Little Cakes on the Prairie (OMD3)

Prairie Cakes Hand

The Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge took a turn for the literary on day 13 with the theme of books. Seeing as my favourite book, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, is wholly unsuitable as the basis for any kind of nail art (like, I can’t even imagine!) and having wanted to do some sweets-themed nail art for ages now, I decided to combine the two and drew inspiration from a favourite childhood novel, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, in particular a wonderful passage depicting little Laura Ingalls’ first Christmas in Kansas in the late 1800s. I adored this book as a child (once faked the severity of a legitimate illness so I could stay home two extra days and read the other books in the series!) and I LOVED the chapter entitled “Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus” in which Laura and her sister are treated to a magical Christmas by a kindhearted neighbour. The girls receive a number of charming, big-deal gifts for the time – a tin cup! a penny! – but my favourite were the little heart-shaped tea cakes dusted with sparkling white sugar.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the depiction of these particular sweets, however, because molasses, jam filling and refined white sugar anything, as I’ve shown here, were not yet common foodstuffs; super special ingredients for super special occasions only, as they were pricey and difficult to come by. But oh, those sparkling little cakes!

As a bit of an aside, I think it’s interesting how (as a child and now) I totally glossed over the many dangerous hardships that made up daily living at the time and focused entirely on the baked goods. Because what’s disease, exposure and nasty run-ins with the locals when you’ve got cake, amirite?

Prairie Cakes Fingers