Monday, February 14, 2011

The War of the Birthday Cake

The War of The Birthday Cake

Began: 6:00 p.m.

Ended: 10:00 p.m.

Cause of Conflict: My father's 50th birthday cake.

Location: The Musick's Kitchen.

Who knew that the creation of a birthday cake can be such an emotional journey? My emotions were constantly changing, dropping and rising with the struggle. First, anticipation. Good butterflies floating in my tum, a naive baker imaging all the different possibilities. Then, a tingling premonition of anguish. Still, I forged on. Mixing, adding, zesting, powdering, softening, measuring, correcting, stirring until my arms wished they were no longer attached to my body.

Finally, the cake was in the oven. Golden and promising, I felt like a proud parent. The kitchen might be coated in a fine layer of flour, and is that chocolate on the ceiling?, but it all seemed worth the effort.

30 minutes later, the cake emerges! Golden and spongy, unbelievably soft and angelic. Surely, no cake has ever been so flawless! With zeal, I tipped the pan over.






As every good baker knows: "When in doubt call your mother." For you inexperienced chefs, "SPLA-CRUmble..." is the sound of a warm and tender white cake hitting the counter and crumbling into three-fourish uneven pieces. The sound sends a shiver down every baker's spine.

This, on the emotional scale, is where my heart sinks into a depression like never felt before. Seeing that cake crumble was surely what Clara felt when her precious gift, The handsome Nutcracker soldier, was lying on the floor; splintered and severed. Oh, the pain! Like the remorse of seeing a baby bunny being mauled. Truly, it was heart breaking. I felt like crying.

Taking a deep breath, the cake was resembled on the tray. Bit by bit, each crumb was set in place. Then, with great care, cemented in place with a sticky white frosting. Again, the cake was whole! Slightly battle weary, but alive.

Mom always says, in times of cooking doubt:

"Frosting can cover a multitude of sins."

Never has a truer thing been said about cooking. And boy, did I frost it for all I was worth. Bowl after bowl of colored frosting carefully slapped, spread, coated, piped, and curlicued. And lets just say that a brave pair of sunglasses were lost in the heat of battle. Now, the emotional roller coaster was running out of fuel. It was grinding to an exhausted halt, and my stomach was about to learn to fly from taste testing all my frosting concoctions. With a final pecan button, I stepped back to view my work.

To the casual observer, this thing belonged on cake wrecks. To me, though? My heart was filled with pride and my eyes coated with hard work and love. So, after the battle had been fought, this gloriously wrecktastic 50th birthday cake stood before me:

(and yes, that is supposed to be my father. Albeit a bit younger and wearing a baby blue tux.)

The final stop on this emotional roller coaster: VICTORY. So, my comrades, I can officially say: Battle Won.

Till next time,


1 comment:

  1. Battle won indeed...hope it tasted as good as it looked!!! :) Congrats girl!