Monday, November 14, 2011

Anniversary Cake for Eugene's Parents

Here were are standing in front of "The Podium"
I recently had the opportunity to create a cake for my professor and advisor, Eugene Matusov. Well, actually for his parents. They were celebrating their 60th anniversary. I was very, very excited when his Wife, Alla, emailed me to order.

I met Eugene in the summer of 1999, when I began the Ph.D. program at University of Delaware. His "job" was to help me navigate through the program, however, he began to help me in so many other ways. When I didn't believe in myself or my abilities, he always, always had a word of encouragement to help me work through my own doubt.

When I was carrying my son, Jimmy, we learned of his heart defect. Eugene made sure came visit me at the hospital to make sure everything was OK. They wouldn't allow anyone but family see me because of the severity of the situation. That didn't stop Eugene. He told them he was my Uncle. Another time, he was my cousin. I now affectionately call him my Cousin Uncle Bubba. :)

For many years, I would run to his office or email him when I was proud of something I had written or any other academic triumph I had accomplished. And boy, did he love to brag on his graduate students. When I took a leave of absence from school, I found that I missed that. It reminded me of old times when I presented him the cake the other day that I finished for his parents. And of course, his reaction was the same as always. 

Hand painted with food coloring gels
The cake flavor was chocolate with walnuts and raisins. I made sure not to use a lot of sugar as I remembered that Eugene and his family find American cakes a bit too sweet. I changed the recipe a bit and wow, it really allowed for the chocolate taste to show through. I could get used to that.

I look forward to baking many more treats for my friends family at the University of Delaware!

Here we are at one of our favorite restaurants on campus after Tony Anderson's doctoral defense.