Maybe I should tell the tale of the wedding cake I mentioned in my last blog. I had made the 2 1/2 hour trip to Pasco, WA to visit my sister, Mary. Mary owns and operates a small restaurant and does some catering on the side. Well, this was June, which we all know is THE wedding month. Mary had previously contracted to do the wedding cake for a client who was getting married on the same day I arrived in town. Now I was under the delusion that Mary was free for the weekend and we would just be "playing". (This was not the first time I had had this same delusion) As soon as the hugs and "so happy to see yous" were done, Mary sprang the news; we had to go decorate a wedding cake. Of course I protested, stating the fact that I was Not a cake decorator but, I agreed to go along for the ride. We went to the restaurant, loaded up the cake, a four tiered monster, and headed for the Marina clubhouse. The place was beautiful, situated on lovely manicured grounds near an exclusive marina on the Columbia river.
We were a little slow getting out the door, so we had to make haste to get the cake into the reception hall, place it onto the waiting cake table and then turn it into a thing of beauty. The bride and her mother were waiting anxiously for this miracle to occur and a miracle it was. As I kept asking myself how I get hooked into these dilemmas, I took in the fact that these people had high expectations. After whispering into Mary's ear, "Who are these people?", she told me they had something (I don't recall, exactly) to do with the Wineries in the area and that the theme of the wedding was relevant to that industry. As we were speaking, she was pulling out silk grape leaves, very high-end artificial grapes, a cake topper and some dried heather. I asked what she was going to do with all of this and her reply was, "I don't have a clue, but you HAVE to help me." As I slapped myself on the head and my eyes rolled back, I wondered, again, "what the hell have I gotten myself into now"? The cake was sitting there naked, except for the base coat of white icing. The goal was to turn this ugly duckling into a thing of rapturous beauty. Yeah, right! The first thing we did was set the porcelain bride and groom, standing under an arch, onto the top layer. From then on it was, punt. Mary started placing grapes and leaves as I stood rubbing my chin and trying to conjure up something brilliant in my mind. I picked up a piece of the heather, rather a large clump, and kidding, stuck it upright into the cake, behind the bride and groom. "Wow!" I said, "That looks like a miniature Crape Myrtle tree, blooming in the spring. So, we went with it. By then, we were really into this "faking it" stuff, fingers and imaginations working in perfect concert. When we finished and were stepping back to view our creation, the bride came over, her hand flying to her mouth as she audibly gasped. She loved it!!
She stated that it was perfect and the most gorgeous cake she had ever seen. It really did look nice and we were relieved. Me, oh me, oh my! What we can do when we're backed into a wall.
Mary and I walked out of that place with confidence in our hearts and huge smiles on our faces. As soon as we got into the car to take our leave, we both burst out into hysterical laughter. We'd pulled it off and everyone was happy. It was a memorable day!
Note: Mary makes her cakes from scratch and really does know how to decorate a beautiful cake. This was just a day where her mind was scattered. (She had already catered another event that morning) And, she also catered the food for that same reception. She received compliments on the food and cake for months afterward. I've avoided visiting her in June since then. :)