‘W’onder



My beaYOOOOtiful daughter and
the magical cake.

(I’m backdating posts again. This actually happened after the date on this post, but, ‘w’hatever. ;)

My daughter had her 11th birthday party last weekend.

It was hosted at her dad’s house and was a LARP — live action role-playing. It was totally fun!

The kids had a blast — no doubt because they got to beat on adults with padded sticks.

My job was to make the cake. After much contemplation, I settled on a medieval castle, since the LARP was set in medieval-ish times. You can see a photo here.

I have learned not to stress too much over the outcome of birthday cakes that I make. Sometimes, I hit huge, but others I could totally do better if I had a second chance. Unfortunately, I usually only get one shot at it, so I just have to set my expectations low.

I was pretty happy with how the castle itself looked, but I wasn’t thrilled with how the added colors turned out. I had wanted something somewhat realistic in color tones, but I ended up with pinks, blues and greens that were cartoonish. Sigh. If you have ever used gel food colors, you know they are completely unpredictable. You can go from pastel to “70s acid trip” in half second. And the icing darkens as it dries. It was much too late to change course by the time I started adding color to the grey castle, so I had to roll with it.

We safely transported the three layer castle to the party site and various people complimented me. I appreciated the remarks, but I wasn’t thinking of it much — if I dwelled on the cake and the color choices, I would be annoyed at myself. I knew it was good enough for a kid party, but the little nagging voice in my head wanted it to be better.

My daughter has a little step-brother who is 5 1/2 years old. He is completely cute and sharp as a tack. I came into the kitchen and caught him at eye-level with the cake. He had his nose on the counter and was inspecting the cake with HUGE eyes as best as he could from his height. When he saw me, he said with all of the breathless wonder of someone seeing the ocean or the Grand Canyon for the first time, “How did you make all of this?”

I felt like a rock star as we talked in detail about how I made the stones, the roses, the grass and the water. Sure, I’ve been adding food coloring to coconut since I was kid to make grass, but it was like magic for someone who had never seen it before. And water made out of cake gel? I might as well have been turning water into wine.

I was completely over myself after that conversation. Cartoon colors were completely perfect for my target audience. I just needed to open my eyes to the wonder of it all.

Author: rosie

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