Sunday, September 19, 2010

A celebratory blast from the past

As promised at the end of my falafel post, I will regale you with a story about my friend Kimmi (and food, of course).  It's a tale of love, loss, disaster, and redemption, and centers around Kimmi's birthday in the summer of 2009.  That sounds quite dramatic, doesn't it?  Well, since Kim correctly answered a question following a food-disaster event, I thought I'd share a (near) disaster that was created in her honor.

Kimmi blowing out the candles.
First, let me tell you a bit about Kimmi.  We've been friends since a fateful coffee date back my in 3rd year of university.  I had met Tori through working in the deli at Valumart (again, food connection... I've been having deli nightmares lately, too).  Kim was one of her classmates, and Tori brought her along for some liquid caffeine in the student centre as we did every week.  It's a lucky thing we met, too, otherwise my dear friend Seanno might never have met the love of his life!  These two crazy kids are getting hitched next month, and I couldn't be more excited for them.  As a bridesmaid, I've been researching what SHOULD NOT happen at weddings on, and I came across a snafu involving hot cake that reminded me of this story.  Just so I don't jinx it, I know that Kim and Sean's wedding cake will turn out wonderfully, much better than the cake in the following tale (well, the point is kind of moot, since they're having stylish individual pétit fours, but nonetheless...)

Okay, now flashback to 2009, June, Kim's birthday celebration.  Fantastic backyard bbq, particularly featuring wonderful grilled Portuguese chouriço (Kim's dad pronounces it like "cherice", and he's the real deal, so I'll stick with that).  Spicy homemade pork sausage flavoured with pimenta, a red pepper paste/sauce/condiment/jar of deliciousness.  I regret leaving my stash at home in Windsor.  Sorry, back on track.  Earlier in the day, Tori and I were out and about shopping for items to bring to the party.  In particular, we wanted to be responsible for the cake... but we couldn't decide if we were going to buy it ready-made or make it.  Eventually, we decided to make it, and purchased a dark chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting, and a pint each of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.  This was going to be legendary.  The only issue?  Erm, we had sort of dilly-dallied around, and ended up with very little time to, y'know, actually bake and decorate the cake.  Oops.

Hubs and Honeybee, dilly-dallying.  This is the problem with multiple cameras and a distractable partner.
 The baking went fine... but the cooling was slow going.  Everyone who knows anything about DIY cake knows that you DO NOT ICE A HOT CAKE.  EVER.  Sorry.  That warranted all-caps.  Knowing this, we shoved the cake in the freezer (also a no-no, as this puts stress on the appliance, but what could we do?).  We let it chill until the absolute last possible minute that we could before the party began.  We had a heck of a time keeping Kim out of the kitchen so she wouldn't see a) our decorating job before it was complete, and b) the utter catastrophe our icing job was rapidly becoming.  We had wanted to slice the 13"x9" slab cake in half like a hamburger bun, to put icing and berries between the layers.  Remember: hot cake.  The top layer I carefully sliced off sort of... fell apart in places.  Hmm.  Well, not much to do but carry on.  We added the icing (which melted and sort of gave the cake more moisture... not such a bad deal) and the blueberries.  Then we... attempted to ice the top and sides.

I call this: "Tori's arms and a cake".  Photo courtesy of Seanno.
This is where we ran out of icing trying to cover up all the crumbs and cracks in the cake.  Graham, Tori's ever-patient and supportive cohab, ran to the store to get more icing.  We just slathered it on as best we could, then added a festive (and generous) clustering of berries to try to "disguise" the mangled corners.  Tori had worked in the bakery at Valumart and was occasionally called on to personalize a cake; she did the honors here.  We finally presented the finished product on a white square serving platter (my favourite!) which doubled as a gift for Kim.  WHEW!  Done.  Everyone complimented the dessert, which tasted great... very few people knew of the panicked icing-fetchery and fevered berry-maneuvering.  It was definitely a lesson in time management and baking 101.  In the end, though, a good time was had by all (and Kim's dad's fireworks display was spectacular!!)

It could've been worse.  Oh, I forgot to mention the white chocolate curls on top... that ended up being "shards".  Couldn't quite get them to curl.  Just one more thing on top of it all, literally and figuratively!

Truly a weekend in food to remember, from the archives.

Wondering if she'll bungle up MacGyver her own birthday cake in a similar way this December,

No comments:

Post a Comment