Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sweet Lemons: Transforming Adversity

Call me: Ray
Decade born: 1920's
Favorite cupcake: Sweet Lemons
Making a difference: Helping children with special needs

In Ray's self-published autobiography, Adam's Apple, he tells the story of how adversity has made him who he is today -- from a bullied, lonely kid living in a dark basement to becoming an innovative educator, film producer and writer.

Through his 88 years, Ray traveled some rough roads. But rather than see himself as a victim, Ray counts himself blessed -- appreciating the positive people who made an impact in his life. "When you start feeling sorry for yourself," he writes, "the best cure is to look for someone you can help."

Along the way, this talented singer, fiddle player and pianist has devoted literally decades of volunteer time to charity work. Not the least of which was the Barbershop Harmony Society (formerly S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A.). During the organization's 36-year partnership with Heartspring (formerly Institute of Logopedics), they raised over $16 million to benefit children with special needs.

Appropriately, "sunshine yellow" is Ray's favorite color… and the "Sweet Lemons" cupcake is his favorite treat. That's because this 5X great-grandfather has a penchant for taking what seems like the bitter fruit of life and turning it into something sensational.

Make "Sweet Lemons" cupcakes:

Make cupcakes from your favorite lemon cake recipe.

When they are cooled, use a Bismarck tube to fill with lemon pie filling (canned, or make it yourself). (See video below.)

Whip up a fluffy meringue frosting and, using a large star tip, swirl a double layer on top, piling it high on each cupcake.

Zest a lemon and mix it with a few tablespoons of crystal clear Wilton sugar sprinkles. Decorate the tops of your cupcakes with these sweet/tart bright yellow sprinkles and surprise someone who needs a little sunshine in their life today!

Video instructions:

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