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Let Them Eat Cake!

Carol Fine is officially known as a teaching assistant at Claymont Elementary, but her unofficial title is the "cake lady" or "cake fairy."  Whenever a staff member has a birthday, Carol bakes a cake for the birthday person at home and delivers it early in the morning before school starts, complete with decorations.

She started her burgeoning baking career when she was working at River Bend Elementary.  "I noticed that first-grade teachers made cakes for other first-grade teachers, but non-classroom specialists didn't always wind up with birthday cakes.  I wanted everyone to receive a birthday cake.  When she moved to Claymont Elementary, the tradition not only continued, but mushroomed.

Carol estimates she makes 50 cakes a year, sometimes two for the same day.  "That does take a bit of planning," she concedes, though even with the high volume, she prefers to make cakes from scratch.  "I will use a box cake," she admits, “but only if I include embellishments."

Carol customarily scours newspapers and other publications for recipes so she doesn't go "stale."  And she listens intently to her colleagues' likes and dislikes, so she can prepare just the right specialty birthday cake. 

As for Carol herself, she prefers not to have cake on her birthday.  "I know it's ironic," she confesses with a grin, "but I prefer cherry pie on my birthday. I've loved it since I was a child."