Now, my last birthday cake for my eldest daughter was s.w.e.e.t. And I'm not saying 'sweet' in the way the young kids today say it either. I'm saying it as in in 'book a visit to the dentist's' sweet.
So, naturally, this cake has to be my redemption.
I told Tamatha about this on the phone and she lamented my cause and said if I only lived closer she'd come to my house and teach me all the things that she knows--baking and otherwise. I think this is good. I share with her how I am trying a new recipe that someone promised up and down that it is the most elegant and light icing concoction you will ever meet.
I follow directions. I almost have enough milk, but other than that I have all the ingredients necessary. Surge ahead.
Blend ingredients. Cream until fluffy.
(Quick interjection: My beaters are busted and I'm wood spoonin' it these days. Creaming things doesn't quite happen on Kitchen-Aid level of expert, if you follow me.)
Anyway, things progress and my conversation with Tamatha is suddenly interuppted with an "uh-oh!"
"Tam, please tell that the most elegant icing concoction is supposed to taste salty."
"I wish you lived closer."
It's getting late. I say goodbye to Tam, and stick the icing in the fridge hoping that by morning some magic fairies will come and repair the damage.
No such luck.
Morning comes with a wave of sorrow over salty icing. I google "how to fix icing that's too salty". I end up with recipes about adding potato to soup or tabasco sauce, but be careful not to put too much or you'll be hooped when it comes to having a too hot stew.
I semi-contemplate giving the potato thing a try but reason I have only so much time and peeling potatoes doesn't fall into that category.
I google "too salty icing" and I learn that no one in Internet history has ever done this because there are no solutions posted. I go back to the soup posts praying that some inspiration will leap out at me. Nothing.
Oh no, wait. What's this? Oh cute. A little warning about paying attention when adding salt to a recipe and not to be distracted by talking, thinking or breathing. Thanks for that.
Then I google "how to make chocolate icing using cocoa powder" and I figure, "Chocolate could fix this couldn't it? Couldn't it?"
Over at the mixing bowl, things are getting interesting. I've added cocoa powder, removed some, almost added white sugar but thought better of it, and went with some powder sugar.
I have the kids test it.
"That's not bad. I would eat that."
Whatever. I throw it in the fridge and spy...dun...dun...dun "Whipping cream!"
My kids whip it up with those old fashion I-bet-Laura-Ingalls-used-these-kind of beaters.
I mentally go over if I'm trying to hard to make cake for my kids. I'm pretty sure I'm not. I'm after creating memories with them about their birthday, and one is decorating the cake together. It's hard to say...when it comes to food being prepped on a deadline, it's so easy to doubt every motive you ever thought was pure.
My daughter and I do decorate the cake. It's not the turtle that she wanted but it's green and we cover it in sprinkles in the shape of a teddy bear. She beams with delight as she is given her cake. She thanks me for her cake. Ah, memory making.
The day goes on until I am confronted with dinner. I open the fridge and spy the icing.
"I'm going to give you another chance," I say.
I taste it and it is the most elegant, the most supreme concoction of icing I have ever had the pleasure of eating...er, making!
Chocolate has once again saved the day. The need for the Ojibway woman has been delayed for the moment.