Sunday, April 1, 2012

OK, Fess-Up Time...I Cannot Bake. There I said it.

I'm not saying I cannot cook. I can cook to beat the band. I don't like to, but when I do...there are no complaints. In fact the wonderful people in my life don't even complain about my baking skill, or lack thereof. Still, for all the trying that does go on... for some reason this little thing called baking eludes me.

My children turned me on to the Cake Boss which is a TV show where they make masterpiece nummy artistic creations they dub  merely 'cakes'. One thing about masters in singing, athletics, baking or mostly anything beautifully done, the masters make the extremely difficult look easy, effortless even. I can make a brisket that melts in your mouth. I can make potato salad that cause family fueds over who gets the last spoonful. Why can't I make a pretty cake? Luckily for my family, this old bird doesn't give up on many things...or people for that matter.

I've watched many many youtube videos on cake baking. I even used my discount coupons and bought fancy Wilton round cake pans. I have a cool cake decorating 'toolbox' filled with gismos and gadgets galore. One of my recent epic failures happened to fall on Velentines Day this year. Truth be told, Valentines Day kinda snuck up on me. Not my favorite holiday. It's great for the young people who have a sweetheart in their life and they have fun shopping for stuff to buy them. But for most of us with longtime companions that we love and adore on a daily basis, and show in a thousand ways of our love and devotion...Valentines is dumb. OK, let's not go there. This is about cake. Like I said, Valentines snuck up on me. So I decided what would make my family the happiest is if I would bake a cake. I got down the crystal cake stand and pulled out my fancy Wilton cake pans and set to work.

I had some extra batter so I made a dozen cupcakes too. I could share these also with the sisters I Visit Teach. The cupcakes and cake came out beautifully. The pans worked! My use of Bakers-Joy worked! My cake cooling racks worked! I was rockin it so far. I should have just sprinkled them with some powdered sugar and walked away. LOL.

It had been a very busy day and I was trying to get this cake made before DH (dear husband) woke from his nap (he works nights). He was taking me to dinner somewhere. I knew he wouldn't mind making a couple of stops first with cupcakes. I looked at my cakes cooling in the kitchen and thought. Hey- I can shower and get ready for our date and then have time to ice and decorate the cake before he wakes up. That was the plan. I got all decked out in my dinner clothes (new outfit I got for Christmas and had not been worn yet) and headed for my kitchen.

I got out my handy-dandy tool box of gadgets and started frosting the cake and as soon as I touched that yummy chocolate icing to that lovely chocolate cake...that's when things started to get ugly. I think there is a trick to icing a cake that the universe has hidden from me and secretly giggles as it watches me try. I finally finished getting the frosting on the cake and then decided that I would decorate it and maybe 'cover up' some of the uglyness. I had seen a cool trick someone used on where you place the piping back in a sturdy cup which leaves you with two hands to scoop the icing in. Right. After a Three-Stooges-like escapade I started 'decorating'. Oh good grief. I wasn't to be deterred though....I had nothing else to give my sweethearts. So onward, I told myself...ONWARD! Well, I was just about finished when I guess I was starting to pay too much attention to the decorating and not to the piping bag just re-filled with chocolate frosting. I gave it a good confident sqeeze and it exploded out of the top all over me. My hair, face, new shirt, arms, and my hands were covered. I even had it dripping down to my pants. Just then my DH walked out of our room and saw me standing there staring at him. I croaked out an embarrassed, "Help." He kindly hopped into action and soon things were under control. After cleaning myself up and changing my clothes...I walked into the kitchen and looked at my poor little ugly Valentine offering. Ugh.

The wonderful men in my life sweetly gushed compliments and gratitude for my efforts in their behalf. My son said, "Momma, it's CAKE! I don't care what it looks like I bet it tastes great!" His Dad nodded in agreement. Here is a little look at my offerings, humble as they were.

The message says it all.

Oh dear.

How hard can it be to ice a cupcake?

I tried to make up for ugly icing
with cute packaging for my kids
and my sweet VT sisters.

Well, now you know another thing about me, I'm baking challenged. However, I am not to be deterred, I will try yet again, keeping a closer eye on the closure at the top of my piping bag next time.

Baking impaired.

Momma D

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