Bolles Bugle Online

Bolles Bugle Online

Mrs. Pickren Takes on the Kitchen

Back to Article
Back to Article

Mrs. Pickren Takes on the Kitchen

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






What do Clark Kent and Mrs. Pickren have in common?

    They both have a hidden talent. Not only does Mrs. Pickren work as assistant registrar in the Academic Office, she also shines as a master cake decorator.

    Mrs. Pickren has been decorating cakes for over 20 years. “I watched my mom do it, and it looked like it was fun.” Armed with her top secret buttercream recipe, she can recreate a variety of looks from a Ninja turtle to intricate roses.

      As a mother of 5, grandmother of 11, and designated office baker, Mrs. Pickren makes at least one sweet creation each month. “There was a while when I didn’t do them at all when my boys got older. I quit doing them because they didn’t want them anymore. So then when the grandkids came along about 15 years ago, I picked up again and started doing all their cakes.”

    The longest she has ever spent on a cake was for coworker Mrs. Nettles’ 50th anniversary. It took Miss Pickren four hours to create the elegant three-tier masterpiece. “Mrs. Nettles’ favorite is double chocolate. It’s my version of a black forest cake where it’s dark chocolate with cherry filling and then chocolate icing and then whipped cream and then finished off with cherries on top.”

    Cake decorating isn’t for the faint of heart. With an edible printer and over 75 different kinds of piping tips alone, Mrs. Pickren says it is a significant yet worthwhile investment. “It just takes your mind off of everything else, and you just sit there and do it. To me, it’s relaxing. If I have a bad day, I’ll just go home and frost a cake.”

    While Pickren considers herself a perfectionist, sometimes even the experienced have bad days. She once made a cake for Mrs. Babcock, former Bolles registrar, with clouds on it. “It didn’t transport very well,” said Mrs. Pickren.

    By the time the cake made it to school, the clouds had slid down the sides. Pickren said there was nothing to do but, “let it go.”

    Mrs. Pickren says she finds inspiration for her decorations from the people for whom she makes a cake. ”For different people I try to look at their interests and see what they do and then build a cake around them.”

    For example, Head of School Mr. Hodges surfs, so she decorated a cake for him with a picture of a surfer in the curl of the wave. Pickren said, “You couldn’t tell who it was, so we all said it was Tyler.”

    Advice for aspiring decorators? “If you’re really interested in doing it, it takes a lot of time, and you have to be committed to it to make sure that’s what you really want to do. Because once you start doing it, you can’t stop.”   

    And, “Eat your mistakes; nobody will know.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The student news site of The Bolles School
Mrs. Pickren Takes on the Kitchen