Thursday, 26 July 2007

Indo-European language family tree

Fruit cake, lawn of green dessicated coconut, tree of gingerbread, covered in leaves of rice-paper painted with green food colouring and stuck on with icing. Totally edible, apart from the labels hung on each branch.

This was the cake that really began my Oxford academic baking career, back in the autumn of 2006. It was my friend Matt's turn to take a cake to the Philologists' lunch, and he pleaded for help - I responded that I would only bake for him if it was a challenge. It was. The moment we moved from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional concept was significant, and caused us rather a lot of pain and many many hours of work. More pain ensued the following morning when I discovered that the tree had collapsed and had to be re-baked! But it was worth it.

Further significance can be read from the length and height of each of the branches, reflecting Matt's particular language preferences, and as an attempt to undermine all those Classicists...

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