A Cake of Letters for the Season

Here we have yet another painting with the ubiquitous fly on the loaf of bread. This time I’m not going to try to discover the meaning of this. I’m just going to assume that the painter believed in realism so intensely that the instant of the fly’s settling became a part of the piece forever. Alternately maybe he found a dead fly and stuck it on so as to relive that moment over and over as he painted, the moment the fly so carelessly lit, before taking flight again mostly likely a few seconds later.

But what is that pile of letters? Has the painter gone mad from inhaling paint and turpentine fumes, is he imagining the alphabet toppling over sideways on the table next to his roast bird? Is this a prelude to surrealism?

No, it isn’t. It is actually a cake. Or it may be the beginnings of the cake, really. The cake itself is called ‘lettergebak’ or ‘letterbanket’ and it is made for St. Nicolas’ birthday on December 6.

Every Saint Nicholas day each family bakes a cake shaped like the letter of each person in the families’ first name; these cakes are called (letterbanket).

I love the way these letters look! You will find a recipe at this site. These appear to be filled with almond paste. I can find absolutely nothing wrong with that idea at all.

Happy Birthday, St. Nick!

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