Thursday, April 07, 2011
Roses and a ceremony
To all the people who have been decorating cakes for years, and who assume I should already know how to do this stuff.... turn away. To everyone else... read on :)
In baking class we are learning how to bake and decorate cakes. Yes, easy peasy. Everyone should know how to bake a cake, right? Open a box, mix in some oil and water and eggs, and wallah! You have a cake! Not the baking class way, though. We have specific cakes we have to learn to make, from a book made by real bakers in the industry. It's not just a package cake, or a quick and simple yellow cake. It's a classic genoise, and a complicated (but very rich!) devil's food, and the proper way to make an angel food, sponge, and chiffon cake. There are mixing techniques to learn, and weighing the batter to get the exact amount in your pan. Get the idea? I do enjoy baking cakes from scratch. It's more economical, and they taste better. The part I'm *not* good at, is decorating. My baking teacher, although she bakes and sells pastries for a living, isn't the best at the decorating part either. She doesn't add flowers to her cakes, or dress them up with complicated piping. And even though she doesn't do that, her cakes sell like... well... hotcakes.
Yesterday we learned a few basic flower techniques, along with leaves, and basket weave. I tried my hand at a couple of the flowers while decorating the thousand cupcakes we made. Some of them didn't turn out quite like flowers, but they were colorful! The only flower I seemed to "get" was the rose. It wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. I obviously need more practice because making four roses didn't make me an expert, but they were fairly basic in structure. (Next week the local Wilton class lady is coming in and we'll get more practice.)
We sell our goods in the cafeteria of the school, so as soon as I made my four rose cupcakes, I ran over and bought them. Yes. Really. We're not allowed to just "take" food out of the instructional kitchen, but we *can* buy our baked goods from the cafeteria like any other student.
Louisa was being inducted in to the National Junior Honor Society last night, so I thought this would be a nice after ceremony treat. Until, on the way home, one container tipped upside down in the car, and then at home Hunter knocked the other container out of the fridge! The cupcakes were a little worse for wear by the time we finally ate them. But still delicious! Especially with my chocolate butter cream (another thing I've found I'm good at making!)
The induction ceremony last night was a proud moment for me. Not having excelled in school, I love watching the kids take the opposite path of me and really enjoy school. They enjoy learning, they enjoy doing well, and they (the older two mostly... for now) are reaping the rewards of hard work done well. This is another one of those moments.
As Louisa was called to receive her award and sign her name in the official NJHS register, I asked Drew to go up to the stage and take pictures for me. Hunter felt he needed to go up there as well. I've found, through many similar episodes, that if I just let Hunter walk up there, he'll come back without incident. He might wave or say "hi", but there won't be too much distraction. If I chase him down and bring him back to sit, then there will be a ruckus. So usually I just let him do his thing, knowing he'll come back. Sure enough, he stood by the stage waving and saying "Hi, Louisha" the whole time she was doing her thing. Her teacher (and NJHS adviser) whispers "Say hi to your brother". So Louisa waved hello, and the audience giggled. Oh, leave it to the Chaos Kids to give people entertainment during any event!