07 July, 2008

Picnics and Cake

Yesterday was almost fabulous. We were actually on time (I know, I know....we can't figure out what went wrong) for church. The sermon was good, the hymns were nice (except for the patriotic ones - sorry, but I'm all anti-patriotic songs in church; without going into it further, I just find it irritating), and communion was meaningful. We stopped by the Wal*mart on the way home to pick up some pictures and a few other things we needed for a present we're working on (and one we are super-excited about), stopped by K-mart to check out front-facing (!) car seats because we can't seem to decide on one but I am REALLY ready to be able to recline my seat again, and then went to Lowe's to return a couple of boards.

Sidebar: We now have 'everything' needed to
create the platform for and install our new pellet stove which will hopefully be the source of some much-needed financial relief this winter, not to mention significant coziness. Mr. J. is going to build the platform and will learn the new skill of laying tile and such and then a friend from work is going to come over and help him install the actual stove and chimney thing. There will be pictures (and probably cuss-words) involved.

After we got home, we made lunch which consisted of some incredible barbecued pizza, some beverage, and an ice cream sandwich for Mr. J. We made one pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil and one with feta and bacon. We have since decided that for the duration of the season, we will no longer be baking pizza indoors. Barbecued pizza is genius! And it takes half the time of oven-baked. Plus, our 'no-fail' dough was even MORE perfect in its grilled form.

Our pizza was the perfect treat for our first backyard picnic of the year - ants be darned! The Little Goat had her walker wagon, some toys and many cheerios to keep her occupied while we ate and lazed around for almost three hours. It was blissful.

The only major hitch in our fabulous day began when the LG missed her afternoon nap since we got home late and she foiled our plot to nap outside on the picnic blanket and then by 5:30 s
he was falling asleep eating her yogurt and applesauce (not mixed - yuck!). So we gave her a bath and put her to bed just after 6. She ended up waking up at around 9 and didn't go back to sleep until - GACK! - just after 1 AM!!! I laid on the floor blocking the doorway in her room and dozed while she played, in the dark, with her books and shoes and whatever else she could find to amuse herself. Needless to say, I am more than a little tired today. I was going to have a nap while she napped this afternoon, but the Painting Project that Will Not End required attention and then there was lunch to eat and this post to write and blogs to read.....

Today it's hot outside but just cool enough in the house. My water glass has condensation on it because it's that time of year when we
actually keep cold water in the fridge (yes, Mom, for REAL) and I'm wearing lovely summery clothes. Also today I am thinking about cake. Mr. J.'s sister is getting married in exactly six Saturdays and my cake-baking expertise (har!) has been called into service. I've only made one other wedding cake and that was....I think three years ago for Mr. J.'s cousin. It tasted really good, and didn't look too bad. It made the bride yell at me and cry, but that is another story......and everyone said it tasted great.

This is the cake I made. I deliberately chose a picture that was NOT a close-up because I'm still unhappy with how rough the icing looked. I didn't make the sheet cakes. They were extras in case there wasn't enough (which there was - oh my goodness!) and came from Costco.

This time around, the cake will be better. I have a friend who has much more experience making wedding cakes than I and she has filled me in on the best kind of cake (from a mix - phew!) to make and some decorating techniques. I've also discovered a new icing recipe that I think will be perfect and some ideas for decorating tools that are making me really excited about this project.

When we got married, we made our own wedding cake. It was just two layered sheet cakes laid side by side and the icing did NOT go according to plan. The icing, in actual fact, when so awry - three of my best friends who were there will tell you - that it drove me to drink. Truly. Trish, my Flower Shop Manager friend who also did all the other wedding flowers, came to the rescue by decorating the top of the cake with leftover flowers. It was festooned with gerbs, white daisies, tulips, freesia and some greenery and it looked amazing. We loved it!

As for this upcoming cake, I don't know nearly enough of the details yet, but the cake will be round (I think) and have ribbon (I think) and two orchids on it. The cake itself will be white and will very likely have raspberry filling. In my head, it looks amazing.
Tell me about your wedding cake - or your dream wedding cake if yours also drove you to drink.


Jess said...

I think that cake looks great! Certainly not tear-inducing! I hope there will be more photos with your current attempt.

erin k said...

Well, you will recall that we did not have a wedding cake. Just all our favourite desserts as made by our moms. Chocolate chip cookies, poppy seed squares, etc. Yummy.

I was remembering that your bride's-man had something to do with fixing your cake, but maybe I'm remembering wrong...

Kellan said...

It sounds like a great day! I can't wait to see the cake you make - that one in the pictures is pretty darn fabulous!

Take care - Kellan

EG said...

Have I mentioned Martha Stewart's Merangue Buttercream icing? I dream about it.

Okay, I want to hear the bride yelling at you and crying story. We all want to hear it.

Beck said...

The cake looks beautiful!
Our wedding cake was made by a friend of my husband's - an architect who had been a baker. It was one of the best parts of our wedding!

Anonymous said...

I had a great cake--I brought a photo of a cake in Martha Stewart Living to my cake maker, and by golly if she didn't replicate it! It was smashing. Oddly, though, we didn't ever cut it (or taste it!) at our own reception.

Your lazy day and grilled pizzas sound amazing. Do you have a recipe for your dough?

Bea said...

Ah weddings - they bring out the best in people don't they? (If by "the best" we mean the freaking INSANE part.)

I did a whole post about my wedding cake awhile back. It was a Dr. Seuss cake (also known as the Mad Hatter cake), and it was awesome.