I have to admit it. I suck at decorating cakes. I mean, I really stink at it. And don’t suggest a cake decorating class. I flunked. Twice. It is humbling to have the cake decorating teacher suggest, ever-so-politely, that while my desire to learn how to make cakes special for my children’s birthdays was admirable, I might want to just buy them from Safeway. Sigh.
And then there was the Seven Minute disaster. I called my mom in tears after I had gone through all my sugar and eggs and 4, yes, FOUR attempts to make Seven Minute Frosting. “Mom, I can’t get it right. It just sits there.” Mom to the rescue. She comes down, watches me ruin yet another batch, and even she was baffled. The Queen of Seven Minute Frosting and my own mother had the nerve to suggest, that perhaps I should just stick to ready made. If you knew my organic lovin’, never-make-it-any-way-but-by-scratch-and-with-love mother, it was like being told I had been dropped off on the doorstep as a baby by really odd strangers.
Now that doesn’t mean I still don’t try. Believe me, I got rejected as a writer all over town before I sold. Every editor I’ve ever worked with (5 in total) all rejected me at one time or another. So even being told to shove off by the nice Wilton Lady or even by my own Mother wasn’t enough to stop me from committing crimes against cakedom in the privacy of my own home. I mean, I can learn this. I can master this. But when the husband looked at my last attempt (February 12, 2008 to be exact) he was less than kind. “Honey, please do us all a favor. Don’t frost them.” Oh, the cake is very edible, and so is the frosting (as long as I stick to Buttercream) but together, I turn it into an eyesore, a birthday homage to Jackson Pollock.
But after the February birthday in our house, comes the April follow-up. Here was my chance to redeem myself. Now over the last year or so, I’ve taken to reading Jane Brockett’s Blog, Yarnstorm. She knits, cooks, and takes wonderful photographs that are a delight for the soul. Jane also wrote the book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity. And of course, she bakes cakes. Or rather, she can decorate them. Without any help from Wilton. Why just look at this magic! Or this one. Look how she doesn’t even frost the sides, and yet, it is still a work of art. I felt inspired. I felt breathless. This I could do.
And see if I didn’t: