Reader at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has worked as a dramaturg in the UK for twenty years and has been a member of the Dramaturgs’ Network from its beginning, joining the Executive Committee in 2009. Duška writes regularly for the Stage Newspaper, Exeunt and the Theatre Times and is the author of the award-winning book Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the Twenty-First Century (2013). She currently holds a Leadership Fellowship funded by the AHRC investigating dramaturgies of speech and sound in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, Digital Theatre Plus and Victoria and Albert Museum, leading to a new book, a conference and a podcast.