Friend: My dad’s disappointed that you didn’t show up for karaoke.
You’re in the bad books now. Sucker.
Me: I thought it was THIS Saturday?!
I’ll bake him a cake and all will be forgiven.
Friend: Correcto mundo all will be forgiven with cake.
Me: ON IT!!
It was a friendly, innocent text exchange solving a life blip like I normally do; with something baked and drenched in sugar. I raced home, ransacked my baking cupboard, and discovered I only had enough ingredients for one chocolate or two vanilla cakes and would have to make a random coloured buttercream icing instead of the fudgy chocolate one I’ve worked so hard to perfect. No problem, as long as the cake was at least chocolate, I could receive partial absolution.
I live in a building that enjoys social gatherings such as; euchre, darts, the occasional rowdy BBQ and in this case, I was after forgiveness for missing a karaoke night. To be honest, I take the sport of singing popular songs over pre-recorded backing tracks a little too seriously. Having a history in music, I put a bizarre pressure on myself to be the dark horse who performs, like Susan Boyle who caused a wave of shock around the world when she uttered her first notes. I don’t like to perform unless I’ve practiced at my piano, in the shower, to my dust bunnies and in the grand stage of my car. So honestly, the fact that I mixed up the dates (thank you chemo fog) had me a bit relieved.
The cake baked perfectly and all I needed to do was shave a little off the top to make sure the layers sat even, wait for it to cool, then zip it upstairs to beg forgiveness. Now, shaving a cake is a little like choosing to cut your own bangs, you need to proceed with much caution and plan for only one precise cut, any more than one always ends in disaster. To my delight, the cut was another feat of perfection. As I set the cake on the cooling racks feeling quite proud of myself, I couldn’t help but pop a bit of the shavings into my mouth as a reward… wait… that doesn’t taste right. Where’s the usual mouthwatering chocolaty goodness? What is this? Double checking that my taste buds weren’t playing a cruel trick on me I inhaled the last bit of shaving and confirmed…all I could taste was baking powder.
So much for the perfect cake.
Anxiously glancing at the clock, I still had time to bake another and get it up to the karaoke-disappointed-neighbours on the eighth floor without having to wake them up to deliver it. The cake would now have to be vanilla, but I figured by combining copious amounts of sprinkles on top of the cake with my shameless grovelling they would easily be distracted from the lack of chocolate excellence.
I tossed the pathetic excuse for a chocolate cake into the trash and began whipping out what I needed for cake numero deux. Chucking all of the ingredients into the silver bowl, I whisked and blended, but as I was heading over to my electric mixer I stopped dead, “well that isn’t right.” Looking at the batter I realized I made a fateful error with the eggs and now my mixture was crazy wet. I knew I could probably manipulate the recipe and make it work, but after the first cake fiasco, I wasn’t going to take any chances. I would have to make a third cake.
I put a plastic bag over the mouth of the bowl full of useless cake batter and turned it upside down to speed up the process of emptying it, but of course, the pesky bag decided to jump out of the way and I found myself looking at my counter covered in the thick ruined vanilla batter. Yup… about right.
After I rescued my kitchen from the free range batter, the measuring, mixing, and planning all started for the third and what would be the last time since I was down to the final bits of my ingredients. Then with dismay, I realized I was officially out of eggs. With determination fueling me, I put on a bra, grabbed my wallet and hot-tailed it to the corner store to buy the needed shelled ingredient. I wondered how a day that was going so well could take such a drastic turn, but refused to be bested by a baked good.
The final cake appeared to be fine. Although one half was thicker than the other, I decided the bright blue icing would easily mask that silliness. With the ticks of my loud mantel clock filling my condo I feverishly began icing. I can do this!
Then… there was a knock on my door.
Halting mid-icing swipe, I rushed to the front door while wielding a Tiffany blue icing covered knife to see my neighbours standing there giddy with delight at my insanity. All evening, I’d been keeping their son abreast of my cake-a-palozza and they seemed to enjoy my foible filled evening more than the anticipation of actually getting the cake. While I put the final icing touches onto the third cake, I repeated the story of my evenings wacky antics and with a final flair (and much relief), I handed over the cake and crossed my fingers that it was actually cooked properly. My fabulous neighbours left my home, cake and amusement in hand, and I just laughed.
Knowing point A & point B has never been a problem for me, but, the journey between the two points tends to be full of surprises, sidetrack and where the real adventure lies. This is why I will always be a journey girl instead of a destination one, because that’s where all the fun happens.