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Nature as Art - An Interview with Sonali
Sonali working on the Sakura cake

Sonali working on the Sakura cake

What are nature cakes? Nature cakes are the culinary creations of Sonali Said, an AYUDH member hailing from Sammamish, WA in the Seattle area. She describes her first offering, Bee Cakes, in the March 2021 edition of Karuna Poole’s inspired Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter. She has since gone on to create additional beautiful cakes - creations she refers to as “nature as art”. They are truly unique in that they combine nature, art, beauty, food and an environmental message. Each cake has a lesson about nature baked into it.

Bee cake

You can read more about her inspiration and the process of putting these cakes together by clicking on the links below asscoiated with each image

GreenFriends was curious to know more about Sonali and how she got into making these fabulous cakes.

GreenFriends: What led you to start making nature cakes?

Sonali: Ever since I was young, I have always been fascinated by cakes. Even today, some of my most precious childhood memories are about the immense joy at first sight of magnificent cakes on my birthdays. What started out as a hobby in middle school baking simple cakes with decorations, evolved into a deep passion as my confidence grew that I could translate my vision into any kind of cake possible.

As my skills set increased, I wanted to create cakes that did more than celebrate an occasion and incorporated other passions of mine like environmental sustainability. I found that by creating nature cakes and publishing them in GreenFriends, I gained an increased appreciation for the environment around me. Additionally, by researching and synthesizing my findings on these current environmental challenges, I was able to drive awareness for both myself and GreenFriends readers.

GreenFriends: What do you do with the nature cakes after they are done? Do you eat them?

Sonali: It depends on the cake - I usually give them to friends or family!

GreenFriends: Has Amma seen any of your nature cakes?

Sonali: Not yet, since I started making nature cakes after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic - after Amma’s tours had been cancelled.

GreenFriends: What got you started in wanting to help the environment?

Sonali: When I was younger, I was a part of Amrita Bala Kendra Seattle, where we participated in various community activities such as green belt restoration and litter pick-ups. These activities raised my personal awareness on the importance of caring for nature and maintaining its original state. Later, I wanted to continue this effort by finding ways to combine it with my passion for baking and found nature cakes to be a perfect vehicle to do so.

GreenFriends: Are there more nature cakes in the works? Are you formulating any new ideas?

Sonali: Yes! I'm hoping to make an ocean-themed cake to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans. I am also thinking of making a glacier themed cake in light of glaciers melting.

GreenFriends: Are there other members of your AYUDH group that want to support nature and if so, how are they doing that?

Sonali: The goal of AYUDH Seattle is to sustain and preserve the beauty of the local community and environment. Past projects to meet these goals include: tree planting, litter pick-ups, plastic bag reduction drives, and educational Zoom sessions.

GreenFriends: If you had one wish for helping the earth, what would it be?

Sonali: I would hope that more people would realize the detrimental environmental effects of their actions and use this understanding to make the Earth a better place.

Aum Amriteswaryai Namah!

Some examples of Nature Cakes

Read Amma's answers to questions about Man and Nature from the Q2 2002 newsletter>>

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