Monday, January 17, 2011

Serve Something Spectacular

This weekend, I was shopping with a friend, and we stopped into a local thrift store.  While surveying the offerings, a stack of magazines caught my eye, and I was immediately shoveling handfuls of old cooking serials into my arms.  I would have guessed that these magazines were from the 60's or 70's, but I suppose I'm not a good guesser of period food styles yet.  These phenomenal booklets were published in 1985, and offer photographic evidence of some pretty ridiculous and unbelievable dishes.  While it's true that these dishes are not fake food, but real recipes, it's hard to believe that some of them could ever exist.  I'm going to share some of these photos with you today, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

Note: Please note the foods that are 'Gelee' or covered in Aspic.  Aspic is a savory gelatin glaze; think meat flavored jello.

Breast of Turkey and Sliced Tongue in Aspic and Pate-Stuffed Chicken Breasts en Gelee.  Yum!

Poached Fish with Cucumber Scales

Turkey Breast Galantine

Pear Feuilletes with Caramel

Roast of Beef en Gelee

Vanilla-Ice-Cream Bombe Surprise (The surprise is grapes, apricot jam, and kirsch)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Materials:  Insulation foam, Acrylic Caulk, Design Master Spray, Acrylic Paint, Hot Glue, Fake Flowers

Here is another  Fake-n-Cake for your enjoyment! This one is for the graduation party scene in Renaissance Theaterwork's upcoming production of ' Crumbs From the Table of Joy '  The show is a memory play, and so certain props are embellished to show their importance in the main character's  memory.  One of these props is her graduation cake, made by the bakery where her father works.

This is another of my standard foam and caulk cakes.  I used Ivory colored Design Master to get the color, and used hot glue to attach fake flowers.  The one misstep was adhering the two tiers together before icing. I should have iced them separately, allowed them to dry, attached them, and then applied the decorative icing.  Ah well, hindsight is 20/20.

If you'd like to learn more about decorating fake cakes, you can watch the videos from my first cake posts here:
Cake Tutorials

and here:
One More Cake Tutorial

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hammy Sammies aka Hammy New Year!

Materials: Upholstery Foam, Liquid Latex, Microfoam, Fake Tomatoes, Jaxsan

 Hey, all. Sorry that it's been a bit since my last post. I've had a perfect storm of three big shows at work, one freelance show on the side, and the holidays! Boy Howdy! Well, I'm two weeks away from opening one big show and one side show, and the holidays are....well, tomorrow they'll be over. So, here I am, bringing you another fun and exciting post about food fakery.

These Dagwood sandwiches were fun to make because they are meant to look a little over sized and proppy. They are for our upcoming production of 'The 39 Steps,' a humorous take on the Hitchcock film of the same name.  We're not going for realism here, we're going for humorously over sized,  fake sandwiches that are obviously made of ham and tomatoes.

The bread is foam and latex.  I cut out a vague bread shape from upholstery foam and coated the 'loaf' with several coats of liquid latex. After a quick spritz of Design Master for that oven browned look, I sliced up the loaf with my trusty Olfa knife.

Next up were the tomatoes.  Commercially produced fake fruit and veggies can sometimes be a good starting point for built food. In this case, I had fake tomatoes with foam cores.  I sliced the tomatoes (as you would a real tomato) which gave me the correct size and shape of a tomato slice, as well as a finished edge. Then, I coated the foam with flex glue, and painted the surface with acrylics to look like a tomato slice.

The ham is made from microfoam packing material coated with Jaxsan and painted with Design Master and acrylics. I spray painted the pieces with Dusty Rose, and then painted the edges with Burnt Sienna for that ham skin look.

Hehe. Ham stack.
Once all of the components were created, it was time to assemble!  I wanted these sandwiches to be as sturdy as possible, so I stitched them together in layers with nylon thread, after using green glue to hold the folded ham slices together.  Since I didn't want the stitches to show on the top and bottom slices of bread, I used rubber cement to glue the last pieces of bread on.

Now, if these sandwiches were supposed to be more realistic, I would have done a few things differently. First, I would have worked to make the bread look more convincing by trying different types of foam and adjusting the color. My approach to the ham would have been similar, though I would have taken more time with the paint job to make it look more realistic. Perhaps I would have pepper crusted the edges.  The tomatoes? Well......thinner slices and fewer of them.  Also, I would have added some more details. These sandwiches are rather cartooney. Some purchased fake lettuce goes a long way towards adding texture and interest to a fake sandwich.  Also, I would have dressed them on a plate with chips or potato salad,  something to help with context and realism.

As it is, the sandwiches are pretty funny. I had a good time walking around the shop with them before they were assembled and letting them explode and bounce all over the floor.  All in all, not a bad way to start the year in the Fake-n-Bake kitchen.  Coming up soon (most likely) a floofy graduation cake, Garibaldi biscuits, and the epic tale of life casting, failed materials, and a fast approaching deadline.


So, from me and the sandwiches, Hammy New Year. May your 2011 be filled with excellent food, both real and fake! Happy propping!


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