Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Baking of the Caking (Part II)

When last I left you, the Baking of the Caking was in full swing. There was hustle and bustle, and laughter, and the odd shedding of a joyful tear by your resident blogista, and vats of creativity being poured into every single cake, cake topper and clothespin menu holder.

I proudly paraded about in my coveted apron.

I am one happy (and incredibly sweaty) woman!

Diyan works on a cake featuring "Girl".

Aliayta focuses intently on a cake that featured blue, purple and white stars (pulled and sorted one by one from a bottle of multi-coloured stars!)

Ella Rae and Olivia approach their cake with wild abandon and a brilliant sense of pastiche.

They are beautifully bold and relentless in their approach and it leads to a cake that could rival ANYTHING on Cake Boss.

Some cakes featured simple, poignant thoughts

and observations.

Some embraced the classical.

This one starred "Girl". Imagine! Our own "Girl" cake!

Some were pure whimsy.

But one thing was for sure: they were ALL beautiful.

And when we all gathered around the table to admire our handiwork, we were all impressed. It was like the cakes cast a spell on us. (And that's NOT just the sugar talking!)

Do I look a bit smug in this one perhaps?

Nah. I was just having a good chuckle at THIS cake, with its "surround sound" message:

But you know what was THE single most beautiful thing about the Baking of the Caking? This:

The moment in which we all paused in front of the 11 cakes on a variety of cake plates and pedestals.

Let me push in and look at this photo in a sequence of close ups. Because, the following women need to stand up and take a bow: Aunt Maisie, Mums, Aunt Doris, Lara, Aliayta, Kate, Poot and Aunt June.

And Michele, and Elizabeth, Jennice, Tina, Susan, Tracey, Tamara, Diyan, Ella Rae, Mary, the 2 Grayces, and Janice, and Kari and Aileen were in there somewhere too!

And Olivia, Merilee, Mariette, Annie, Dodie and Doodie (behind the camera).

And Grace and Denise and Janet. Every single one of you -

Stand up and take a bow, because all 30-plus of you all helped make this day everything I thought it could be and THEN some. You are all so very extraordinary... Thank-you. From the bottom of my heart.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Baking of the Caking (Part I)

How I have looked forward to the writing of this post! Of all the wonderful moments that took place leading up to the big day, (and there were many), this day was off the scale in terms of special.

The day started early and I would be lying if I didn't confess that I was nervous. There was a lot on the line. When I came up with the idea to bake our wedding cake and to do so by bringing as many of my women friends and relatives together as possible, some people (frankly) thought I was off my nut. But what I wanted was the modern-day equivalent of women gathering to make a wedding quilt. Only this "quilt" would be edible and a celebration that everyone could enjoy on the day. And it would involve my beautiful, interesting friends, working side by side with my wonderful and amazing aunts, cousins and new family members.

When I awoke in the gorgeous apartment that Mariette and Her Mister Man had rented for all of us, the sun had just peeked up over the hill. Mariette and I greeted each other with fuzzy eyeballs, while the men folk slept. We socked back a coffee and loaded up the car with the groceries for lunch. We arrived on the doorstep of Paul and Michele's beautiful home at about 7:05 and set to work.

The concession I'd made with my family, was that I would pre-bake and freeze a whole bunch of cakes. And the Baking of the Caking would involve 30 plus women baking one symbolic cake, and decorating all 11 cakes (one for each table at the dinner). As well, we were going to make the personalized bride and groom cake toppers for the cakes, and the wooden clothespins that would help identify the folks who weren't having the "default meal". We had from 10-2 to get it all done, and I wanted everyone to have fun, drink a glass of champagne, eat lunch, and most of all, laugh and connect with each other. It was a pretty tall order.

But we had a plan. And off we went. We started by pulling over 20 layers of chocolate and vanilla cake from the freezer. Mariette, bless her, started putting on the "crumb coat". She is a good friend. I love her so much. It was hardly 7:30 for pete's sake!

And speaking of good friends, I'd enlisted the help of the two friends I've known for decades: Kate and Jennice. Not only did they show up just after 7 in the morning, they showed up in costume! I don't have a photo, but imagine a vision of 2 women floating down over the stairs wearing black aprons, white shirts and clear shower caps on their heads. Kate was carrying a tin of Vienna Sausages, and Jennice had a bottle of Purity syrup. They both had VERY serious looks on their faces. And when I started laughing/crying, they said in thick Newfoundland accents "Hello missus - we're here for the catering job". And then they set to work. They were the "go-to gals" and they worked their butts off. I love them so much too.

The next 2 hours were filled with prep: making chocolate hearts, vats of icing, finishing the crumb coat on 11 cakes, laying out some snacks, doing an emergency run for more butter and icing sugar and prepping the tables.

And then..... well... then, friends and family members began arriving and sipping champagne and oj. Moments before I laid out the task at hand, Mister Man's sister, Janice, stepped up and said "We didn't think you had a proper apron for this special event. So Andie (niece extraordinaire) and I made this one for you."


Even though it hardly seems possible, MORE love came pouring into the room. It was kind of like the rock barreling down the cave in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only this one was made of pure, excellent love.

From here, we went over the task at hand. When someone expressed anxiety about the pressure of decorating wedding cakes, I promised that there could be no wrong as long as people were having fun. Besides, we had SPRINKLES, people!!! And chocolate hearts!! And SPRINKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because only beautiful things can be born of such an event..... And we were off.

Two of my favourite contributors were aged 5 and 15. And just wait til you see the vision they created!!!

There was time for gossip.

And serious planning.

And laughter!! (Poot Moot was also one of the go-to gals throughout the morning... and Doodie took all these lovely photos)

And cake toppers!

Created by beautiful friends.

Meanwhile, the emcee was collecting tall tales about Mister Man from family members.....

And my Aunties collaborated with The Mums on the cake that would end up on one of the the head tables.

And I was so unbelievably happy. Because THIS is EXACTLY what I was talking about!!

Tomorrow: the cakes unveiled!!