Monday, September 19, 2011

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Eat your heart out Cake Boss!
All it takes is that one phone call.  You know, life is good.  The plan is being followed then ring, ring, ring (or whatever snazzy sound or song you have for a ringtone) everything changes.  This time for me nothing major - just my cousin the cake decorator calling to tell me I'm on my own to make the baby shower cake for my niece Shweekie because she can't get the time off from work. "No problem" I say to her. "RATZ!!" I think as I hang up.  Publix is right across the street. Joan & I had been planning to make cupcakes.  Our illusions of baking grandeur were probably bolstered by watching  too many episodes of Cupcake Wars.  We were making Key lime cupcakes & Chocolate with coconut-filling cupcakes surrounding a sandcastle centerpiece that we were going to create out of foam board. The baby shower was a beachy theme and we thought easy peasy as we high fived each other over the phone.

 I know when to surrender.  I know when to wave the white flag.   I have too much to do with family coming into town & all the other decorations & food/drink preparation.  Ordering a cake is the sane thing to do. Unfortunately, sanity does not travel upwards past my limb of the family tree. Later that night GeeGee plops her hand-drawn schematic of a sandcastle cake in front of me. (note to self - cancel the Food Network from our cable package) "No, Mom, No! I can't. I have too much to do already" I whined to her.  But her eyes were bright with optimism & she pleaded her case for the hand-crafted sand castle cake as opposed to my predictible store-bought vanilla-chocolate marbled sheet cake that could possibly be the scandal of the family for many years to come.  

Oh.  All.  Right.   I spent some time looking at other sandcastle cakes on the web and formed (yet) another plan.  We decided on Hummingbird cake minus the pecans in case there was anyone present with nut allergies. I wanted an orange cake but GeeGee assured me citrus allergies were running rampant with the nut allergies so I succombed again. GeeGee also chose her punch because of color not taste. No red punch because it stains. Don't any of you people own Shout & a washing machine. She finally wore me down with the nuts, citrus, & red-colored punch. I would have agreed to anything at that point. GeeGee was right again.  The family honor remains (somewhat) intact.  The sandcastle cake was the hit of the shower. The momma-to-be was thrilled with her beachy-themed party and especially her cute cake. Love is an action word.  Love looks like something.  This time it looked like a sandcastle cake.

The ingredients to make a cake for 50 people

GeeGee has some design skills.

Looks like the towers & turrets are ready to bake
Hummingbird cake is a southern favorite. Pineapple, mashed banana, cinnamon, & vanilla make for a tasty cake.

The crumb coat or dirty icing is the most disheartening. It looks much better after the second layer of icing. The layers are stabilized by pushing straws through the layers.

Ready to be sprinkled with the sand which consists of crushed cinnamon graham crackers & raw sugar.

I have a food processor but the idea of wacking the tar out of something just appealed to me.

Now I just have to get the cake to the venue in one piece.  Good thing I watched Cake Boss too.

Her smile makes all the effort worth while.