Thursday, October 9, 2008
Countdown to the Birthdays!
Well, we are 9 days into October, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to make it to Halloween. As I always tell everyone, October is the busiest month of the year for me. Four years ago, I had a baby on the 14th of October (Gabrielle). Then two year later (or two years ago, depending on how you wanna look at that), I had another baby in October this time on the 15th (Leila). That's right, the girls' birthdays are a day apart. So this is my only opportunity during the year to throw a birthday party, which I think makes me go a little overboard. Last year, they had separate but joint birthday parties. Two themes -- Gabrielle had a Hello Kitty party and Leila had a Rubber Ducky party, two cakes, just all at the same time. I'm sure you can only imagine the madness in my house. Well this year I'm taking the easy route -- Chuck E. Cheese. I feel like such a cheater, but I take three college courses in addition to everything else that goes on in this house, so I knew I just wouldn't have the time to plan a party like I want. But I'm still making the birthday cake. I couldn't give up my opportunity to decorate a cake, which would be a hobby of mine if there were more opportunities for me to make them. And besides, I don't trust any bakery to make a cake for Leila -- who knows what could accidently end up in it. Well Gabrielle decided on a Cinderella cake, which seems easy enough -- except I've been having a really hard time making final decisions on how I want it to look. So today I did a practice run on the Cinderalla part of the cake. For their birthdays, she will be standing on top of another cake because Gabrielle loves chocolate cake, and Leila hates chocolate. I was really pleased with the flavor of the cake, which was just Betty Crocker yellow cake mix, made with applesauce and apple cider. I thought that really put a neat twist on it, cause let's face it, yellow cake is boring. I wasn't quite as pleased with how the marshmallow fondant turned out, but in my defense, this was my first time working with it, and isn't that why we practice? The color didn't turn out quite right, but I've fixed that for the batch that I am going to use on the cake. But I guess for a practice run, it's not too bad right? If it was just supposed to be a princess, and not necessarily Cinderella, then it would be pretty good. I was pretty intrigued by the marshmallow fondant because like I said, this was my first time making it and working with it. It's basically just marshmallows and powdered sugar, with some water and vanilla flavoring. It has a really interesting consistency that I guess could be equated to play-doh, except I found it to be not quite as pliable. And oh my gosh, kneading that stuff is like a work out! Amazingly enough, the girls actually thought it tastes good which is a surprise because Gabrielle refuses to eat marshmallows (I think she has issues with the consistency of it) and it really is just nothing but sugar. And I finally decided that I am going to put pumpkins on the cake because after all she's got a pumpkin in her story and it is October. So this afternoon, I got to forming some pumpkins out of gum paste. This was also my first time working with gum paste, but I found it to be really enjoyable. Unfortunately, I've never been good at making things out of play-doh and I think that skill would've been a bonus here. I let Gabrielle play with some extra left-over, and she sat at the table for an hour making all sorts of things! Even Copper thought the gum paste was great because everytime the girls would drop some on the floor, he'd come over and lick it up. In the end, I am going to put the pumpkins on the cake along with some mice, doves, and flowers. I am really hoping that I do a better job on the real deal. But at least now I know what to expect. BTW, if you think the pumpkins look really stupid, please tell me. I'd rather do without that have them look dumb.