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Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh Birthday Blog OR How I Tried to Kill the Cake

Somehow or another I made a grievous error.  It was terrible.  Awful.  People are still wailing about it and pulling out their hair.

What did I do?  I asked my daughter what she would like on her birthday.  First, she went through the particular presents she wanted.  (Fashion design Barbie.  Hobo Barbie.  Infertility Barbie.  Home foreclosure Barbie.  Some other stuff.  I might have made some up of those Barbies.)  Then I asked about the cake she wanted.  (I was looking for a specific flavor but I wasn't specific enough.)  (Lessons for parents here: ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS unless you really don't care.  Examples: "Do you want to go to bed now?"  They will say no, no matter what.  Say this instead: "Do you want to go to bed now or in ten minutes?"  I should have asked, "Do you want a white cake or a french vanilla cake?"  But I didn't because my brain was temporarily damaged.  I think the smell of the cat's poop is causing neurons and dendrites to fail.  Not good.)

Cressy said: "I want a cake shaped like a star.  The frosting will be purple.  It'll have my name on cursive."  (She's learning cursive writing in school now and cursive writing is apparently da bomb.)  (I'll say it again. Da BOMB.)

Sarcastically I asked, "Anything else?  Caviar on the edges in a complicated yet artistic design?"

Cressy does not get sarcasm yet and responded, "No caviar.  But I want the state of Texas in icing.  And you can decorate around the edges."  She demonstrated by doing curlicues with her fingers in the air.

Wisely I did not ask anything else at that moment.  Later however, when I forgot myself and asked what kind of meal she wanted on her birthday, she said, "I want a banana split."  (She's never had a banana split and she's totally into the idea of banana splitdom.)

Thus, in a state of besotted arrogance, I made the cake.  (Another mistake.  While I can paint and draw and write, I am not a wondrous maker of cakes.)  I decided to cook the cake in a flat pan.  Then flip it onto a big round plate and cut the star shape out.  I can draw so I thought, 'This is not a problem.  I've been drawing star shapes for at least forty years.  I'm an ace.'

Once the cake had cooled (miraculously it didn't explode in the oven) I ran a knife around the edges and tried to flip it.  Nothing happened.  The cake was stuck in the pan.  (And yes, I greased the damn pan for all of you nay-sayers.)  I ran the knife further along the edges.  Flip again.  Nothing.  I got out a spatula.  Pieces of cake started to fall away.  Cressy came in to see.  I shooed her off saying, "I know it looks messy now, but it'll look much better when I'm finished."  (If there's anything I know, it's that massive quantities of frosting will fix anything!  Once they used it on the Great Wall of China.  Little known fact.  I'm pretty sure it might be true.)

I used the spatula again.  I flipped again.  This time the cake did come out.  Half of it.  I had a mental image of going to the store for another package of cake mix.  I determined that it was Saturday evening and I did not want to go to the store for another package of cake mix.  The spatula came out again.  The other half of the cake came out, but not on the plate.
Actual remnants of Cake Cressy.  Oh, the humanity.
Hey, this might not look pretty, but it's very light and fluffy.
No, it flew through the air, not unlike Superman while high on crack, and made kissy faces with the counter top.  (Most of it went on the counter top.  Some of it did not.)  Fortunately, the only witness was Megaroy, my daughter's cat, who wants to follow me around incessantly.  His comment, nearly verbatim, was, "Mah-wa-hahahaha."

"I'm eating the cake!" Megaroy crows.
"I'm eating the em-effing cake!"
So I got jiggy.  I cut out the star and it looked kind of like something I would have done 40 years ago.  I took the jar of frosting and found the food coloring.  (Remember purple frosting?  The grocery store does not sell purple frosting.  I do not know why.  They are obviously idiots.)  I mixed and dropped drops of red and blue into it until it turned a mauvey-purpley-violet.  I decided this was okay and attempted to frost the cake.

The cake did not want to be frosted.  It said, "Eff you and the pan you rode in on, beeyotch."  Then it fell apart.  The little star's points all decided that the floor was a much better place to be.  Megaroy discovered that he can have his cake and eat it, too.  Marie Antoinette's ghost said, "They don't want to eat that cake."

I stared at the cake.  The cake did not move.  It needed a special surgeon.  I started cutting pieces off the other half of the cake to make the star's points.  I had to perform reconstructive surgery on the cake.  My reasoning was that the frosting would cover it up.  The state of Texas (she was born there and this is why she asked for it) and the curlicues did not make it onto the finished product, because there wasn't room.  I was lucky to get the day in birthday on that sucker.

Therefore, let's just say I used a lot of frosting and next year I will be using someone else's cake-making services.

Dismayed and ready to throw the cake in the garbage, I said to Cressy, "I'm sorry it's messy."

Here comes the awww moment.  She said, "It's okay.  I like anything you do, even if it's messy."


Here's the cake, so you can tell what a tremendous load of pity my daughter was exerting upon me.  Here is photographic proof beyond measurement that my daughter truly loves me.  (She really, really does.)
This is the saddest cake ever made.


R. Mac Wheeler said...



Don't go so easy on yourself.


Did I add...birthday wishes for the little one? If not. HBD!


Jerrilynn Atherton said...

You made my morning!!

Tia Chandler said...

If you use a bakery, you will have more time to write. What's coming up next btw?

Sara S. said...

Well... That's the same color of "purple" my mother painted my bedroom when I was 10 and asked for purple, so ya done good on that part!

I'm doing a state-theme b-day cake later this week too. Do ya know how hard it is to come up with decorations for Massachusetts? Mine will have that smooth rolled-out fondant though - homemade, not the toxic-tasting premade stuff.

I do pretty good cakes, though not professional. I guess they're my creative outlet. If I lived closer, I'd do them for ya on the sly so Cressie and HIM would think you were da bomb too, lol.

Andsetinn said...

Happy birthday to your daughter. :)

Carwoo said...

Thanks everyone!

Tia, I'm writing the third Lake People novel now.

Sara, you should see Cressy's room. She wouldn't let me go with lavender. It's PURPLE!

The kid had a fairly happy birthday except we hadn't included Chuck E. Cheese on the agenda, which she pointed out in detail.

Appreciate all the well-wishers!

Dragonfly Dreams said...

That is the loveliest cake ever made! Or lovingliest cake....Happy Birthday to your daughter!

T. L. Ingham said...

Happy Birthday Cressy! I do remember those creative cake days and DO NOT miss them! lol. Having said that, I have to say, you made my day (yet again), though people are starting to think I am a bit insane staring at my laptop and giggling like an idiot. They fitted me for a helmet the other day... Should I be worried? My favorite though, was the 'dissing my poo,' made me lol til I cried!

Crack You Whip said...

I had to laugh at the cake! I actually have no right to as I don't even bother to bake or cook. I have no idea what my kids are surviving on, but this was a hilarious post, I know that much!

Gail said...

I remember when I was turning 12, I wanted a cake with a horse on it. Mom had to order it as she was swamped with work, then run home & cook dinner, & eat, then put on the candles & light them, then Mom, Dad and sister were singing. When they got to the "Happy Birthday, dear...", I looked down at the cake and exclaimed "BILL!?!?!?". Sure enough, it said Happy Birthday, Bill" as the lady at the bakery figured she must have misunderstood the name, as no girl would want a HORSE on her cake.
The next year, I wanted pink roses all over the cake, including the sides. This time Mom checked the cake prior to leaving the bakery. It was perfect.... until some jerk cut her off in traffic, forcing her to slam on the brakes, causing the cake to make a swan dive off the seat onto the floor.