An Elegy for Van Gogh


When my mom was visiting recently I bought a few of her favorite flowers—sunflowers—for the guest room. After she left they were still lovely, but definitely close to death. Fresh, vibrantly alive sunflowers are fine and all, but it's the dead and dying ones I love the most. The petals deepen in color and take on texture and character. Seeing them in the vase in that state I thought immediately of Van Gogh. And me being me, I thought next of cake.


They've been dormant and drying in the kitchen for a few weeks now while I pondered what, exactly, I wanted to create. Finally, today, inspired by the need to test a recipe for an upcoming article and looking for something to do with the kid after camp I baked up two 6" layers of perfect white cake (recipe in the works) and whipped up a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (from THE BAKER'S APPENDIX). Armed with paintbrushes and some inspiration we got to work...