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July - September 2009     VOLUME 13 ISSUE 3
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Bilingual Programs in Astor

The Astor County Library wants to offer at least one bilingual program per quarter. For our first program we decided on Basic Cake Decorating. One of our past employees, Jacqi, and one current employee, Margee, teamed up to teach the class. They both have many years of experience with cake decorating. While they taught the class one of our current employees, Edith, would translate the instructions into Spanish. We held the program on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Edith did posters for the event in English and Spanish. We started a signup sheet so we could see how many people to expect. I purchased more cake decorating books to add to our collection and to display during the program. We had 12 participants, which included women, men, and teenagers of both sexes.

Jacqi had baked 14 small white cakes and mixed up a big batch of white frosting. At the program the first thing everyone learned how to do was put the base layer of icing onto their cakes. They spread the icing with knives dipped in water to produce a smooth finish. Next we filled piping (disposable decorating) bags with icing. Jacqi started them out with the basic and easiest decorating tips, or nozzles. She had them work on shell piping. They held their piping bags at a 45-degree angle, squeezed out icing, and dragged the piping bag to produce a tail. They started the next shell on the tail of the previous shell trying to make them all equal in size. The entire class did really well. Jacqi then demonstrated other kinds of piping that they might be interested in. Edith successfully translated Jacqi’s instructions throughout the entire program.
Margee finished the class by showing everyone how to make an icing rose, which is her speciality. You start with a 1-inch nail, which is a flat, circular rose platform. You put a small dollop of frosting on the head of the platform. You build the rose petal by petal while rotating the nail. You slide the rose off of the nail with a palette knife and onto your cake. I took pictures of everyone with their rose. They really had fun making them. We ended the class by giving away our door prize, which was a small cake decorating kit. Everyone took home their delicious and well decorated cakes. There was such an interest in this program that we had another Bilingual Basic Cake Decorating Program on February 3, 2009, and now our patrons are asking for a third one!