Local News

Baking a cake, icing it with camaraderie

SEBRING - Magda Marik slapped some Cool Whip on the recently baked white cake. Then the strawberries followed, along with more Cool Whip mixed with blue food coloring. After all the stars and stripes decorations on the cake were done, the Kenilworth Crispy Kookers' flag cake was ready to be consumed for July Fourth. Started a month ago, the club, which has about 11 members who are Kenilworth Care & Rehabilitation Center's residents, has been making weekly delicacies - starting with banana pudding and getting more ambitious along the way.
Volunteer Donna Klemm started the club to get the residents involved, and Wednesday shepherded the residents as they separated the eggs from the egg yolks, baked the cake and then got the icing done. Her technical advisor has been Rida Downard, who was a professional chef for many years, and has been sharing her recipes and know how with the group. Downard can't see much these days, she explained, but has been showing them what to do. Last week they made ice-cream cake and she was pleased with the results. "I like to stay busy," she said. And the other residents agree. Kenilworth's Director of Marketing and Admissions Schyler Scott said the club's activities improve their residents' quality of life and help them get involved with every-day activities they may not be partaking in any more. That's what appeals to Maxine Wilson. "I don't cook anymore," she said. "We do frozen dinners." Next week, the Crispy Kookers are going to attempt a cake that has been in the Downward family for 150 years. She got cagey when asked what the "No Name Cake" contained then explained it is a yellow cake with lots of chocolate chips, pecans, raisins and coconut. Her son bakes the cake all the time, she said. Not so much her daughters. "They are afraid they will get fat," she grinned.