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Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Clean Nerdy Birdy Cake

The aroma hit me as soon as I walked through the front door. It was like I had been transported to Candy Land. The smells of wonderful, delightful, chocolately sweets swept me right into her kitchen.

In her trademark red bandana and her crisp white apron, Sara Knight, the owner of Nerdy Birdy Bakery welcomed me into her home and into her top secret kitchen. 

Despite the commercial grade stainless steel work-top in the middle of her grand kitchen, the large stand alone convection oven, the neatly organized shelving units, and secondary refrigerator, this large kitchen was warm and friendly as Sara opened her Book of Secret Recipes.

I was here to make cake. Not just any cake, a first birthday cake, a smash cake, for my little boy's first birthday. And I had come to the home of Nerdy Birdy for a special cake. A "clean" cake.

Our family has committed to eating "clean" as much as possible. That means eliminating, when and where we can, unnatural sugars, white flour, whole grains, and any processed foods - which is a lot. It is a learning experience, a journey, and a lifestyle choice for us. It's something that we strive for daily.

This is not to say that we don't at times eat "dirty" food. We have storebought ice cream from time to time (even Parker has had his first ice cream from a store!), we go out to eat and are at the mercy of the restaurant, we eat at friends houses and enjoy whatever meal they have prepared for us. But for the most part, when we can control what goes in our mouth, we "clean" it up.

While I wanted my little one-year-old to have a delicious "smash" cake for his birthday celebration, I know too much. I know too much about the toxins and poisons people unknowingly put into their bodies every day and I just couldn't stand to feed that to my baby boy. But he had to have cake!

Enter the C L E A N  C A K E !

Nerdy Birdy operates a gluten-free, grain-free, toxin-free bakery near our home in Tennessee. I knew I could purchase a hand crafted creation from them but to complicate matters, I wanted to make Parker's birthday cake. 

So I called Sara up - we know each other through the CrossFit gym - and asked her... Could she make a cake for Parker but could I be there to help, assist, wash dishes, anything that would allow me to be a part of the process? Sara LOVED the idea and welcomed me with open arms! 

In fact Sara told me that I would make the cakes and she would be the assistant! Perfect

Oh, yes cakes.  There were two cakes, one for Parker's actual birthday and another for his birthday party.

So Parker and I pulled up to her large, beautifully decorated home and were ushered into the kitchen to be greeted by Sara's other passion, birds! They were a hoot and Parker loved watching them.

Over the course of the next 4 and a half hours we bumped elbows, to the sound of the high speed mixer, Sara gracefully moving about the kitchen pulling out this ingredient and that, while I measured, mixed and poured. 

We laughed and talked and the clock ticked by. We are both army wives, both mothers, both devoted to eating clean, both trying to perfect our CrossFit moves, both love to bake, the conversation flowed easily. 

And at the end? We had two clean cakes. They were flawless. And delicious. And I couldn't - and still can't - believe that I made them.

The birthday boy loved his cakes! Guests who got to sample the "clean" cake were impressed. The cake has sugar - but natural sugar, it has flour - but not white or grain flour. The taste was so rich and pure and true and delicious!

Will Parker always have a clean cake for his birthday? Probably not. Probably not every single birthday party for the rest of his life, no. 

Will I do it again? In a heartbeat. In an absolute heartbeat! 

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