Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Light and Fluffy? Pshaw!

Since Tom's tennis match pre-empted last week's birthday "festivities," I decided to try again this past weekend.  Saturday after Mad's nap, the kids and I headed to the groc to get the few items we needed to balance out our ingredients for the cake.  Sure, we bought a few extra things, like produce for a salad.  And water.  Still, how our less expensive than store bought cake tab rang up to $76 is beyond me.

We dashed home and began working on our creation right away.  Madelyn and I measured ingredients and sometimes mostly put them in a bowl.  Corey was in charge of mixing.  Along the way I defrosted and drained organic raspberries and heated the liquid and some other ingredients.  Somewhere along the way, Corey and I neglected to add all the milk to the cake batter.

I checked Wilton's baking charts.  They had baking times for two inch high pans at 8", 9", and 10" wide or three inch high pans at 8" or 10" wide.  Naturally, we have pans that are 2.5 inches tall and nine inches wide.  The bake times are about 20 minutes apart.  So we winged it (I always want to say wung it) on the first layer and had a good idea of the duration for the second layer.

Part of the first layer stayed in the bottom of the cake pan, but it gave us something to sample, and we liked what we tasted.

Raspberry filling is surprisingly easy to make.  The frosting's even easier.  However, it wasn't until the frosting was done that I realized we were making a pink cake for Tom.  It's okay, he's a Renaissance man.  His high school senior portrait shows him sporting a pink dress shirt and 'fro mullet (don't tell him I added the "mullet" part, just know it's the truth).

Once everything was prepared and cooled, I assembled the cake.  I remembered what I'd heard friends say about not letting the filling ooze from between the layers.  After the first layer was frosted and covered in raspberry goo, Corey and I marveled at our masterpiece.  The second layer went on without a hitch.  Frosting it was no problemo. 

Visions of the lovely 'morrow filled my mind as I covered here and swirled there.  We'd have a lovely late lunch of steak salad together before heading off to my niece's latest play.  The cake would have to go with us because we'd want to share this concoction of love.  Maybe we'd leave some with Dad and Margaret for watching Madelyn.  Probably we'd bring some to share with my brother's family after the play.

***Okay, this is where you should know that I must have been on crack.  We never stay after the play because A) Bro's family lives in an LA suburb far, far away, B) The plays go until nearly 10:00, C) We don't leave Mad with the grandparents overnight (just because we're like that, not them) and D) Tom leaves for work at 4:30 A.M.

Fast forward to Sunday morning.  In my pregnancy haze, I've misplaced my debit card.  The store we do our main grocery shopping at doesn't take checks unless the address on your license matches the one on your check.  Mine doesn't.  And they don't take credit cards.  So Tom has to do the week's shopping.  And I need two more things that I didn't get at the secondary grocery store yesterday.  Shouldn't be a big deal; he's the usual shopper anyway.

We talk about it at 7:30.

At 8:00.


At 1:00 I mention it again as I go to make something to eat until we get to "lunch."

Just before 2:00 I am sitting here, fighting tears and wondering if any of my plans will ever come to fruition.  I am also thinking of all the things Tom does that annoy me and how I could say this or I could do that.  I do and say none of them (so far... with my mouth-brain connection, there's never a guarantee *sigh*).

Tom comes in and asks if we need anything from the store.

"Only what I've requested."

*blank stare*

Here's where I'm glad I don't have blood pressure issues.  Tom's forgetfulness seems only to relate to things I've said or conversations we've had.  Perhaps it's pregnancy related, too.  We'll see in about nine weeks, I guess.

By the time he leaves, I am convinced we'll have to grab fast food on the way down the hill.  I wonder if the cake will even get eaten.  But he returns in record time and we sit down to a somewhat hasty late, late lunch.

Before we've gotten to the cake, Corey asks, "What time are we leaving?"

"According to our original plan, in eight minutes.  But I still need a shower."  (Here's another fun fact from the day, Corey was supposed to run the dishwasher, but was so slow loading it that it finished running just before we sat down to eat.  The thought of showering while it was running hot and hotter water... well, no thanks.)

I take the cake out of the fridge.  Corey and I collaborate on what to do with the birthday candles that spell out "Happy Birthday."  We decide on the anagram, "A dry hippy bath" (because we can, and most of our other options make even less sense).   My plan is to use one letter (the last H) to light the rest.  This is a bad plan.  Not only does the H start melting next to each candle, it's taking so long that other candles are now melting onto the cake, too.  Apparently the wicks are pretty short.  Halfway through "hippy" the H is done.  Plan B is a mechanical lighter.  I can't operate it, so Tom has to light his own candles.

Corey and I sing to him, which Madelyn hates.  She begins crying and saying No!  As soon as we stop, she is relieved and happy again.  She says, "I like cake.  I like *dramatic pause* eat it!

So do we, honey.  Oh, so do we!

I grab a knife and cake server and... force my way through the rock hard cake.  Not terribly worried, I mean, it's cold, I hack away and produce a slice of cake for Tom.  The filling looks like filling.  The cake looks dense.  We taste it.  It's not the same great cake as yesterday.  None of us, including Madelyn, finishes our cake.  The ice cream gets cleaned off each plate pretty quickly.

Tom, despite occasionally making me want to say or do those things, loves me and tells me how great the ca... er... the uh... filling is perfect.  To seal my love forever, he adds, "Anybody can have a light and fluffy cake!"

I mention that Corey and I had a back-up plan; if the cake baking didn't go well, we'd run out to Winco and buy one of those pre-made dealies that he liked so well a few months back.  Tom's eyes light up until I am forced to admit we didn't do that.

Later Tom says that the only reason he's not going to have much more cake is that he doesn't need the calories.  Oh, and he doesn't want to disappoint Corey by eating it all himself.  No worries there.  Corey grabbed a huge slice for himself today.  It's still sitting on the table.

1 comment:

Bossy Betty said...

Yikes! The Saga of the Cake!!

I'm thinking store-bought next year???

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