Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake


Every junkie has triggers.  An activity, a song, a time of day--a baked good.  Lord help me I lose all self control around anything cake-ish.  Doughnuts, cake, muffins, & scones make me weak in the knees.  Imagine my terror at the prospect of Link's 3rd birthday party & the epic cake that was required.  For Dave's birthday in September I had no qualms with doing the fake cake applesauce substitute version.  I couldn't do that to a child.  He deserves the kind of cake that I remember fondly from childhood, butter-creamy & dense, the kind that leaves a grease spot on the paper party plate that it is dished out on.  I would make my boy the cake that he had been asking for since we started talking about his upcoming birthday--but would it make it to the party or would I scarf it down days prior & be left offering party guests a partial bag of chocolate chips & some stale Fig Newtons as party refreshments?

For our dinosaur party I decided to do a large, round two-layer cake.  I baked the first layer & was feeling good about my resolve.  I had an obligation to my son & I was going to fulfill it.  As I flipped the cake out of the pan, I knew that I could conquer this cake conundrum...until the cake stayed in the pan.  I shook it, I slid a knife around the edge, I banged on the upturned bottom of the pan, & I cursed.  Finally I felt some movement.  I peeked under the pan & saw half of the cake laying on the board.  In retrospect, I could have glued it together with frosting & no one would have been the wiser.  Instead I threw a hissy fit, took one handful & handed it to my eager son & another handful & shoved it in my mouth.  With a missing hunk, this cake was without purpose.  Dangerous.  Dave insisted that the cake be saved in hunks & put in the freezer for picking at later.  Super dangerous.  Dave may be able to pick, but I am powerless to anything but mow through.

Then I got serious.  Still obligated, still motivated.  I revised my plan down to a single layer realizing that it would still be more than enough for the family & friends in attendance.  This kept me from having SIX cakes (two boxes per layer) laying around.  I put Dave in charge of burying the broken shards in the freezer where I would have to risk frost bite to dig them out.  And then I floured the heck out of the pan & made one perfect layer with an obscene amount of butter cream frosting. 

I ate one piece at the party & half a piece the next night.  Period.  My son won't suffer because I have to learn to control myself...& honestly, neither did I.  My 1.5 pieces tasted just as good as the 1.5 cakes that I could have eaten, but they didn't come with guilt, self loathing or tooth decay.

1 comment:

  1. Adam seconds the no tooth decay! Seriously, though. I make cupcakes and then give most of them to neighbors. You get the fun of decorating but they aren't in arm's reach anymore. Can't believe Lincoln is three!