I have this friend, she may seem “normal” (whatever that is) if you meet her in passing, perhaps a little edgy with her short black hair and bold lipstick, but if you get to know her “normal” (and all its overrated/superfluous connotations) goes flying out the window and I love it!
She is the maker of puppets, a cake decorating virtuoso, dinosaur enthusiast, last minute seamstress, and much more besides. Something I admire to no end is her work as a support staff for those with a more challenging journey through life. A profession I know I would never be capable of, but someone needs to do it, and she does so brilliantly. On top of it all she is a friend like no other whom I am honoured to have encountered on my own journey.
It was her birthday yesterday, and I am writing this post in honour of her completion of another year cycle and the beginning of a sparkling new one. Full of possibilities, surprises, and growth.
Now, as I mentioned before, she is a rather talented cake decorator. It’s more than that, it’s constructing as well. Over the years she has made a number of masterpieces for myself and other friends, but this year another friend decided she deserved a fancy cake of her own, so us “amateurs” decided to take a crack at it.
What followed was a myriad of back and forth emails about different desert features (we had decided on a desert landscape for the cake as our friend is rather fond of Arizona): cactuses (obviously), rocks, sand, what could we make tumble weeds out of, were we brave enough to try spinning sugar, how about the bones of dead animals that just didn’t make it in the heat of carrot cake land, and why not have mountains!
The time of the baking started with many shopping stops at grocery stores and sweet shops (I don’t suppose you have any candy bones?) Next the baking commenced motivationally accompanied by the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack. We discovered that the opening song can really get one racing about the kitchen.
Honestly the whole thing went with surprising smoothness. From the start of shopping to the last dish being washed we were at it for seven hours. Okay, when I say it like that, it seems like an awfully long time, but for all that we accomplished it really wasn’t bad. Shopping, two batches of carrot cake, two batches of cream cheese frosting, three rounds of spun sugar (all with drastically varying results, I’m not sure we’ve got the knack of it yet), the piping of white chocolate bones (because, no, the sweet shop did not have any), moulding of fondant cactuses, construction, decorating, and cleaning up!
We had to de-construct, as it were, a layer of cake in order to make the canyon on top. I must say, it might be one of the most satisfying experiences in life to purposefully destroy a cake. Anyone who has had to invert a cake from its pan knows how nerve-wracking it can be. Satisfaction seconded by then eating leftover bits of cake dipped in extra frosting from a bowl.
In the end it was a success. Thank you to the friend who made it with me, and a huge grateful hug for the birthday girl. May your next year be filled with blessings and joy, and may it be everything you hope it will be!
I am proud to have a friend who is exceedingly excited to have a ribcage on her cake.