Friday, September 11, 2009
Bringing the Cake Magic
Today, another hip milestone: I am attempting my first post-surgical wedding cake. The fact that it's taken me three months to make a cake is sign of how truly laid up I've been, seeing as how I rarely go a month without a cake project. In fact, I had promised a friend of my mom's that I would make her a cake one week after my surgery. (One week post-surgery I was still hobbling around on my walker, getting dizzy if I remained upright for longer than 15 minutes and being barricaded from my bathroom in the hospital by an elderly Chinese woman, so that turned out to be just slightly optimistic). But today, I will finally reclaim my hobby if it kills me (or, more likely, if my mom kills me due to the mess I made in her kitchen).
You know those Food Network Challenges where bakers make three-foot replicas of Disney Princesses or whatever and their kitchens are always pristine because they get points for neatness? I'm not really one of those bakers. I'm one of those bakers who spills an entire box of cocoa powder then accidentally steps in it, creating brown footprints on a white carpet and severely testing the patience of her roommates. I'm one of those bakers who makes a wedding cake in a hotel room in Michigan (true story) and three hours after check-out time is frantically (along with the wedding photographer) trying to scrape frosting off the wallpaper and get cake out of the carpet. (Sorry, L!) If I don't get molten marshmallow and icing in my hair, I have obviously not been trying hard enough.
The problem is, of course, that baking requires a lot of standing. Standing is not one of my strong suits. It also requires a lot of carrying, bending, twisting, walking around with heavy objects and getting down on your hands and knees to mop shortening off the floor. None of these are my strong suites and most of them fall under the "danger" section of hip precautions. Still, I was not about to let S. and J. down by failing to produce a cake of epic proportions. I therefore rolled up my sleeves, tied back my hair, said a little prayer to the Gods of Hip Replacement, and set about bringing the cake magic. At least, I thought, I wouldn't be baking in a Michigan hotel room.
Fast forward to me, the next day, vibrating a little from the sugar buzz of sampling so much buttercream frosting, unable to get a glob of said frosting off of my foot because of hip restrictions, realizing that while I can bake, stack, level and ice cakes if I rest in between steps, I cannot clean up after myself. I just do not have the hip flexion. Responsibility fail! For that reason, my poor mom had to play Cinderella and pick up the slack, cleaning up after my sorry ass as I walked upstairs (with my feet filthy dirty) and laid down to recover. There are now little bits of cake and frosting in my bed and I'm not even done yet. I will add this to the 189,593 reasons why my mom is awesome.
So, while I finish the cake, here's a picture of one of my previous cake efforts: an entry into the Edible Book Competition last May. And, yes, I did spend the night before my thesis defense making lace out of white Airhead candies. Because that's how I roll.