Friday, February 19, 2010

Step Off Betty Crocker

I’m blaming the beautiful  Becky over at Sarcastic Quilter if this all goes pear shaped. Earlier this week she mentioned the website of Bakerella on her blog and I have spent hours poring over the website and more hours subsequently sending Becky death threats for posting the link. Like I need cake. I'm already the shape of a wine barrel with a head. Like I need the stress of feeling completely inadequate because I could NEVER make something so fabulously gorgeously pretty. Case in point: I’m sure you’ve all read my post about the flying ho ho cake.

The sad truth is I consider myself to be baking challenged. And while it’s mildly irritated me over the years, I always consoled myself with the idea that I was a “career woman” and that I “sew” and “quilt” and that I didn’t need to be able to bake fabulous cakes to be a whole human being. My sister on the other hand is a whiz at cake baking and scones in particular. Plus she’s thin. I pretty much hate her as much as I dislike Bakerella.

I did make a Dora birthday cake for Miss Pyjamas birthday one year. Dora looks seriously pissed off rather than smiley. This chick isn’t about to whip out a Spanish phrase book, she’s about to grab an Uzi from that overstuffed backpack of hers. 

I didn’t do chemistry in high school, so for me there is something in the equation of flour + eggs+ milk that = glue. It doesn’t matter how carefully I measure or follow the instructions. My blog buddy Leslie from A Clever Title Goes Here asserts that cooking and baking are the same thing. As much as I respect many of Leslie’s opinions, I beg to differ. I’ve never killed anyone with my rendang curry for example.

Usually when I bake, the family pretend enthusiasm, it sits in the kitchen growing mould on a pretty cake plate and 3 days later I feed it to the dogs, who will eat pretty much anything. Indy and Lola rock at helping me dispose of the evidence of my baking misdeeds.

Once I got over my Must Kill Becky For Posting phase… and got rational and sane again I decided maybe I’m not crap at baking. Maybe I just need to practice to develop confidence. Maybe I have wonky measuring cups from a land where ½ a cup is really a whole Australian cup. Maybe my oven isn’t possessed by evil baking spirits.

I’m pre-warning Blog-dom that I intend to bake a cake this weekend. I’m pretty sure I can throw some eggs and flour and other mysterious ingredients into a bowl and transform them into something that doesn’t resemble a pancake and is edible. And if I can't - I'm hopping the first plane to America to kick Bakerella's arse.

This time it’s personal.


Cynthia L. said...

Dora does look a little angry, but other than that I think it looks pretty good! I don't even try to decorate cakes, they would look much worse. Check out this site if you want to see some really bad cakes! Go to the bathroom first - do not do this on a full bladder!!

Sarcastic Quilter said...

thank gosh I don't live near you and have to taste test! LOL - just kidding sweetie! I'm sure it's going to be good and I can't wait to read about it.


ps - let me know when your sis and mum are over the "kill Becky too" phase so I can stop sleeping with one eye open! ;p

Shay said...

Oh My @ Cynthia...I wish I had taken your advice about that bathroom break. Nothing I knock out could be as much a disaster as some of the cakes on that website. Then again I wouldn't be dopey enough to let my disasters
be photographed !

Beck- Oh I'll be sending you a piece dont you worry. Imagine how awesome it's gonna taste after 10 days in a padded post bag...

TheLab said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot believe I was mentioned in a blog post! I might die from excitement, I'm SO honored!

It MUST be those wonky measuring cups! Get new ones and bake away!

And wait-a-darn-minute - you baked the masterpiece that is Angry Dora? That photo is of something YOU created!? Did you have a stencil? How do you do something like that! I can bake cookies and pies but dear Lord, I've NEVER created anything as detailed and amazing as that!

You wanna good laugh? A friend of mine posted this a few months ago - it's about baking cakes, it still makes me cry from laughing. I KNOW you will love it, and it's follow-up post:

Shay said...

Leslie , you are officially now very very famous (among the six people who read my blog regularly)

Forever after, that cake will be known as Angry Dora. She took me 6 hours to decorate, (thats probably why she looks angry) and she tasted like sawdust.