Would you serve/eat cake that was on a wooden train track? *updated PHOTO post 1* - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-20-2010, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am making a train cake for my son's birthday this weekend. It will consist of little train cars (the Williams Sonoma train cake pan) individually decorated. I was going to place them on wooden train tracks (from his train set) to display/serve.

Would you find it gross that they were being served on something not intended for food? I had never thought of it but on my food board people are concerned and it never crossed my mind. I don't want my guests to be put off.

So...totally cute or totally gross?

Ok, going to try to link photos. Let me know if this does not work.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._6943286_n.jpg

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Old 07-20-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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As long as the train tracks are covered with something (plastic wrap, aluminum foil) or the bottom of the cakes was, I'd be ok with it. Otherwise, it's kind of like putting the cake on the floor...which may be ok for some people, but not everyone. It really is a cute idea. I'd love to see pics when you have it set up. My ds loves his trains too.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Wash it, and maybe put some foil under where the actual cake sits (so that the cake isn't directly on it yk?) and totally cute!!! Or put the tracks around the cake dish if you can set them up that way.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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As long as it was clean, I would. I have no idea how you'd make sure everything got that clean though.

I've put toys in cakes I've made before after cleaning them really really well.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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I wouldn't mind - and I really doubt any little kids would mind!!

But if you're really concerned you could wrap the tracks in cling film (not sure what American term is, lol - you know the clear plastic wrapping stuff!).

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post
As long as the train tracks are covered with something (plastic wrap, aluminum foil) or the bottom of the cakes was, I'd be ok with it. Otherwise, it's kind of like putting the cake on the floor...which may be ok for some people, but not everyone. It really is a cute idea. I'd love to see pics when you have it set up. My ds loves his trains too.

But why? How is it different from a wood cutting board that has been washed?
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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How about making train tracks out of pretzels?

I'm guessing you could use the big pretzel rods for the lengthwise pieces and the tiny pretzel sticks for the cross pieces. A little royal icing should hold them together.

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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I would, but won't the train cars be a little wide for the track?

Personally, I'd probably make train track out of black licorice.

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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put parchment paper over them. That will totally separtate, and not stick, and partial see through
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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would not even cross my mind to be concerned about. but you could always make a cupcake liner placemat for each train car
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:34 PM
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You could easily clean the train tracks. I wouldn't have a problem with it at all.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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I would put a paper between the cake and the track, but that would be to stop grease marks staining the track.

I've put (well washed) trains and cars on the top of cakes before so why not the other way round.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I would be careful serving food from something not made specifically to eat off of. There are lower levels of toxins in dinnerware than a lot of things, HOWEVER I would assume that since this is a children's toy it's probably safe.

Personally, I like the idea of making tracks with licorice or pretzels. If I were at the party and saw the cake served from toy tracks, I would immediately think, 'I hope those are new', and eat the cake anyway.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I would absolutely eat it, and would not think twice about it.

If someone said something, I would tell them they were being ridiculous.

Has no one ever picked something up off the floor- maybe a book that had fallen- and then a few minutes later, eaten a piece of fruit or a cracker, without lathering up?

As for toxins, you aren't applying heat to it and I believe transfer will be minimal or nonexistant.

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Old 07-20-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Our train tracks are grimy and have been touched by lots of little hands in various states of cleanliness. I wouldn't expect that someone else's tracks were any cleaner.

Even if they had been thoroughly washed, I'd still have something of an ick factor eating off of toy tracks. I'd wrap the tracks in foil, like many others have mentioned.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
I would absolutely eat it, and would not think twice about it.

If someone said something, I would tell them they were being ridiculous.

Has no one ever picked something up off the floor- maybe a book that had fallen- and then a few minutes later, eaten a piece of fruit or a cracker, without lathering up?

As for toxins, you aren't applying heat to it and I believe transfer will be minimal or nonexistant.
That's not very nice. It always grates me when people say this. So dismissive.

If these are plastic tracks, we can assume they have little nooks and crannies in them, right? If these are generally used for play, are you sure you can get the dirt and dust out? Maybe with a toothbrush?

Like I said, I'd probably eat the cake anyway, but I don't think it's ridiculous for somebody to not want to eat off of something dirty whether it's a plate or train tracks.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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If cleaning the tracks an issue, can you put them on top shelf in the dishwasher? I think it's a cute idea. Maybe, have the cake board wide enough to run the tracks around the cake?

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Old 07-20-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
But why? How is it different from a wood cutting board that has been washed?
You didn't mention that you would wash it first Also, I don't know if they treat the tracks with anything to make them last longer?
Plus it'd be kind of a pain to make sure you got all the cake out of the tracks afterwards, so that it wouldn't get moldy.

I guess the other thing is, people may not know that you washed the train tracks...KWIM? I mean they'd have to ask if they cared, and they may be embarrassed to. I guess it depends on how well they know you...
I know people who are perfectly fine with eating things off the floor or whatever, and when I'm at someone's house, how do I know how something was treated? In general, I'd assume that a plate was washed well enough, but not necessarily things not intended for food. My 2 cents
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well these are wood, relatively new, clean and I'll wash them first with dishsoap if that makes a difference.

I have to make 16 of these little train cars so I'm setting the track up on my kitchen table. I don't have a serving platter anywhere near big enough. I was originally going to do a serving platter with licorice or such but the party, and the cake, grew.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You didn't mention that you would wash it first ....
DOH! Didn't think I needed to.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I would run the wooden tracks through the dishwasher (my wooden spoons have certainly been through many times) and then serve directly on them. With a proper platter underneath the tracks of course.

Actually I would test one train track in the dishwasher first and make sure it doesn't crack from the heat, before doing the rest.

As a guest I would not have a problem eating the cake off the wooden tracks... I would presume my host has cleaned them properly.

(Buttercup--The wood tracks don't have a lot of nooks and crannies--I've not owned the plastic ones so not sure how they compare. There is just the fairly wide track for the train's wheels. I actually think they would be sanitized just fine with a good soak and scrub in soapy hot water, but personally I would go dishwasher route for added safety.)

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Old 07-20-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
I would absolutely eat it, and would not think twice about it.

If someone said something, I would tell them they were being ridiculous.

Has no one ever picked something up off the floor- maybe a book that had fallen- and then a few minutes later, eaten a piece of fruit or a cracker, without lathering up?

As for toxins, you aren't applying heat to it and I believe transfer will be minimal or nonexistant.
That's a great way to make people uncomfortable in your house. I guess if you want only people that think 100% like you do, then that's fine. Some people don't eat anything off the floor, and some people are fine picking up something that falls down on their own floor and eating it, but not on the airport bathroom floor, or even a restaurant floor. And some people are fine with anything. To say someone is ridiculous because they don't have your exact idea of cleanliness is extremely judgmental.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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OK, I actually wouldn't serve on a wooden track. Only because wood is absorbant, and it could have been treated with something. Whenever I'm having a party I try to make the food in a way that a restaurant or bakery would. Would a bakery serve a cake on tracks not specifically made for food?

What about turning your whole table into a serving plate? You could cover it with foil and colored cling wrap. Or you could get a big piece of cardboard and cover it. I mean, obviously some of us would question the cake being served on toy tracks or at the very least notice it and wonder. Why take the chance of someone feeling uncomfortable with it?
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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You have to post some pictures of this! I can see both sides of this. I'm kind of a germaphobe. But I think I'd be comfortable eating off them if they looked clean. If kids play with something, it usually looks like they do. If they looked clean, I'd be comfortable assuming they were, especially if I knew you.

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Well these are wood, relatively new, clean and I'll wash them first with dishsoap if that makes a difference.

I have to make 16 of these little train cars so I'm setting the track up on my kitchen table. I don't have a serving platter anywhere near big enough. I was originally going to do a serving platter with licorice or such but the party, and the cake, grew.
OK... weirdly enough, and I guess I'm only a sample of one, but although the train tracks didn't bother me, eating right off the kitchen table grosses me out a little. I'm germ phobic and assumed that the train tracks would be very well washed, but other people's kitchen tables... that's a different line for me to cross LOL.

Could you put down some parchment paper or foil and then lay the tracks on top of that? Just *something* so it isn't sitting right on top of the kitchen table... because things fall off and land on the table and then I'd be afraid to eat whatever touched the table. Even just some green tissue paper or something (although I guess train tracks don't run across grass, so maybe that isn't a helpful decorating idea).

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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I have this cake pan and made the trains for ds' 3rd b/day - it was so much fun to decorate!:


As you can see, I got a large board and piped a line of icing for the track, then stuck bootlace sweets to the icing. The initial idea was to have the train track going all over the table - weaving in and out of the party food, but I was concerned that it would take too much time to set up. If I did it early in the day, I was sure the cakes would dry out.
To answer your original query, I wouldn't have any issue with eating cake from a toy track, because I would trust you to have washed it

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Our train tracks are grimy and have been touched by lots of little hands in various states of cleanliness. I wouldn't expect that someone else's tracks were any cleaner.

Even if they had been thoroughly washed, I'd still have something of an ick factor eating off of toy tracks. I'd wrap the tracks in foil, like many others have mentioned.
I'd assume someone using toy train tracks for a food use would boil them and let them dry thoroughly first.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Even just some green tissue paper or something (although I guess train tracks don't run across grass, so maybe that isn't a helpful decorating idea).
But add in mini M&Ms as gravel at the sides of the train tracks and you've got something.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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I wouldn't serve directly on the table. This actually grosses me out more than the tracks. Although really, I would cover the tracks with cling wrap (you can get quality cling wrap realy realy tight and trasparent), buy some cheap ones just for this (you never know if you will be able to get moist cake out of the tracks and wouldn't want to wreck his good tracks and it would be cleaner) , or make an edible track.

And Annamama, so so freaking cute!!!! Good job!

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Old 07-20-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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I assumed you would buy brand new tracks for this purpose ... so eating off of old kids toys (especially porous wood!) totally grosses me out. And I don't think it is fair to the toy either .... which will want to be played with later!!

I vote for making edible tracks out of something else. Sorry mama!
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