MORE UPDATES:

Alamo painting in royal icingAmazingly, we continue to receive correspondence about this marvelous cake. In 2010 I got an email from Bridget, a woman who had discovered yet another royal icing painting from the cake. She had met a former Sara Lee employee, Delores, one of the production line workers who completed the many paintings. Delores is an elderly woman now. The bicentennial cake project stands in her memory as a high point of her life, as it is in mine. It was such a departure from our everyday jobs, and so filled with community throughout the company. Bridget arranged for Delores and me to speak by phone, just a few moments of reminiscence and shared experience. Since then, Delores's granddaughter Melissa has sent me this photo. Delores's painting is of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. You can see some deterioriation in the piped frame, but for the most part the painting is in good shape.

If any reader is interested in acquiring this painting, the family would be happy to discuss it with you. Send us an email and we'll put you together.

Then in 2011 I heard from Patty, the daughter of master pastry chef Casey Sinkeldam, the mastermind behind the decorations for the bicentennial cake. Patty says: "I was only 11 years old at the time, but I remember the event and the hard work and long hours it took from him and his team at Sara Lee. Most all of the royal iced paintings were made by employees of Sara Lee who were not chefs at all [like Delores]. The picture of the 3 soldiers with the drum, I know my father made and after the event, it hung in his office until he retired in 1981. The eagle that was placed on the top of the cake ended up under our weeping willow tree in our backyard for many years. Thank you for your article. It brought back many memories and one of my dad's greatest accomplishments."

In 2013 I got another surprise call. Please click on for some photos of the cake in the making.

Next: Behind the scenes—the making of the cake...

1. Introduction 2. Chicago to Philly 3. The birthday party
4. Updates 5. Behind the scenes 6. The collection