"Just when I thought I was out ... they pull me back in."
I can't remember the first cake I swore would be the very last cake I ever decorated. But I couldn't not decorate Jeri & Phil's wedding cake. I loved doing it, and I had as much fun making it special as I did making Ned & Marta's and later Paul & Audra's wedding cakes. But when that was over, I swore that was the very last cake I was going to decorate.
Then Brianna's first birthday came along and Laurel asked if I would like to make her cake. Laurel was making cupcakes and I would make the birthday cake. How could I not make Bri's cake? It was fun doing a little kid's cake again. I made so many of them in my cake decorating days.
But that was definitely my last cake (other than cakes for Bri in the future, I said to myself, thinking of all the cakes that I might possibly make for her as she grows up).
When I went to the meeting to plan Herbert Bauer's 100th birthday, I was delighted to see my friend Sue there. Many, many years ago, Sue and I worked together. I had been decorating cakes in town for awhile. There was no bakery here then, other than at Safeway and people liked my cakes better.
When I think back on those days of baking and decorating cakes in my kitchen, knowing nothing of the rules of hygiene or what sorts of permits you need to sell home-made food, it's amazing that I didn't get arrested!
Sue decided to open a bakery, The Farmer's Wife, and asked if I would like to be her cake decorator. I knew that I didn't have the skills of a professional, but was more than willing to work with her until she found a "real" cake decorator. I loved working in that little shop and I still remember decorating the bakery's very first wedding cake.
Sue eventually found a cake decorator and I retired from the business, only to make cakes for friends and relatives. And, in time, as things happen, I lost track of Sue. She merged her business with a restaurant, I heard, and later that she had divorced and moved out of town. I can't remember how many years it had been since I last had news of her.
It was assumed by everyone that Sue would decorate the cake for Dr. Bauer's party and she had a great idea for the design of it. But I was thrilled when she called to ask if I would like to help her with the cake. I would be the best of all possible worlds--she would do all the stuff that I don't like to do and I would help with the fun part. Besides, it would be fun to work together again.
We have a 3-tier cake with people holding hands all around the cake. Sue drew the stick people and I started working on dressing them. In no time at all, I felt like I was ready to audition for the sequel to Avitar.
My hands were more blue than anything else, but the little people were looking very cute. Of course I am the clutz of the world and I kept bumping the side of the cake and smearing the "clothes." "You're worse than I am," Sue laughed.
I ended up decorating the top two tiers of the cake and left Sue to do the bottom tier.
It was the best of all possible worlds because someone else will carry the tiers to the party tomorrow (the part I really hate!) and Sue will set them up and I won't have to deal with the angst of maybe dropping the cake. It was bad enough I came home wearing most of it.
I really enjoyed working with Sue again and I think when the cake is all set up with the finishing touches on it, it's going to be really stunning!