Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Separates Us From the Animals Is Our Ability To Accessorize

I made a cake last weekend and I didn't say much about it.

Guys, don't stare. It's not wearing any decorative icing!
I mean, it ended up cute... and it was sculpted and carved and the colors were pretty. But it just wasn't right.

Remember this?

I mean, it's not bad or anything. The modeling chocolate rocks are cute... and the name and age in the ripples  of the water were pretty darn creative (if I do say so myself). But it's just... missing something.

Well, I am happy to report, just like life after high school, it got better.

Right? The Birthday Mom did an amazing job of accessorizing the cake.

It was a Peter Pan and Wendy party and she even had Peter Pan and Wendy there! From the looks if the pictures, the party was 16 kinds of awesome and adorable.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Birthday Mom is a great photographer. (Once again I say, hire a pro when it counts, people!).

I am so much prouder to show THIS cake now that I have a great picture of it all accessorized.

Now, I have to say... my cake clients know how to throw a shindig. Y'all, the things I've seen... food, decorations, activities... there are some CREATIVE people around here. I'm so lucky and appreciative that I've gotten to cake for them. I can't wait to see what the rest of 2013 will bring...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Almost Back to Normal

There was a little bump in the road of my my health recently. I've scaled back a little bit on the cakes to spend more time with my family and to make sure I take a little time off each month. But yesterday... oh, yesterday. Yesterday, the stars aligned and it was like the whole sickness thing never happened. I stayed up until 2am working on cakes! My arm got tired before I did! (And my arms don't get tired from caking much anymore).  And I got up at 6:30 to keep working. I ended up needing a nap today, but it feels REALLY good to (almost) be back in charge of my body.

I made three pretty complicated cakes for today. This is a flagrant violation of my "One complicated or two small and simple cakes per week" rule. I'll let me off with a warning this time.

The first cake I delivered was a landscape scene made to go with some Peter Pan and Wendy figures:

Then, there were the wedding cakes. Ah, wedding cakes. So stressful... I mean, it's not like a birthday where they'll celebrate it again next year. Theoretically, you only get one wedding cake. And everybody you know will get a piece. Everyone shares that sweet bite of your wedding cake as you break bread together in celebration of the beginning of your new life. And it better look good... those pictures will be around for a long time. Yeesh... that's a lot of pressure!

But I've been lucky. All of the brides and grooms (and everybody else for that matter) that I've caked for have been lovely people. I'm maintaining my Bridezilla-free cake experience (knock wood!) which, by all accounts in the cake business, is rare. And then adding in that ALL the people I've caked for in all occasions have been delightful people... I'm the luckiest baker in the world.

Back to this weekend:
The bride's cake was nowhere near as pretty as the bride. Talk about lovely people, inside and out! But that cake still came out pretty:
Real flowers to match the bouquets.

The bride wanted rough, horizontal texture

I love love love the color in this picture. 

another view

And the groom's cake... I made and used modeling chocolate for the first time to make the Toomer's-style tree* on top of this cake.

I should have started using modeling chocolate a LONG time ago., LOVE it!

I really love this cake. I'm proud of it. I piped the AU on there freehand which may not seem like much, but it's the first time I've done that (and I did it in one try!). I got the Auburn colors on the sides in a pretty, but still manly, way. I got the cotton field/plants on there that the groom wanted. And, I made the wafer paper work as the toilet paper on top.

I'm a strawberry cake inside!

Now, all of these pictures of these wedding cakes were taken before anyone else got to the venue. I was the first one there today and I spent about an hour and a half in absolute bliss setting up these cakes, putting the tree on the groom's cake, adding the toilet paper, and putting the flowers on the bride's cake. Just me, an empty old house, and some unhurried cake time. BLISS.

Well... an almost empty house. True story: While I was setting up the groom's cake, I kept hearing music playing from elsewhere in the house. Very, very quiet music. Like what you hear through the wall when someone is listening to music in the next room. Except nobody was there. And... footsteps. I kept hearing someone walk to the front door. And I'd think, "Great, someone's here!" except nobody was there. So it was a little bit of a relief when the bridesmaids started showing up.

It feels good to be back up for a long day/ late night cake adventure. But I will keep my rule limiting the number of cakes I do until the shop opens. I don't want to overdo it and lose the progress I've made.

*A Toomer's-style tree is a reference to the big, beautiful oak trees on the Auburn University campus, across the street from Toomer's Drug Store (which has the best lemonade, by the way). When Auburn wins a game, the students and fans roll the Toomer's oaks to celebrate the win.