Locals pick up cake decorating tips
by Anumita Kaur / For the Tracy Press
Jun 27, 2013 | 10012 views | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rita Rubin teaches the group how to decorate a book cake at the Tracy Branch Library on Tuesday, June 25.  Joel Danoy/Tracy Press
Rita Rubin teaches the group how to decorate a book cake at the Tracy Branch Library on Tuesday, June 25. Joel Danoy/Tracy Press
Adults and children watched intently as Rita Rubin, a Wilton cake decorating instructor, put the finishing touches on her book cake as part of the Tracy Branch Library’s summer reading program.

The group of about 20 people gathered in the Wadsworth Room of the library, 20 E. Eaton Ave., on Wednesday, June 26, for the 55-minute demonstration.

The cake demonstration represented the program’s theme, “Reading is so delicious,” and was intended to get the community reading throughout the summer.

Rubin guided the audience through applying an even layer of thin icing onto the cake. She explained that wrinkles can be ironed out by putting a paper towel on top of the cake and gently pressing with a spatula.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect; the longer you mess with it, the stickier it gets,” she said.

Rubin then traced a cartoon frog with piping gel. She recommends doing this on parchment paper to transfer drawings onto cakes.

She also stuck a fondant purple worm — “a bookworm” — in the corner of the cake and piped bright orange frosting onto its head for hair.

The last details were added in piped frosting.

Rubin has been a cake decorator for 30 years and believes it’s a good hobby to pick up.

“I started when my son was 1 and I couldn’t get what he wanted on his birthday cake at the bakery, so I said, Fine, I’ll teach myself,” she said.

Jeanette Frediani, of Tracy, took her 9-year-old daughter, Angelina Frediani.

“We stumbled across this — we were here after school, and she (her daughter) took an interest in seeing this,” Frediani said, “which is great because I enjoy doing cake decorating.”

Angelina named the frog on the cake “Sticky” and said “putting the icing on the frog” was her favorite part.

Madeline Arroyo, of Tracy, was also at the library with her 9-year-old daughter, Elise Arroyo.

“I love baking,” Arroyo said. “I like watching other people, learning their techniques.”

Elise said her favorite part was “when I’m gonna eat it” just before slices were served to the audience.

John Esquivel, a Tracy library volunteer, said more food-related activities are part of the summer reading program.

“It’s a fun way for the family to get together,” Esquivel said.

For more activities: www.ssjcpl.org/locations/county/tracy.html

Libraries have year-round clubs for kids

In addition to their summer reading programs, the Tracy and Mountain House branch libraries have weekly book clubs for children.

The Easy Reader Book Club, for students in kindergarten to second grade, meets at 3 p.m. Mondays at the Tracy library, 20 E. Eaton Ave., to discuss books read by the participants and do an activity. The Beginning Chapter Book Club, for students in second to fifth grades, meets at 3:30 p.m. Mondays.

In Mountain House, kindergartners to third-graders in the EZ Reader Book Club meet at 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the local branch, 579 Wicklund Crossing. The Beginning Chapter Book Club, for third to fifth grades, meets at 4:15 p.m.

Children can sign up and get more information about the clubs at the circulation desk at each library branch.

• Contact the Tracy Press at 835-3030 or tpnews@tracypress.com

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