I met fellow writer Natalie Hyde a few years ago via an on-line critique group. I remember her posting a few chapters of her then middle-grade WIP--it had an intriguing title Saving o eat. I was fascinated and began reading. The characters were engaging and real, the plot moved at a quick pace and the humour had me laughing out loud over and over. In short, I had no criticisms and knew it was a manuscript that would sell quickly and well. Shortly after, Saving Arm Pit (new title) sold to Fitzhenry & Whiteside and has a scheduled release date of Spring, 2011! Now, what does all this have to do with cake you might ask? Well. In Natalie's novel there is a certain character, a Miss Apfelbaum, who is an incredible baker. She bakes all sorts of amazing cakes that delight the hopeless characters of a luckless baseball team, the Terriers (love that name!). And after getting to know Natalie a bit better, I strongly suspected that she was, in fact, Miss Apfelbaum! Tortes and tarts, cakes and cookies--Natalie has something to fall back on in case this writing thing doesn't work out. Wait a minute--no chance of that, since Natalie has written, some 15 children's non-fiction books (yes, I said 15!!!) and has placed another novel, Payback, with Orca for a fall, 2011 release. With several other projects and works in various stages, this woman is a writing machine! Okay. Back to cakes. Now, I've heard Natalie mention various treats she's made, but when she spoke of a hamburger cake, I just had to ask. "What, pray tell, is a hamburger cake?" She not only told me-she sent me a picture and a recipe. Now, no slouch of a baker myself (holds chin up proudly) I had to try this incredible cake, and as a certain family birthday was fast approaching, I decided that I was on a hamburger cake mission. I slaved away at this cake for about 4-5 hours. "Four-five hours," said Natalie. "What on earth did you do?" Well, what I did was use the wrong kind of pan! So although I did, in fact, create the best hamburger cake ever, I also managed to create the largest hamburger cake ever and here it is! Thank you Natalie! Thank you Miss Apfelbaum! I tip my bun to you both!