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Family Time and Cake!

This past weekend I got to go home for a little family time. My grandmother, who is inhumanly optimistic, decided we should have a family photo taken since our last one is almost two years old. Here is the best one we could muster:

Front Row L-R: Stepmom Lynetta, Cousins (sons of Barry) Tate and Jake, Aunt (married to Barry) Sandy
Middle Row L-R: Dad Tim, Me (the cow), Granny Helen, Aunt (married to Gene) Candy, Uncle Gene (Dad's older brother, who is ever-so-slightly illegitimate)
Back Row L-R: Cousin (son of Sondra) Jonathan, Uncle Gary (Dad's middle younger brother), Uncle John (Dad's youngest younger brother), Aunt Sondra (Dad's only sister, younger), Papa Tommy, Cousin (son of Barry) Zak, Uncle Barry (Dad's oldest younger brother)
Not Pictured: Uncle (married to Sondra) Johnny (he never comes to anything)

Now, it's not super great, I know. I look like a cow. That's probably because I am a cow, but I'm trying to be the optimist my grandmother is and believe a camera can make me look emaciated for a moment--without those icky side effects. Alas, I digress. But, this is us. All (minus that one) seventeen of us. And, the amazing thing is that we can actually make it through meals, gatherings, and holidays without killing each other. My grandparents had a table built that was big enough to seat all of us at once. (Damn, no more kids table...) It feels like one of those really really long tables you see in movies or cartoons with one person at each end, only ours is full of freakin' people! You can see the table in the picture below, but it won't do you any good because it's too zoomed in...ha. Yeah, about that picture below. That's the cake I make for the 4th. It's supposed to be a United States flag if you can't tell. You better say you can tell. I worked really hard on that thing! In case you ever want to make one (which, undoubtedly, will be better than mine), you use strawberry cake with white-colored frosting (I opted for cream cheese frosting because it goes best with strawberry cake, in my opinion). You use about 25 blueberries and about two packages of strawberries (ends cut off and cut in half). This is a regular 9x13 cake pan, so if you want to make a half-sheet cake or something, make sure you buy enough crap to put on top. I didn't take it out of the pan to frost the edges, but you can get all fancy if you want to. Always trying to one-up me...

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