With flour gracing my shirt, I separate eggs and pause above two different bowls. Which one…? Hours have passed by, meringue has formed stiff peaks and not a single cake is finished. Glancing at the clock I realize I’ve been awake almost 20 hours so far and have hours yet to go.
In truth, I love the feeling. Challenges are exciting! Stress and pressure to perform under constraints… ahhh! Bliss! My thesis in for my propaganda class in college measured over 40 pages and was written in one evening. (A love of writing may have helped) This memory was at the top of my mind while my brain turned to an exhausted blob (and the cakes resembled the same).
I was asked to bake three cakes for a friend’s baby shower on Saturday. Knowing I should probably start early, I mentally kicked my own butt on Friday.
Less than 24 hours to make three gourmet cakes which look edible and by my own perfectionist standard, pretty. Heading home to begin, I was told of the change of plans.
House-sitting means my type-A personality needs to accept the things I cannot control. I wouldn’t be baking in my kitchen.
As we were driving over, I calmly (in my opinion) let Robbie know this is the first and last time we will try a gastronomical endeavor outside of my (comfort zone) kitchen.
Once we arrived, the work began. I figured start with the most challenging cake and work my way to the most simple. My three giant bags of spring form pans, ingredients and cake plates filled the antique space. While my rented kitchen had a panoply of bowls, the promised giant mixer was nowhere to be found. Hello hand-held mixer I brought just in case.
While the open windows welcomed in the warm outside Albuquerque air, the gas oven evened the score inside. Moist air = moist cakes? My brow was flour-filled as I whisked the minutes away.
While placing the second cake in the oven, Robbie tried to place a pot roast with the cakes. Oh no. His roast was to the brim with garlic, herbs, potatoes and broth. Though delicious, it would not grace the same air as my baking nuggets.
Some couples need his and her towels or sinks. We need ovens. #FirstWorldProblems?
As cakes were cooling and more cakes were baking, the temperature began to bake more than cakes. Just when the fresh buttercream was making my hand-held smell like burnt rubber, the icing started to melt!
Rushing to the freezer with icing and a cake, Robbie just sat and laughed.
Midnight came and went. The cakes were slowly assembled and the roast filled the early morning air with the warm meat smell carnivores salivate to. Pouring myself into a shower to transform my chalky skin to its original hue and then into bed at the 22 hour mark made me appreciate sleep like I was in college again.
The next day’s makeup tricks made me look more awake than I really was and the party was the expected festive celebration. Cake disappeared quickly and I even snagged some for my husband-to-be. The mom’s expression seeing the cakes made the flour, sweat and time seem like nothing. I’d happily do it again.
While I highly doubt I will ever open up my own bakery, I couldn’t help but beam seeing ladies stuff their faces with my artwork. As an artist, seeing your art consumed is such a great thing to see.
& congratulations to my friend Melanie! Baby Aiden decided to come early and greet the world yesterday!