My day of cake-bakery very nearly turned into an episode of I Love Lucy.
Up until now, I had been mixing all my cake batter (from a mix) and cookie dough and homemade icing by hand, using a wooden spoon twirled between my palms. But, as this was my first cake-from-scratch, I got a little electric mixer.
This was the first time I've used an electric mixer since, er, ever.
The thing does not have a speed which I would characterize as "Slow."
As far as I can tell, its settings start off at "Fast," move on from "OMG" to "WTF," and culminate in AAAAAAHHHHHH RICKYYYYYYYYYYY!!!"
So of course as soon as I started beating the dry ingredients into the sugar-butter, THE FLOUR STARTED FLYING!!! My kitchen was enmisted in a fine white powder! And not the kind with street value! Visibility was down to one foot!!! COULD I make it through to the Batter Side??? Would there be any batter left in the bowl when I was done???
The answer was Yes!!! Batter was achieved! Cake was accomplished!!! And it did, in fact, look like something approaching a castle!... if a castle had been somehow left in the same pasture with the Great Ziggurat of Ur when it was in heat. But no archaeologists were on the scene to complain.
The frosting process got a little sticky (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...*sigh*)-- the hot temperatures and high humidity didn't allow the buttercream to do anything but look blobby. So I ended up cementing the whole castle shape together with royal icing made with an extra egg white and liberal cream of tartar, then when the structure dried I just spackled on the frosting like adobe. (If you're paying attention, now we've got a Mediaeval Castle/Mesopotamian Ziggurat/Adobe Mud-hut.) Since the stuff was too liquidy to do any fine detailing, I made it look more building-like by using candy. Red Twizzler architectural detailing, Dots for the battlements, and Whoppers around the rim like so much insanely boulderlike landscaping. And, not too bad a look, as it turned out! Wonderful Son was pleased, and that was what counted. :) He got to put the final dots on the towers, and that made his day.
Pictures were taken!!! As soon as I quit being lazy I will put one up. The party was fun, the kids played without getting horribly taxed and worn out, and a good time was had by all. This was the most fun birthday party yet, and as the kids get older, I think they're just going to get better and better. :)
There are days when being a parent is like being one of those people who voluntarily sleeps on nails and walks through burning coals. Then there are days like this, when everything was sunshine, cake, and presents. For me, the company of fun adults and happy, awesome, interesting kids was the best present, ever.
Memorial Day redux
11 months ago