My first thought, upon discovering the half-eaten remains of the cake I’d intended to bake for The Wedding Date, was “@#$&%& CHAUFFEUR!!!”
That’s because my dad sometimes eats things I’ve made for other people before realizing they’re meant for other people.
But the cake wasn’t just half-eaten. It was mauled. And mauled to such an extent that I realized no human could have possibly been responsible.
My second thought, therefore, was “@#$&%& DUSTY!”
That’s because Dusty, the family dog, is rather large (by which I mean perfectly capable of swiping half a cake from the kitchen counter) and something of a repeat offender.
My third thought, therefore, was “WHAT THE @#$&%& AM I GOING TO DO NOW???”
I had to be at the studio in less than two hours and I still had to finish packing, figure out what to wear, review my choreography for the afternoon’s rehearsal and finish wrapping The Wedding Date’s birthday present.
Like I said: a recipe for disaster.
I grab the car keys, corral the dogs to keep them away from the kitchen, and zip off to the grocery store. There I proceed to spend a good three minutes wandering up and down the baking aisle before I finally decide on brownies. Easy, impossible-to-screw-up-brownies. With peanut butter chips. And chocolate frosting, because I’d bought cream cheese frosting for the original chocolate cake but was beginning to have my doubts about the combination of cream cheese and peanut butter chips.
(Yuck. Although now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure my mom had a more or less permanent craving for peanut butter and cream cheese Saltine cracker sandwiches when she was pregnant with me… maybe it’s genetic?)
By the time I get home from the grocery store, I’m so frazzled that I end up accidently greasing two different pans then I realize we’re out of oil thanks to Cake #1 so I’m forced to improvise. (Nothing like baking with a cup of olive oil and twice as many eggs than the original recipe called for.)
I open the cream cheese icing by mistake, then I realize that I can’t very well write on chocolate icing with more chocolate icing (especially because chocolate icing doesn’t respond to food coloring with the same enthusiasm that vanilla icing does) so I decide to melt white chocolate chips and spoon them into a pastry bag. Of course, we don’t actually have any pastry bags so I use a Ziploc bag instead but the melted chocolate is too hot and starts oozing out of the bag so I have to put it in the fridge and wait for it to cool before writing “Feliz Cumpleanos” (and not Feliz Navidad) atop the cake.
Somewhere between the “ñ” and the “o” it occurs to me that I should have simply gone to Carvel and purchased a @#$&%& ice cream cake (because ice cream cakes are, in fact, what The Wedding Date prefers) but I’m determined to impress him, and his friends, so I get out my secret bottle of edible pearls and a pair of tweezers. I then proceed to affix approximately four dozen glistening little baubles to the outer edge of the cake at perfect, one-centimeter intervals. Its painstaking work but I know it’s going to be worth it because The Wedding Date is going to say, “Oh my God—you made that? That totally looks like a store-bought cake!”
His friends are going to be amazed and they’re all going to wonder how I got the pearls to stick to the icing without getting fingerprints all over and when I tell them that I’ve used a pair of tweezers, they’re going to recognize my obvious domestic prowess and grant me their immediate approval.
Unfortunately, none of this ever happens. I trip on my way into the private dining room and nearly wipe out in front of the entire wait staff.
On a positive note, I had already deposited the cake with the maître d’ (thank God!) but by the time we finish our meal, no one even notices the @#$&%& edible pearls, and if they do, they don’t bother to ask how I managed to stick them onto the cake. This—mind you—was after the hostess informed me that they were going to charge a fee per slice to plate and serve the cake and before the waitress informed me that the kitchen staff had lost the charger upon which I’d brought the damn thing to be served. (Which wasn’t even my charger to lose—it was my mother’s charger.)
Moral of the story?
Support local business and buy a @#$&%& cake next time.
(Or else just wait a few days until you’re feeling less like a hysterical teenager and politely inform your boyfriend that if he doesn’t appreciate your edible pearls next time—or at the very least whip out his smartphone to take a photo of them—that he’s never going to get another homemade cake ever again.)
- If You Bake a Boyfriend a Cake… (fieldworkinstilettos.com)