Friday, June 5, 2009

"no photo, no photo!"

I forgot my camera this morning, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow for pictures of today's creations - an electric guitar and a giant Spongebob Squarepants. In the meantime, I'll use this opportunity to show off the guitar I did last summer as part of a Rock Band group of birthday cakes for my friends:

Now, Joan just hands me a cake and I go so I'm really getting a handle on all the techniques and moves. And I'm making a mental list of all the tools and equipment I now need to buy so that I can bring my cakes up to this quality: cake turntable, fondant pins, parchment paper for piping bags, tons of specialty tips, different spatulas / spreaders / scrapers / smoothers... Good thing tomorrow is PAY DAY!

So in lieu of showing you pictures today, I'll appeal to your other senses:

What does the cake shop sound like? Well, there's the chirping of Joan's two doves (she calls them "the Boys" - no individual names, just "the Boys") from her lobby. They're 19 years old and when certain customers come in, they ask, "Are these the same doves from xxx years ago?" Yes, yes they are. And it's funny to hear children's responses upon entering. "Pretty!" "Birds!" or today's: "Chickens!" They're usually pretty quiet during the day, except for around mealtimes because hey, birds get hungry too. There's also the sound of Joan's crazy laugh - it's infectious and it doesn't take much to set her off! Finally, did you know that almost every movie on the Hallmark Channel has practically the same soundtrack music? I would know, because it's basically what plays all day on the little television in the corner of the room. My back is to the TV so I never actually see what's going on but I can testify that each melodramatic one sounds just like the next. And by the end of the summer, I will be able to recite word-for-word the infomercials for fine products like Magic Jack, Liposil, Get a Grip, and EasyWipe.

Next, smell. Well, it's just amazing - smells like warm baking cakes all day, whether we're baking or not. People walk in the front door and automatically inhale and smile, seriously. There's not really any downside to the smell.

Touch and feel? Well, constantly feeling greasy and my hands are always covered in something whether it's cornstarch or fondant or icing. The dye we use to color fondant or icing is really concentrated, so my hands get stained everyday in a way that Dawn dish detergent just won't do away with. So we wash our hands and supplies with scalding hot water + Clorox Ultra Bleach Whitening, and today Joan Joan pulled out the big guns and we had automobile wax and bleach? Or so she said...

And the one you're all waiting for: taste. Actually, until yesterday I had not even tasted a bit of Joan's cakes. Almost every bit of cake is accounted for and used, and in the first week I hadn't known about the previously mentioned "scrap pile" of cake in the back. And it's not like I'm in my own kitchen where I can pick at cakes and lick the bowls and beaters clean (not that I do that...). But yesterday, Joan was baking a few cupcakes as samples for a customer coming in so she made us each one (I had a yellow cake) and it is very delicious indeed! And the frosting is not too sweet (it's just Crisco + powdered sugar) - not as sweet as the storebought kind and not as buttery as homemade buttercream frosting - so I can see why people would go to her just for the delicious-tasting cakes!

And then of course there's the awesome cake decorating, and more with that tomorrow...

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