"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Icing on the Cake and a V-Day Recap (Scroll down for Thursday Thirteen)

First, I can tell you right now which recipe off Martha Stewart to steer clear from. Doesn't it just look scrumptious though? It was too yummy-looking not to try. I was going for the "Conversation Heart" theme for our V-Day dinner. It didn't quite work out as I planned. By the end of it all, I was a frazzled, sweaty mess.

The menu: shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, steamed snow crab legs, baked potato. The wine, riesling. And finally, these little personal conversation heart cakes. The cake part was, well, a piece of cake. It was red velvet and it was easy, you spread the batter out on the cookie sheet, bake it, then cut out hearts using heart-shaped cookie cutters. You put two hearts on top of each other, and ice them. Sounds easy enough. Then draw on them your little message. So here's why the unraveling of the day all came down to the cake. I am the type to plan out a dinner and all of the fixins and with a baby crawling around me and emptying out all the cabinets when I cook and also having to fit a shower in there somewhere and get ready and clean up the house, I must plan out each hour in my head so that dinner can be perfect, on a beautiful table, all yummy and done when my husband gets home. I know I don't have to do this because it's 2007 and women are no longer required to have dinner hot on the table when the man gets home. But I like to. I feel like if I'm going to stay home, I will run the house like it is my job and do the best I can out of it, not necessarily out of duty, but out of principle. Work ethic, even. If you're going to do something, do it well. I feel somewhat in control and successful if the baby is napped, fed and clean, and happy, and the house is clean, the fridge is full, the papers are organized, and dinner is on the table. But this icing was the death of me.

Started cake at 1 pm, after going to the gym in the morning and going to the store to get all of the ingredients and showering. Cake does well. Begin icing. Baby wakes up from nap during icing. The process of making the icing turns to crap after approximately one hour. Starting to get sweaty. Baby fussy and hungry. Icing is all runny and gross. Dump it. Start over, paying extra special deliberate attention to every tiny detail, and if it doesn't come out, too bad, I have no more ingredients left. This sucker used up all my sugar and butter! Another hour. Icing is sub-par. Looks clear rather than white. Does not spread well. Stick in freezer. Take it out. Still crap. Look at clock. 4:30!!!!! Husband will be home in a 1/2 hour. House a disaster, table not set, hair not dried, makeup not on, food not cooked, disaster disaster disaster!!! Valentine's Day extravaganza unraveling before my eyes! Use store-bought icing instead. That will have to do. Scramble to do the rest. Husband walks in while cooking dinner. Not bad. Anyway, thank goodness, V-Day isn't about the cake, or the food, or the beautiful roses he sent me during my icing disaster, although that was a lovely surprise. It's about this:

And this:

By the way, here's the final product. I guess it's not that bad. We ate the one that said "Kiss Me". Anyway, I still don't know where the icing went wrong and it kills me because it was delicious! I can just imagine what the cake would have tasted like if it worked. Oh well.

It's all about the love, right?


Skittles said...

Wow!!!! You did a lot and the cakes turned out nice :) Love the pictures!

Sparky Duck said...

your brave, all i did was cookies

Anonymous said...

You know? I converted to store bought iceing and pie crusts years ago, Martha Stewart be darned. It seems to work. I can make the fillings like mad and then use the storebought where I know I'll come up short!

Love the effort though - A+!!!!

scribbit said...

I read every word and followed the pain of the experience with such sympathy. I've had that same thing--and can I say that Martha Stewart's recipes STINK? I hate to be so negative but only twice have I ever had one of her recipes turn out the way she pictures them. They're tempting and beautiful but never realistic.

But your cake actually turned out well! After all that horror I expected to see crumbs and schlop but it was really cute!