Monday, July 18, 2011

Friends & Cake

They just don't mix.

Fail #1- Spiderman Cake. Spidey never quite came to life. The upper cake fell apart and I nearly missed the entire party. A make-up cake was constructed and delivered. I have not heard a "thank you" since.

Fail #2- Pinkalicious Cake. The mother probably gave me the wrong time to deliver. My phone was stolen & missing for about a day and a half. Traffic, poor timing, and lack of communication had me showing up an hour and a half after the drop-off time, walking into a WASP nest of rude, bitchy, post-marriage fatties in the 'burbs. Oh, and my friend totally threw me under the bus to get back in his wife's good graces. But, hey, what are friends for? And that fucking cake rocked.

Fail #3- First 1st Birthday Cake. Angel food cake with whipped cream frosting and maybe some summer flowers. The cake was a beauty. It was simple. My friend asked if she could leave it out on her table overnight. I asked if her apartment was air-conditioned. She said yes. When she got home, some of the frosting was melted. Her daughter hated the "less-sweet" cake I was asked to make for her sensitive baby belly. My friend insists the cake was delicious and the melt-down was her fault because the apartment was not as cool as she first thought it was.

Fail #4- Princess 1st Birthday. This was for a good friend's sister out in Howard Beach. The cake was NOT fondant covered, at my insistence. The whipped buttercream I made started to melt even before I left my house. I got there two hours before the party started. In hindsight, I should have scraped off the failed buttercream and refrosted the entire cake in a more stable icing and explained the change. My friend and her sister insisted that they still loved the cake. I tried to refuse payment. It was a melted mess. I gave back half her money and promised a free cake, even as she reassured me that it was gorgeous. It was NOT gorgeous. I should have made THEM the Pinkalicious Cake. They deserved it more than those idiots in Mt. Sinai.

Success #5- Farm Cake. Same friend from Fail # 3. This is Second 1st Birthday Cake- the Farm Edition. It took place at the SAME EXACT spot as Fail #1. I took my time and did it all right. In the end, I ran out of time to make more fondant animals, but was saved by the fact that she mentioned she had cute Farm candles that she wanted to use. I made one cute pig, one cute duck, and one ugly cow. The beautiful farmhouse on top was the centerpiece. Because I didn't cut out a board for it and I failed to stick in some support dowels, it started to sink in the middle of the cake, and the two "stay-in-place" support dowels I stuck through the cake started to come up the top of the barn. However, on the happy note, everyone loved it. I was only 45 minutes late. I got another golf-cart ride from the same farm employee who took pity on me the first time with the Fail #1. Tons of people got up to take pictures of the cake and to let me know how awesome it looked. I snapped some great pics for my website. I went home and took a nap before I started the next order. When I checked, I realized my camera didn't have a memory card inside of it. FAIL. I texted my friend to ask for copies of the pictures her husband took. She gave me a good report.

Even though a couple of the Fails were not entirely my fault, I realized that I get way too nervous when making a cake for a close friend. I put all sorts of pressure on myself, blowing up what is expected of me in my own mind. I stress so much about it, my anxiety gets the better of me. I end up imploding and creating chaos instead of beauty.

Lesson Learned: Try to avoid taking cake orders for close friends.

If that can't be avoided, I need to realize that they are paying customers just like anyone else. I don't need to recreate the 7 Wonders of the World in cake and sugar. I just need to make a delicious and beautiful creation just as I have been doing all along for my various customers. My friends don't deserve any more or less because I always give all that I have to my customers. They will not get gipped out of an outstanding cake.

After all that, my upset-stomach is back stronger than ever, my sleep patterns are all over the place, and my anxiety levels are off the charts. As much as I would like to please my customers and wow my friends; dammit, some of this shit just isn't worth it. I have a crazy order in Brooklyn this Saturday. A huge part of me hopes and prays they back out. We have not confirmed it in stone yet, but $200 isn't worth the headache I'm going to have making this order.

Not good for business, but I'm burned out. I'm tired. I want to enjoy the rest of my summer. I could use a break.


  1. Road trip? I'll come down to get you. Spend a week up here with me. Free room now you know? We'll go camping, fishing, get the picture. It's cheap, charming, and more importantly- away from all the bullshit down there. If your lucky you may even get laid. >BD

    Seriously- you don't even have to cook if you don't feel like it. Lots of quaint little spots on every corner up here. Think about it.

  2. I think hunting season is over...And you don't have any guns....And I probably wouldn't trust you with a gun given your choice of recreational activities. No offense. But I do thank you for the offer. We'll hang out before I move!

    I'm trying to save money. I'm going away this fall, and I have some interviews for work while I'm there. I'm going to need all the money I can save up for the potential move! =)

  3. Hmm, this is probably off topic, but buttercream frosting sounds hella tasty right now. Mmmmmm, buttercream. *drooling noise*

  4. Buttercream is a pain in the ass during summer!