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Sunday, January 29, 2012

And This Cake Makes Nine

Finished Product
Here they are, photos of my latest cake, a combo job for a big promotion and birthday (the couple lives in Nova Scotia, but are having a going away party here on the Island, with family).  I went a bit over board with the decorations, but I had the time and inclination, and I just don't want anything leaving here, that doesn't have some sort of "wow" to it.  I've got a couple of more cake orders coming up in the fairly near future and I live in fear of someone wanting a cake the same weekend as someone else.  We just don't have the capacity for that sort of thing, but I'd hate to say "no" to someone, just as the business is getting started.
Looks like a hot mess, doesn't it?

"Inside beauty is important, but not as important as outside beauty." - Ellen Degeneres (it's a joke, people!)

Other Side of the Road.  (The chicken crossed to get to Toronto)

Anyhow, we finally have some snow again, over ice which is floating magically above water...don't ask me how, we've been having some truly weird weather.  We were supposed to have some folks over for a bit of a get together, but we thought the driveway might be complete goop, so we bumped it until next weekend.  (Fingers crossed, it looks like there's a bit of snow in the forecast over the next week.)  Life is pretty quiet lately, we went to Charlottetown last weekend, just because we could, but have stuck fairly close to home, except for work.  Work on the house is in limbo, as we're afraid to open up floors etc on the lower level, in case the weather gets bad.  We are also waiting for the snow that we had last year, but perhaps it's not to be.  Every day closer to March gives us hope that we might "get away with" an easy winter.  Time will tell.  (No photos, we'll wait until it gets prettier - too much puddles and ice.)

Hope you are all well, I'm off to take a seat after my cake making weekend.  Stay in touch!

Peggy's Cove - gratuitous, I know

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sand Storm! (Our just deserts, pun intended)

We've had a few calls from out west, wondering how deep our snow is.  Very strangely, we've had little snow accumulation, with the  weather warming between each snow fall allowing the white stuff to disappear.  Compared to the photos from last year, we're basically snow free so far.  (Which leaves us wondering when the other 'snow' will fall?  Excuse the play on words!)  It did, however, snow a little bit last night, but when I looked out it seemed like more of a sand storm.  The wind had picked up the top soil and dusted it over the white snow, sort of like cocoa on a white cake.  Many of the drifts look like sand dunes and make it seem like it should be quite a bit warmer.  Here's the proof:

This photo is like one of the swirly sand toys from the 70s!

We took a quick trip in to Charlottetown today, just to get out of the house and see what the city had to offer.  We were hoping to catch an artist and craftsman conference, but it was only for vendors who wanted to buy in bulk.  (Perhaps a good venue for me, if I ever get my booked published.)  There's a lovely store in town called "Liquid Gold Tasting Bar and All Things Olive"  (Liquid Gold, for short)  They have a marvelous selection of regular and flavoured olive oils, as well as a wide selection of balsamic vinegars.  The beautiful thing is that you can taste all of them (it's like an olive oil warehouse) before you buy.  The oils are high quality and very fresh, unlike a lot of the grocery store brands that have lost all of their nuances.  I can source both black and white truffle oil there, which is decadent, but finishes certain meals, like risotto, incredibly well.

The house is slowly coming together.  We've rearranged the doors downstairs, so the bathroom has a solid door, instead of frosted glass  and we can now close off the dining room from the hallway, which makes for warmer winter dining.  We have most of the things we need to redo the downstairs bathroom, so that will be our next project and then on to the floors in the hallway and living room.  Good-bye hideously stained carpet!

I have yet to hear from the publisher that I submitted to; it's hard to wait, but then they haven't told me "No" yet, so it's also still hopeful.  I have started my next book, but I'm not very far in to it.  (The last one took me over 4 years, so I guess I have to cut myself some slack.)  I've almost completed the design of the logo for "Take the Cake", so we should be able to start advertising properly.  (Assuming that Ron can take my moods and I can learn not to have a mental break down with every project.)  I have a couple of future cake requests, so I can't just drop out of the business all together.  Well, that's about all from the gentle island.  We're well and content and hope you are, too.  Keep in touch and know that we miss you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A New Year and a New Cake.

It's been a while since my last post (why does that feel like I'm in confession?)  Ron and I had a quiet Christmas & New Years, as I was suffering from a head cold.  (Classic, two long weekends and I'm sick!)  Ah, well, at least I could rest.  The house is already de-Christmased (if I can use such a word) and we're back in the throws of regular life.  I have a stash of pictures from our Christmas and New Year dinners.  Our down the way neighbours, Vicki and Preston brought us some lovely treats (including snow crab legs) so we've had a couple lovely feasts:

6lb of lobster for $25 - at Christmas!

No trick shot, that's how big his claw was!

New Years Tapas - thanks for the chestnuts Vickie!

We ate crab until we exploded!
It was over the holidays that another friend called and asked whether I would make a cake for her daughter's birthday & being a glutton for punishment, I said yes.  You know the phrase "use it or lose it?"  It applies to cake making.  I had problems with the butter cream icing, the first batch of strawberry cake failed, I ran out of supplies the second batch of strawberry cake didn't want to co-operate when it came to cutting and shaping it.  The cake board wasn't quite big enough, so I only had room for three turrets, I almost ran out of filling, but because I was short on butter cream (due to whatever the issue was when I made it) the top tier of the cake only had three layers, instead of the planned four.  I ran out of purple fondant.  (I do have to say that the fondant turned out perfectly - thank heavens!)  I drove Ron nuts with "this isn't working" and "that isn't working"..."what am I going to do?"  There were many bad words thrown around (at the cake, not at myself or Ron - he kept a civil tongue and just cleared out of the kitchen when I was having a melt down.)  All that being said here is the final result.

Front - obviously...

Draw bridge
Straight on from the front

During construction...just to prove I did make it!  Hard to believe that it turns into the finished product, eh?)
That might be it for cake making...I don't know if I can take the stress and I'm pretty sure Ron may want to kill me because of all the drama involved.  (One could call it creative spirit, but no, it's really just utter panic.)  I get less stressed the more frequently I make cakes, so these long intervals in between make it difficult, and so does all the time I put in to it.  This cake probably took me somewhere around 15 hours or so (maybe even 20...I can't begin to guess), even with Ron helping with decorating and production.  I keep thinking there must be a better way.  Well, that's all for the time being.  Be well, miss you all!