Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The modern era Cake Sale

The modern era Cake Sale
27 March 2013

Gone are the days of old, when kids went off to a Cake Sale, with R5 in their pockets and a sense of anticipation about the wonderful chocolate cupcake they were going to buy with their dosh.

Firstly, kids don’t have a measly R5 in their wallet for Cake Sale days anymore.  Fair enough – inflation, keeping abreast with market related pricing trends, etc.  Kids certainly need more than a measly R5.  We ran out of change, very, very quickly.  Hardly any coins at all.  The kids paying with a twenty or a tenner, I still found pretty normal.  It was those forking out a fifty or a hundred which really gave my pause for thought.  My poor deprived kids!

And speaking about kids - I have three kids.  Let me repeat that – three kids.  I am also not a new Mom.  And so I have done my fair share of Cake Sales.  My Mom likes to say that I’m civically minded.  That I always like to help at my kids schools and be of service.  I’d venture that she’s wrong.  Maybe I’m just nosy and inquisitive.  I don’t like missing out and I’d rather be in on the action and be there to help, than have to hear about it afterwards.  Furthermore, up until about Grade 6, kids really love having their Moms at school on Cake Sale Days, or any other special day for their matter.  It makes them feel good.  And I am very guilty of liking to make my kids feel good.  Selfishly, I also like the excessive quantities of love and appreciation I get, as well as the look of happiness on their faces when they see me at school. 

And so, in short I am a helping mom.  I supervise classes, I number raffle sheets, I help at Cake Sales, I cover text books, I work at Fun Days, I’m a time keeper at Gala’s, etc.  In short – I’m a sucker.  Yip, a sucker (not a suck-up – that’s something entirely different).  Still I love it.  For me, it is not a chore.  I am simple minded enough to actually enjoy it.

And thus, doing a quick spot of calculation I have come to the following conclusion - four Cake Sales per child, per year, for both of their pre-school years, one Cake Sale a year for each child for every year in Primary School, as well as the odd market day, School Fun Day, etc.  I would guestimate that I have most likely survived easily in excess of about 50 of these.  I know.  How stupid can one person be?  Apparently very.  A sucker indeed.  Ironically, my sister feels the same way as I do.  She is also “civically” minded (another sucker).  My mom got blessed with two.  She reckons it’s a backlash because we are the children of a teacher, and appreciate the hard work it takes and the support that is required from parents.

But, back to the story on hand.  This morning, I once again helped at the Cake Sale.  I am not saying that I’m so good or helpful or noble because I’m helping.  Not at all.  I’ve explained that I gain by doing this.  There are many moms that help and that do the civically minded thing too.  I am simply trying to illustrate, that I have a fair bit of experience when it comes to Cake Sales.

But today?  Today, I had an epiphany of sorts.  An eye opener if you wish.  Times, they are a changing.  How do I know this?  Well, it’s quite simple really.  I am used to Cake Sales with oodles of cupcakes, cake slices, muffins, lucky packets, popcorn, chips, pizza slices, cocktail sausage rolls, mini pies, sweeties, caramel bedecked eats, houndreds-and-thousands sprinkled treats, coconut ice, lollipops, pink sticky rice crispie snacks, etc.  You know the usual stuff.  The type of stuff moms send to school on Cake Sale days.  Perhaps they made the treats themselves.  Perhaps, they bought them.  It is not important.  The principal is very simple.  You supply the Cake Sale treats, give your kids money, and then they buy the treats back again, and the school gets the money.  It is an ancient custom and one that works well to raise funds.  It is fair.  It provides variety.  And the kids have awesome fun, gorging on sugar and having the opportunity to handle money and be consumers.

Therefore, imagine my surprise, when I was still busy in the “holding room” this morning.  It is in actual fact the staff room.  And on Cake Sale days, all goodies are sent to the kitchen and then sorted, categorised and priced in the “holding room”.  And the reason for my surprise?

Well, that is quite simple.  Gone are the days of years gone by.  Amidst the usual eats and treats that are expected, there was a plate of gluten free ginger cookies, a dish filled with lactose free cupcakes, as well as a platter of perfectly rolled home-made sushi.  I.  Kid.  You.  Not.

And most bizarre of all?  The sushi sold like “hot cakes”.  Though technically, I would prefer hot cakes myself.  The gluten free ginger cookies lingered for long.  But I’m blaming the ginger for that and not so much the lack of wheat products.  And those lactose free cupcakes?  Never saw them again, so I’m assuming they sold quickly too.  All I can hope for is that the children of the very brave and dedicated moms who supplied those treats for their children, who most likely have special dietary requirements, actually got to have some of those treats themselves.  They were more than likely lovingly prepared for them.  And I would like to commend those mothers for their effort.

Which reminds me of a story of a little boy that Luke was friendly with in pre-school.  Now this poor little guy was allergic to just about everything and had a very, very special diet.  A diet that I would imagine, his mother took lots of trouble for him to adhere to.  The mother related the story of her son’s fifth birthday party.  She said, that it was really hard for her child to go to a birthday party with his own prepared-before-the-time-at-home-snack-box, because he wasn’t allowed to eat any of the regular party treats.  And that this was particularly challenging when it came to her son’s birthday party.  And so for this 5th birthday party, she baked a wheat free, egg free, dairy free, sugar free cake.

And nobody ate it.

And therefore, on the occasion of his 6th birthday party, she made a normal cake once more.  And her son, ate his own little baked-especially-for-him-cake. 

What a mom!

Not so yummy!!!


  1. Sushi!? Seriously!? And it sold like hot cakes!? No really? Seriously? My word....... Instead of thick layers of yummy bright coloured icing sugar? Kids ate it on purpose? Seriously? Raw fish? I am stunned!Totally floored. Fish at a cake sale? No way......

  2. How Funny and bizarre! I cant believe parents can afford to do that never mind that the kids actually bought the sushi! Amazing! Granted my three year old LOVES sushi and doesnt have a sweet tooth and she would probably pay good money for Sushi at a cake sale....where as me.....Im only there for the cake :-) I love reading your post! Lisa JOnes

  3. Amazing!I hadn't even tasted sushi till I was over 50!
    Doesn't beat a good chocolate cake!
    Proud of my civically minded children.