Let them eat cake!

Now, Jane Asher is known as a particularly nice, straight-forward, feet-on-the-ground kind of woman. People I know who’ve met her all say so. But she didn’t half raise the bar as far as cake making goes! Remember the days when a round sponge sandwich with jam in the middle and white icing on the top was perfect acceptable? Now – thanks to her – replicas of the Parthenon in Royal icing have become the norm. Which is bad news for a domestic dunderhead like me.

I know I seem fixated on cake – and not in a good way – but when you’ve had as many cake-related disasters as I have, well it becomes a touchy subject. But I’ve learned to live within my limitations. Since everything I bake turns out heavy, I stick with heavy – banana bread, carrot cake, flapjack, brownies. If I attempted a Victoria sponge, it would still come out like flapjack. And it was in this spirit of realism – albeit misguided – that I thought I’d make brownies and ice them like dominoes so I could lay them down the centre of the table at the twins’ 6th birthday party, kind of like a dominoes game.

What was I thinking? Imagine how long the table was to accomodate 30 kids. Estimate how many brownies I had to make. Marvel at how long that took (not to mention icing the blasted things). Guess what time I got to bed that night. Finally – how long do you think it took for the whole conceit to be dismantled?

Jane Asher – grrrrrr!

Come on – ‘fess up to your shameful, over-the-top efforts that you wish you’d never started.


12 thoughts on “Let them eat cake!

  1. You mean, other than the foam, insulator lightsabers for Dr. Know’s upcoming Star Wars party? Or the fact that I’m working on attaching stale cinnamon buns to a head band for my Princess Leia costume?
    Or do you mean, last year when I made 15 Harry Potter magic wands for Dr Know’s party? And then had the children make a Hedwig the Owl craft?
    Or the time before that when the Omega Man and I made silver spray painted cardboard robot costumes for the kids at Danger Boy’s party? And then had the kids make paper-plate flying saucers?
    Needless to say, I have never ever been fully awake for any of children’s parties. I’m usually up to 4 AM. Covered in glitter, spray paint, duct tape and icing.
    Or do you mean, more along the lines of reading The Xmas Factor while simultaneously googling different mincemeat pie fillings because I was having an inspired craving? I’m irony impaired, by the way.

  2. My life would be a lot less fulfilled without cake.

    But dominoes… blimey. You idiot.

    As for me… I’m always starting mad impossible projects. Like the time I decided a blanket for premature twins had tgo be augmented with their names, which had to be made out of individual letters cut out of twnty different materials by hand, which involved making cardboard templates and then finding iron-on stuff and attaching them… all of this a few days before Xmas. I was up half the night.

    How come I’ve never visited your blog before? I like. In fact, you will be getting an email from me later…

  3. clare here’s what we do – if i get what seems like a good idea, i’ll run it past you first and you do the same with me. there’s a good chance one of us will be having a spell of lucidity … isn’t there?

  4. Either that or we will wind each other up to fever pitch and end up BOTH staying up all night, replacing lucidity with ludicrity…

  5. the very same – and i’d say she looks an awful lot better than he does these days! if that’s what baking cakes does for you, i’d better get cracking.

  6. I have a friend who is such a skilled cakemaker that she made her own three-tiered wedding cake, sugar flowers (all several hundred of them) and all. How she had time for this, I’ll never know. But let’s just say I tried to do something similarly spectacular for my daughter’s first birthday, and wound up so frustrated that I sent my husband to the supermarket for a sheet cake because all that fondant wasn’t happening…

  7. There is no point in making cake. It’s Cheaper & less hassle to just buy the stuff. Unless you’re making me a cake. Then I love homemade cake. I never make it myself

  8. After one too many mimosas, I dumped the carrot cake my father-in-law brought over on Christmas Eve straight into the washing machine. Though it was an accident, I secretly relished my cake flop. He rudely said “Is anyone going to serve the cake I brought over or what? I want a piece. Do you know how expensive that thing was?” Didn’t cost me a penny to throw it away.

  9. paige i feel your cake-related pain, your friend, however, sound superhuman. do you ever feel like slapping her?
    cha0tic dib’t get me wrong, i’m all for home-made cake … as long as mine isn’t the home (or yours by the sound of it)
    ds always a pleasure to see you. your f-i-l sounds delightful. couldn’t you accidently have dropped the cake in his lap? but really, in the washing machine? IN the washing machine! how on earth did you manage to make that look like an accident? (and didn’t it get on your clothes?)

  10. Heh. I can’t even manage a store-bought pie… I literally pulled on out of the fridge for a friend’s birthday to have it flip out of my hand and land facedown on the kitchen floor. Crap. (Another friend saved the day and my panicked ass, pouring devon cream custard over canned peach slices and flaming the whole lot with brandy. Yum.)

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