I don't know whether its coincidence that I got this email today or not but I thought it would definitely make an appropriate post for today, being as its veterans day…plus I need a little advice from some of the more experienced bakers on this site.
I got an email this morning from a gal who's wedding cake I made last November. The couple's 1st anniversary is coming up and she would really like to celebrate with a copy of their wedding cake. The only issue - they are both currently deployed to Afghanistan. She sent me a link to making a cake in a jar: http://www.examiner.com/article/a-soldiers-birthday-cake-a-jar-here-is-a-way-to-send-them-a-cake
At first look this sounds like a fantastic idea and most of the comments say that soldiers have received the cakes in great condition, still moist and great tasting. I would love to try it and can't really imagine a better way to show someone that I appreciate their service. However, I am really worried about the potential for food borne bacteria: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_can_breads.pdf
The cake she wants is a grapefruit flavor cake, so it fits that fruit cake category in the white paper posted above.
In her email she also says that she's noticed that currently shipping times are about 5-7 days and she's willing to pay for rush shipping to potentially cut it down further.
Do you think its risky to do this? I don't want to get anyone sick (or God forbid, kill them with botulism!!!) and I also don't want to endanger my fledgling business (and family) if they did get sick and I got sued. On the other hand, I'm sure that that cake would last just fine sitting out on my counter for a week. Could I just send it in a jar to prevent it from being destroyed in shipping and not do the sealing part or punch holes in the lid to let it breathe (lowering the risk for botulism)? Or is there a way to send it refrigerated or frozen? Anyone have any experience with this? I'd appreciate any advice!
AI have a daughter deployed overseas and just recently sent her cupcakes with icing. I baked red velvet cupcakes and sealed them in a foodsaver bag. I then bought icing premade off the shelf. It's not as good as mine but I figured if it has a shelf life and no refrigeration prior to opening then it would be safe to send. You could also send decorations for her to put on it. If she's lucky it will make it there in 7 days, but I've seen it take up to 10 days to be delivered to a unit. Good luck and yes they will be thrilled to have it.
AYep! Do it! I have done this several times for my husband and son, The last ones I sent were orange cream cake ad included a can of the icing you can flavor along with the orange flavor packet. They arrived fine and stayed fresh quite some time. Every time he walked into his office somebody would be sitting at his desk eating a cake. One you take them out of the oven, put the lids on right away and they will seal tight. I cant remember what size jars i used but i believe they were the size up from baby food size. For my son, i have sent him smores in a jar. Obviously not heated, but stacked in the baby food size jars just to plant the proper idea in his head (he's not as versed in doing things the simple way while deployed as his dad is). I tied on some patriotic fabric over the lids.
Its simple to do, just make sure you dont put too much batter in the jars. Just do it!! It''sthe simple things that mean the most over there. This last deployment, my husband wanted potato chips..lol Appeareded there wasnt any to be had n Afghanistan. Yup..you guessed it! I spent $16 to mail a $7 box of chips....lol
Here are a few good sites with tips on how to ship cakes overseas. Hope you're able to find something that can help you with your quest! If you do find something that works, definitely let us know! (I'm thinking if you wanted to send something perishable, you could use dry ice, but I know you have to get special packaging to hold everything in there with the dry ice. I think it would be extremely cost-prohibitive.)
Some of these sites have redundant information, but I just thought I would share what I found!
AOh yeah...I forgot to say, i use a food sealer sometimes but itsa PITA. For cookies I have put them in good ziplock bags with a slice of bread, zip them almost as closed as i can and use a straw to suck out the air. Also, dont vacuum seal brownies...it just looks "wrong" lol :USA:
ABakeMeAWish.com also sends cake anywhere. There is one think s called the Freeom cake. You can purchase that for any occasion but for each one purchased they will send a cake overseas for a servicemembers birthday
Original message sent by docofthedead
Also, dont vacuum seal brownies...it just looks "wrong" :USA:
Thanks for the info and other sites. I am thinking about getting the name and addresses of some service men and women for the small group of girls I lead at church. It think it would be a great Christian service for them - to bake and send some things to them. I know it will brighten their day!
My husband served after the first Gulf War. He said it would have been really nice to get things while he was in Saudi Arabia. (We weren't married at the time. If I knew him, he would have had a lot of stuff! Haha!)
AYour welcome! My husband was in Egypt during the gulf war so he got to watch the action from a distance..lol. I have tons of ideas for your church girls. PM me and I am happy to share! A side note though, I would not recommend sending home baked goods unless you have a specific person to send them to that can share. They aren't supposed to eat anything homebaked from strangers, or addressed to "any soldier". Not everybody is a fan of the war/soldiers so they dont know if there is anything harmful in them. Kind of along the idea of inspecting Halloween candy..its "stranger danger" for adults. A while back my husband received a box of cookies to share with his company that was baked by a group in a nursing home. It broke his heart to throw them in the trash. There are tons of things the girls could do that would be just as appreciated. I am sure the cutoff date for Christmas packages is going to come up very soon, s if you decide to send her the cakes for her anniversary keep that in mind. Ell your husband Thank You for his service!