It's been a few days since my last update. I really drained my batteries on Friday and Saturday. Mrs. Geek and I had to attend a birthday party and we were asked to bring the cake. I decided to bake one.
Communication leading up to the event was lousy. We heard only intermittently from the party organizer, and did not get a firm headcount for the event until last Thursday. We also heard little in the way of cake preferences from the guest of honor, except that he liked carrot cake. To further confuse matters for me, Mrs. Geek was trying to take the emotional temperature of the party planner and came up with unsettling answers ("she seemed somewhat surprised that you would want to bake the cake".)
All this really started to raise my blood pressure. At first, I was thinking that this was a somewhat homespun birthday party -- and event at which a custom-made cake would be a welcome addition in my family. The vibes that I was getting from Mrs. Geek were making me uneasy, however. What if this was a somewhat more formal event? This question became more important when I finally went back and looked at the invitation to the party -- it wasn't being held at someone's home; it was a catered event at a local Italian American club! On the other hand, the lack of headcount until the last minute made it pretty difficult to order a cake ahead of time... unless I decided that taking home half of a sheet carrot cake home with me was a good thing to do. Plus, my mom's carrot cake recipe is a pretty damn good one (though not for the calorie counters -- 1 cup of canola oil in the cake, and 2 cups of confectioners sugar and 4 oz. of cream cheese in the frosting!)
I baked two carrot cakes at about 9pm on Friday night. I then had all day Saturday to decorate them. Taking my cues from the The Icing Man Cometh episode of Good Eats, I frosted the top and sides of both cakes, added some nuts around the sides. and put on a green border around the edge of the top. It was far from metaleve's high standard of excellence, but it was a modest freshman effort that didn't involve too many crumbs in the frosting. I even managed to put a "Happy Birthday" message on one of the cakes... even if the two types of frosting did NOT want to stick to each other.
It all came out well in the end. The party, though catered, was a fairly informal family-style affair -- complete with an elderly Italian-American matron who gave Mrs. Geek the evil eye while serving the food because Mrs. Geek wasn't eating anything other than pasta. My two cakes fit right in... and were a big hit. Several people inquired if the recipe was available.
So Sunday found me feeling much relieved... but tired, damn tired.
ps. I'll try to get a couple pics of the cakes on here eventually... I don't think Mrs. Geek has downloaded them from her camera yet.
on 2006-03-28 at 5:40 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond