Monday, May 11, 2009

The Party

Ahh. A fine joint birthday/mothers day was had by many. The house was full, the kiddos were happy, the food was great (if I do say so myself. And I tried to stay as positive as possible through it all.

The week had been trying to say the least. Late nights of cleaning and long days of yard work as we combined spring cleaning with getting ready for the party. Nearer the festivities and things really went a-poopy. My second night shift saw us working a young person suicide without success. Always hard on the crew. Fortunately the team I was on was excellent and I was, and remain, awed and proud of their professionalism and dedication when the crap hits the fan like that. When I returned home, I found that Sparkle had died. Then came the cakes.

Now granted, nothing that could have (and did) go wrong with the cakes would be as bad as the night before. But they were sort of the straw on the camel, as it were.

The Grand Plan called for me and the Wife making a Wall-E cake for the Boyo, and a baby block cake for Sweet Pea. Well. We stayed busy most of the day getting all the detaily stuff done for the arrival of her folks Saturday evening. Just as I was about to get started on the cakes, they arrived. So I didn't really get started on them until Sunday morning. With the party starting at two, it didn't leave me with quite enough time.

The fondant, while tasty, was just a little too soft. I was expecting something clay-like. What I got was something leaning towards lava consistency, without the heat. The cakes, while delicious, were very moist and crumbly. so cutting and shaping left a bit of a mess. And the buttercream frosting I was going to use as a crumb layer/glue for the fondant... well, that was all my fault. The recipe called for 1 pound of powdered sugar to go with the other ingredients. Somewhere in my head I took that as 1 cup. So when all was mixed, the resulting frosting seemed a bit liquidy to me. So I added more powdered sugar until it seemed right.

Well, after frosting everything all heck broke happily loose. The baby blocks were ok. They were small-ish. But the Wall-E block ended up leaning in all directions, the "glue" frosting actually smushed its way between the cracks and pushed things farther apart. And by the time I had finally finished the baby block cake, I had about two hours to the party to finish Wall-E. It just wasn't going to happen. The Wife and everyone else had gone to church, so I had nobody to tell me to throw in the towel.

Finally, after mixing up the perfect Wall-E yellow in the fondant, and trying to cover the rapidly collapsing block of strawberry/chocolate/frosting goo, I called it. I was so far beyond cursing however, that I actually started to giggle a little. (Insanity? I think so!) The giggling continued as I wrapped up the yellow fondant and tossed it into the trash and scooped up the remaining mess and put it into a large bowl. Heck, it's still cake and frosting. I'll make little hamburger like patties out of it and top with ice cream after the party!

Anyway, When the Boyo got home with everyone else, we went to pick out a cake for him. He chose a nice chocolate cake with five flowers on it.

I don't have pics of that cake, but here - for your viewing pleasure- is the baby block cake. It might just be a suitable candidate for the Cake Wreck site. At least I don't do this for a living!

Enjoy.

So why the stoned elephant and the cow that looks a little like a deer you might ask? Well. Family traditions. When my siblings and I turned a year old, our family made cakes shaped like a Hereford cow. Then they would place the cake in front of us and see which part we grabbed first. As the Wife grew up, they had a birthday elephant, who in the spirit of Mr. Claus would bring the birthday girl presents. They frequently had a cake shaped like an elephant.

When the Boyo was turning one, we debated for a long time on whether to have a cow cake or an elephant cake. We came up with many plans, none of which seemed very good. A cow body with an elephant head would really screw up our new one year olds head.

Somewhere along the line we came up with the idea of doing blocks, and with icing that first year, I painted a cow on one block and an elephant on another, thus carrying on traditions while starting a new one of our own!

This year, with extra fondant, I made the birthday elephant and the Hereford out of that. With a little success. And the Sweet Pea loved her cake! Her first grab? The block with the 'Y's on it.

Happy Birthday Kiddos, and Happy Moms day, to all you moms.

More Later

1 comment:

Sharon said...

It was a WONDERFUL party! The food was delicious... and the cakes were great! And of course, the kiddos were darling! Fun...fun...fun!