Monday, August 9, 2010

How It Got Done....

This post should be entitled: How a Sjoggie Can Tackle A Humungous Project Like Baking a Wedding Cake.

And once I'm done writing this, I promise no more blathering on about it. I know that I've been obsessing with sugar and flour and butter for far too long and y'all must be bored to tears by now.

So today, I'm recalling with amazement that the cake was baked, iced, and transported without major incident. Hm. Which is especially remarkable since my brain has been particularly foggy this week. I think that I may have taken a few measures which helped this Sjoggie be successful in this project. Here's a few of them.

I think that the single most important tool that helped make this cake appear at the reception unscathed was a spiral notebook. Having learned the hard way over the years not to trust this foggy Sjogren's brain of mine, I took great pains to write EVERYTHING down: the specific requests by the bride and groom, recipes that I was considering and their sources, dimensions of the finished cake and what size pans and other equipment to use, a detailed list of ingredients and a subsequent shopping list.

Secondly, and although my friends teased me about the research and development cakes that I made, in all honesty these little practice pastries helped me to fine-tune all my recipes. By the time I started baking for real, I had a very good idea what the finished product would be like. A stressed Sjoggie is someone headed for disaster. These exercises decreased my anxiety levels considerably.

I set up a specific timeline for myself. I am lucky that I could dedicate four days to do nothing but create this cake. Were I still working, it would never have been possible.

Fourth - I had help. Although I wouldn't let John set one finger on my mixer or measure any ingredients, he was more than willing to schlep cake layers downstairs to our extra refrigerator to chill. I relied on him to do conversions and calculations. Thanks hon. Quick - do YOU know the equation to calculate the circumference of a circle? Pfffffttt. Not me. Came in handy for measuring the exact amount of cake-encircling decorative ribbon. He also has an amazingly steady hand when it comes to cutting and applying said ribbon. John and son and daughter provided serious muscle when it came to actually transporting the three tiered and heavy finished product.

It was a huge project, and those that know me were incredulous that someone such as myself that has energy and stamina issues would even consider making this cake. In the midst of it all, actually I was inclined to agree with those who thought it might have been too much for me to handle.


Then the florist put the finishing touches on the cake by arranging fresh hydrangeas and roses and stargazer lilies, the caterer carefully placed it on a lovely white linen covered table, the photographer started taking pictures, and suddenly the cake became a wedding cake.  When the bride hugged me in delight and appreciation, I knew that it was worth every ounce of energy expended.

So. Yes. Mission accomplished. But it was good to know that the cake - and I - were only one teensy part of a much bigger goal for the day: the beginning of a new life together for a wonderful young couple. Sure, they had a tasty treat to end their wedding meal. But more importantly, they had the love of their family and friends, their love for each other, and the blessings and love of God.

Ahh. Life is good. Enjoy this bit of photographic evidence:

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