1) I have the most experience (Seniority rules)
2) I laugh at my failures (less anxiety and stress)
3) I love working with people (so I can blame them, ha!)
4) Homemade cake is cheaper than bought cake (winning argument)
5) The meaning is in the process
For every birthday celebration since my children were born and that goes back thirty-plus years now, my cake-making skills have been put to the test. Whatever the kids wanted, their wishes were my command. They might not have an expensive gift in fancy paper but they had a fancy cake on the table.
The birthday cake was often held together with skewers and toothpicks, the worst side being hidden from the child basking in the glow of colorful candles dripping wax on icing. What's to worry about? Frosting marbled with wax never concerned me much. The kid blowing germs and cooties all over the icing was a bigger health risk than wax would ever be.
This year, my nephew wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate-dipped strawberries arranged on top. He wanted fresh fat strawberries like the ones he says guys give girls on Valentine’s Day. The kinds of chocolate covered strawberries guys give girls when a guy needs to apologize for saying something stupid.
Kids are definitely more gourmet than they were a couple of decades ago. Back then, a request for strawberries meant sculpting sugary marzipan to ‘look’ like real fruit. (Which leads me to a clever idea. If you can’t get your kids to eat their peas and cauliflower, buy some marzipan. Then you can tell your narcissistic mother how much YOUR kids love eating YOUR homemade vegetables. They love fruit and vegetables soooooooo much in fact, they eat them on top of birthday cakes.)
I have made Barbie dolls in cake skirts, Teddy Bears sitting upright, plastic clowns lifting a second layer of cherry cake, and castles with entry doors made of chocolate bars. Whatever the child wanted, my job was to make their wish come true! I took a college course in cake decorating back in the 1970’s and who could have predicted Fancy Cakes would be as popular as they are today? I shoulda opened a cake bake shop but on second thought, my kids might have gone cakeless if this cliché is true: the baker’s kids have no cakes. What a sad story that would be if this cake baker's children had no cakes.
Once upon a time.......there was an old woman who made cakes for kings but never made even one lousy cupcake for her own children. One day, while scurrying to the bakeshop (her bakeshop was built in an old shoe a giant had left behind in his haste climbings beanstalks), she realized how foolish she had been. She ran back to her kitchen as fast as she could and grabbed her largest mixing bowl. The one with purple stripes painted on the outside and yellow daisies encircling the rim. She made a cake. Her finest cake with raisins and cinnamon and only the best of ingredients reserved for royalty. When it came out of the oven, she called to her children of which there were many, including tiny Tim and the Matchbook Girl; but nobody came. All the old women’s children had run away with the Gingerbread boy and were eaten up by a sneaky fox promising to carry them across the river to a franchised bakeshop in a building, not a shoe.
When I told this story to my sister, she offered to warm the oven and crack open the eggs. Just kidding! My sister didn't really offer to warm the oven or crack the eggs.
She ordered and bought the pizza though.
A great time was had by all,