The Not-God of Cake
October 07, 2013
So yesterday was Noah's birthday party. We had it at the same indoor bouncy place as last year's Noah/Ezra Duo Extravaganzalooza, mostly because 1) repeating the venue and format makes it easier on Noah to handle the transitions and general overwhelmingness of a party, and 2) it's easy and you can book online and not have to talk to people on the phone and basically I am lazy.
But after outsourcing just about everything party-related, I did have a flash of I AM MORE THAN A CREDIT CARD guilt and decided that I would at least bake Noah's birthday cake. We made a plain chocolate layer cake for his "real" birthday and he loved it, so I figured I'd adapt it into a sheet cake and do some rudimentary decorating (translation: toss some candy or something on top, I dunno). Just to Pinterest this joint up a bit, is all.
I baked the cake on Saturday and it was fine. A simple but good-lookin' from-scratch cake. On Sunday morning I whipped up a batch of frosting, and that was...less fine. I'm not sure what I screwed up but it was more like a cake batter than a frosting. Jason offered to try his hand at the do-over — we had time to make it again, he assured me, since all we had to do was show up. DON'T PANIC, he assured me. Or do that thing you do where you fall apart and panic in the face of the mildest of failures.
What we did not have time to make again, however, was an entirely new cake, on the off chance the one I made on Saturday refused to come out of the baking pan.
Which is exactly what happened. The cake stuck to the pan, and once we finally got it OUT of the pan, a very largeish chunk of it stayed behind while the rest of fell to the counter in a sicking THUMP and promptly split ito three more separate pieces.
(Then it turned inside out. AND THEN IT EXPLODED.)
So that was awesome. We spent a few minutes debating whether or not we could like, frost the cake back together and how noticeable it would be that the cake had several serious fault-lines running through it before realizing that our time would probably be better spent getting everybody in the car and driving off in search of a Last Minute Panic Cake.
(And yes, I totally did that thing that I do, because I could not think of a single place in the general vicinity that sold cake. This was an insurmountable quest of quixotic proportions, according to me. Cake! Cake? Like for you to just go and buy on an as-needed basis? Without special ordering and costing many tons of dollars? DOES SUCH A PLACE EXIST YOU ARE SPEAKING MADNESS WORDS oh right the goddamn grocery store bakery never mind we're cool.)
We drove to a grocery store that has a nice bakery and I ran in and started frantically waving my windmill arms at the display cakes, like CAKE CAKE IS THAT CAKE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AND CONSUMPTION BY 20 HOPPED-UP BOUNCED-OUT CHILDREN WITHIN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES. I spotted a particular generously-sized chocolate cake and asked how many people it served.
"That one serves 15, tops. So maybe you should buy two." I was told, and suddenly this shocking bit of upselling snapped my squirrel brain out of my panic, because 15? Maybe 15 professional football players, because I was pretty damn sure I could get more than 20 damn slices out of that cake. I bought one cake.
(And then spent the next hour and 45 minutes stressed out that we were totally going to run out of cake.)
We did not run out of cake, and in fact had exactly five leftover slices to take home for dessert. That would have meant one slice per family member except that we got home at 3:30, I put Ike down for what I assumed would be a short power-nap at 4:00, and I never saw my youngest child again until 8:00 A.M. THIS MORNING. That's some damn good bouncing, y'all.
(In the meantime, I ate his cake. It was delicious.)
So now I get to decide whether to risk a rerun for Ezra's birthday party this Saturday, or just cave and order a stupid cake, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that I have confirmed that the party invitations I sent with him to school last week were not actually distributed and I may end up stocking his party with some stand-in party attendees I hire from the nearest playground. "What? Of course you know that boy, Ezra. He is one of your oldest and dearest friends. I paid his mom $5 and promised an extra slice of Panic Cake.")