The month is September, the year 2003. I'm pretty much the same as I am today except not at all. I'm the parent of one sweet, easy 6 year old boy with light up eyes, an easy grin and cheeks you could eat. I'm less tired, less lined and quicker to judge than you'd find me today. And I'm not married. Yet, but I will be on Friday. Today is Wednesday, September 10th.
Last night I completed my wedding cake. I spent much of the last two weeks fashioning hand cut, hand painted, metallic, totally edible hydrangea blossoms one at a time. There are easily two hundred of them. My cake is three tiers of a variety of delicious cakes. One of them is filled with white chocolate ganache and raspberries. Another has amaretto. Did I mention that I made this cake????? The entire cake is draped in ivory fondant that has been hand painted to shimmer in the light and is something of a replica of the train of my wedding dress. I've also baked, iced and hand painted 200 bass shaped sugar cookies. One of our early dates ended in my catching a really big northern on 4lb test line, our save the date card read, "He Took the Bait, so Save the Date," and our wedding guests will go home with a bass shaped sugar cookie; we seem to have a theme going.
My kitchen has been covered in frosting for weeks. Our entire apartment is wedding central. I want a $50,000 wedding with a $12,000 price tag. Dan's a little over it at this point.
Normally I assemble wedding cakes on sight. Because my cake was my cake and the fondant was draped from tier to tier I decided to deliver it to Meson Sabika pre-assembled.
Someone used my oven Wednesday morning, it doesn't seem like much of a deal except that my cake was sitting on the counter next to the oven. Apparently, absorbing the warmth. I'm home with Shawna and it's time to take the cake down 2 flights of stairs to the back of Dan's Tahoe. For dramatic purposes, it is important to note that there is a Christian daycare directly across the street from my apartment in Roselle. Dan's Tahoe is in the driveway and the doors are open. Unbeknownst to me, my cake has warmed and softened on the inside.
I pick up the cake which weighs well over 70lbs. It's tall and awkward and of course my boobs will be in the way; the good news is my back isn't the disaster it is today, the bad news is 2 flights of stairs carrying 70lbs of awkward might not be a sound decision. I have moments of thinking I'm going to drop it. My arms burn, I feel faint. I make it all the way down with Shawna shadowing me; afraid to talk, afraid to stay, afraid to leave. I sit the cake straight down in the back of the Tahoe. I have a moment of success; I did it. I've backed away and somehow, impossibly, the cake is still moving. It is moving in the slow motion of dreams, the slow motion of nightmares, really; there is nothing I can do. The entire cake has "relaxed" back into the Tahoe. It is destroyed. I scream, "FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKK" at the top of my lungs. The small children playing in the Christian daycare lot freeze in place, their guardians all turn varying shades of red and sheppard the small, innocent lambs inside, away from the dirty, screaming crazy lady. Shawna slinks back into the house. And I? I start to cry which turns into hysterical laughter ending with me on the driveway a big puddle of mascara and broken cake dreams.
But, I am nothing if not resourceful. I call my brother and have him order sheet cakes from a local bakery. I corral the broken pieces of my formerly beautiful wedding cake. I have Shawna collect all of the flowers and lace work and warn her, "DON'T MISS ANY, NOT ANY." She complies, she's pregnant with her first child and doesn't want to die, she hasn't yet dropped the heir.
I call my nail salon and change my appointment from Thursday to Friday. I call the hair stylist and move that appointment back. I drive to Michael's and buy Styrofoam forms. I buy more fondant, more supplies. More, more, more. Dan comes home, he says, "I told you you shouldn't have done so much on your own." I refrain from murdering him. Do you have any idea how much restraint it took to not kill him? I spend Thursday morning decorating a completely fake cake. It turns out lovely. And it's quite light, no problem at all to carry down two flights of stairs into the waiting Tahoe, the Christian children are suspiciously absent, no one has seen them play outside since Wednesday.
This post is meant to be plastered with beautiful and impressive pictures of my wedding cake both the real and the fake, it has just occurred to me that I packed them so my aunt sent me a couple pictures of the ruined cake. Which, my mother served at our after-wedding brunch and it was fucking delicious.
When asked for a quote, Shawna said, "ah, good times, good times. You recovered pretty quick"