Friday, January 4, 2008

Holiday Review

So I admit, I’ve not really been in the mood to do much writing recently. In all fairness, I have been a bit busy with the holidays, and now that they’re over, boy am I tired! I had forgotten how much work Christmas can really be! My only saving grace was that my shopping was done early. No last minute Christmas Eve dash because I forgot something someone wanted or because I left someone off of my list. Unfortunately I did have to send my husband to the grocery store on Christmas Eve…but I’ll get to that story another time.

I did struggle the last few days trying to find something to write about, and now I realize I have a ton I haven’t gotten to. I’ll try not to squeeze too much into today, so as not to ruin the continuity of the masterpiece that is my blog. *LOL* Yeah, ok. So here we go.

It occurred to me that I finished a cake at the end of November, and I’ve never posted pics of it. Maybe that’s because I didn’t learn so much with this cake as with the others. But there were still a few learned things, as with every cake experience. This was done for a co-worker’s nephew, I believe. Here’s how it turned out:

So, as you can see, the strings on the guitar did not survive the trip to work. They did look pretty good before I left the house, but I guess that leads me to my list of things I learned:

1. It is best to always take a picture of the cake before leaving the house.
2. Stringwork, done with buttercream icing, as opposed to royal icing, does not stand up well to vibration, such as that produced by a vehicle in motion. This is either the lost Newton’s Law of Physics or one of Murphy’s, I can’t decide which. (In truth, I haven’t done stringwork with royal icing, so it’s possible that this law may apply across the board.)
3. Transporting the cake is the hardest part. (Not new, just re-learned.)
4. When transporting a cake, other vehicles on the road will treat you as if there is a gigantic red bull’s-eye painted on the side of your car. (Again, not new, just re-learned.)
5. Red icing dyes everything, from the countertop to the spatula to your hands. Red food gel (just a more concentrated version of red food coloring, so it won’t alter the consistency of the icing) also tastes like crap.
6. It is important to purchase “no taste” red food gel. This is important because, in order to make white icing red, you need to use an entire jar of red food gel, and if you use “no taste”, the icing will actually taste the way you intended it to taste.

So I guess that’s about it for this round of Learn-As-You-Make-Them Cake Trivia. I have another cake I have to do for Monday, so hopefully I’ll have some good pics – taken at home – to post once it’s finished. I am kind of excited, I get to experiment with Food Writers, which are just markers that you can use to decorate food because the ink is edible. Should be pretty fun!

Now, on to other topics. I hope everyone’s holidays were good this year, and not TOO stressful. I was very, very busy, but I enjoyed them overall. I did get some pretty awesome gifts that I’m excited about (and not one single “What the heck is that?” gift). And before you ask, no, I didn’t get the Care Bear or the My Little Ponies. But I did get money and will be headed to buy them! I really can’t name all the gifts I got, because I do get pretty spoiled every year, but among them, I GOT M*A*S*H*!!! I’m shouting this because this is something I have been asking for for a few years. Here’s what it looks like:

I used a “stock” photo, because the pic I took turned out entirely too dark and you couldn’t hardly see the case. This is the “Martinis & Medicine” collection. It is every episode of all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H*, two discs of bonus features including two reunion specials and an A&E Biography special (and, I believe, deleted scenes), and the original movie, which I’ve never seen. (I have not looked to see if these are the episodes that actually aired or the director’s cuts, but I hope they’re the director’s cuts. I’ve seen a few of those on Hallmark Channel, and some of them fill in some blanks I always had about a couple of the episodes.) It is 36 discs in all, plus a “collector’s guide” that I haven’t had the time to sit down and read through yet. I did see one version that came with dogtags and a t-shirt, but alas, I expressed my interest in those items a little too late for the purchase. I guess I’ll just have to buy the t-shirt separately, and I’ll be set. When am I going to have time to watch all of this, you ask? I have no idea, but that’s really not the point. The point is that I now have it and can watch whenever the heck I please. And no, you don’t have to tell me, I am completely aware that I’m a dork!

I also received an IPod, which has yet to be loaded with all my thousands of songs (I’m cursed as an eclectic that way), but has been clear-coated to avoid scratches. Hopefully that will be accomplished this weekend, since I hauled all of my CDs home to facilitate the task and now have nothing to listen to at work! I also got a spectacular cake book from my mil with ideas that are WAY out of my league. They’re awesome, but I’m not that good. In addition, I received a heated throw for my office (yay, no more freezing all day!). I have discovered, though, that to use the throw successfully I must turn it off and sometimes unplug it to avoid the uncomfortable buzzing it creates over the phone when someone calls. I also cannot move from underneath it while on the phone. If I attempt this, the throw creates enough static to cause a shock to jump from the handset of the phone to my ear, even when held at a distance of up to approximately 5 feet away. This beautiful blue streak of power will send enough electricity into my body to make my hair stand on end until I look like Chevy Chase on the cover of the Christmas Vacation DVD case,
(or Daniel Stern in Home Alone 2). In addition, it resets the time counter on my phone so that I no longer know how long I’ve been talking to the person, or, on the rare occasion, who it is I’m talking to! Despite these minor drawbacks, however, I’m quite pleased to actually be able to type since my fingers are no longer so frozen that I can’t move them.

My sister gave me this awesome Tea-For-Two set:
I know the picture is dark, but the answer is yes, it does have two spouts. How cool is that? It fits into my collection, which is made up mainly of miniature tea sets of all kinds from all around the world, but has slowly grown to include tea pots and tea-for-one sets. This is my first tea-for-two. I’ll leave pics of that collection for another blog. But yes, those are Christmas Bears sitting behind the set. My other collection. So, I thought I might finish off this post with a few pics of my bears. Just a few tidbits for your viewing pleasure: 1. no, I don’t know how many I have, I lost count a long time ago; 2. no, this is not all of them - some I don’t display, some are lost somewhere in my basement, this is not all the pics from that year’s display, and this display was Christmas 2005 so I’ve gotten several more since then. Other than that, just one more of my neuroses for you to enjoy!

1 comment:

Wayfaringman said...

Silly Lawyer - My guess is that your frosting is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid (thixotropic fluid in this case), i.e. a liquid that becomes less viscous when stirred (or vibrated).

Hey, you should get in touch with Desiree (Pierce) Kelly (Bethel 40 Majority Member) []

She owns and runs a place that specializes in custom made cakes. You could exchange tips and ideas.