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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

True Confessions: I Am NOT Betty Crocker

Trey's 1st birthday is coming up.  Yes, our little boy will be 1!  Ahhh, time flies.  I've had a vision of his first birthday cake for a little while now.  My vision is to have a round cake with two layers (one chocolate and one vanilla) decorated like a baseball.  Simple but cute.  Just my style and, by extension, Trey's style too...until he can protest which will be happening much sooner than I can even imagine, I'm sure.  I actually thought about making Trey's first birthday cake from scratch.  Thought.  There's a big difference between thinking about something and doing that something.
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Alright, I really need your help.  Anytime I formulate a sentence using these four words, "make" "cake" "from" "scratch", someone please try to talk me out of it!  You're probably thinking that my vision, as simple as it is, would be so easy for me to bring to life.  Yes, you would think that, right?  But please don't forget the name of my blog: "The Foreign Domestic:  Adventures of a New Housewife & Mom".  All things housewife-like are considered adventures to me, and for a good reason.

Baking is very housewife-like in my book; when it comes to baking cakes (aside from carrot cake and cheesecake) from scratch, I am no Betty Crocker!  I had to add the parenthetical side note because those are two of my all time favorite types of cakes and I taught myself to make them from scratch in middle school--a deliciously dangerous skill to learn so young.  But I don't have a very good track record when it comes to this housewife-like activity with other cakes.  I was so close to attempting to make Trey's cake on my own--too close.  The only thing that stopped me were my mental flashbacks to previous experiences.

My first cake fail
I chronicled the first cake I made from scratch on this very blog over two years ago.  Do you remember the red velvet cake I made from scratch?  I mentioned the dryness in the post, but thinking back on it, that cake was a mega fail.  I don't think it was "a little dry" (as I described it in my post), I think it was borderline concrete.  Seriously, another hour or two and it would've been ready to help build a house.  I should've just chucked it in the trash and bought something else from the store to take to Bible study--something that wouldn't have put people at risk for a dental emergency.

Fast forward a year and a half and you come to my next attempt at making a cake from scratch.  There I was, 7 months pregnant & tired of unpacking boxes.  I sat on the couch and watched a baking show:  how to bake a strawberry cake from scratch.  It looked SO easy and I wanted to do anything but unpack the rest of the day.  I thought it would be fun to bring tasty strawberry cake to Bible study since it was Valentine's Day.  We were new to the Bible study, so I asked someone if it would be okay to bring it.  With an "Of course!  We'd love it!" response, I hurried off to the store for my supplies.  I don't know what it is about me and Bible study cake flops, but my strawberry cake was as much a literal flop as it was a figurative one.   Until now, this attempt was only recorded in this cell phone photo accompanied by this caption & posted on Facebook:

My second cake fail
 "Well, I decided to take a break from unpacking/organizing/moving in to make a strawberry cake to bring to Bible study tonight. Well folks, here it is!...MAJOR FAIL hahahah. At least it tastes good . Now back to unpacking/organizing/moving in! (Anyone want some cake crumbles??)"  
The photo says it all, doesn't it?  As dry as my red velvet cake was, the strawberry cake turned just as moist.  It tasted great, but it was so moist it fell apart--it literally flopped.  I guess I overcompensated after what happened with my concrete red velvet slab.  This time, I didn't bring the cake with me.  I didn't bring anything with me and I thought (really hoped) all would be forgotten about my question to bring something.  But it wasn't...and I was empty-handed.  Thankfully, someone else brought a sweet treat for everyone to partake in.  Whenever someone needs a good laugh, I show them the picture of my delicious strawberry cake...crumbles.

I will try again at some point (3rd time's the charm, right?  I hope!), but I won't be making Trey's simple but cute birthday cake from scratch this year.  I can't have his first taste of cake ruin it for him forever! Seriously, that would be a true culinary tragedy.  Maybe I'll get the hang of it one of these days.  Until then, I realize that I'm NOT Betty Crocker when it comes to making cakes from scratch, but I know where to find Betty Crocker products in the grocery store...and, even better, I know how to place an order with a professional!

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