Sometimes the simplest things can trip us up.
To celebrate a family birthday tomorrow, I planned to bake a cake. You know, a birthday cake, a basic requirement to celebrate such an event. The only request was for homemade chocolate frosting. Even the flavor of the cake was up to me. This is something I’ve done for decades. Not a big deal.
Pulling out the available cake mixes, I looked at what flavors we had. Luckily, there was deep chocolate, devils food and white. I opted for the white mix, a nice contrast to the chocolate frosting. Now, these days the mixes are fairly uniform in what needs to be added. Directions were followed, batter was split between the two 9″ round pans and baked. The layers baked beautifully, they were taken out once the toothpick came out of the cake clean. I set them aside to let them rest for 10 minutes, as per the directions before turning them out to cool.
But when I turned them out, one broke in half. Great. I took the broken layer with a fork to my husband and he helped me get rid of it.
I was still upbeat as I washed all the utensils and bowls and prepared them to be used again. This time I went with the deep chocolate mix. I cracked eggs, measured liquids, added mix and beat exactly according to the directions. The two 9″ pans went back into the oven filled with lovely batter. With a sense of satisfaction, I began to clean up. I reached for the coffee maker to wash the pot, and at the same time, spotted the measuring cup of oil, a critical ingredient sitting beside it. I rushed to the oven, but it was 10 minutes in already and had begun to set. Groaning, I realized my good humor was slipping away. Time for the reinforcements.
While I let the oil-less cake finish cooking, my husband and I finished clean-up and turned our attention to the devil’s food box. I measured; my husband double-checked. He verified the oven temperature for me. Before I put it in the oven, we made sure all the ingredients were included. We set the timer. What could go wrong? I sat in the kitchen to mind the oven. When the timer went off, I opened the oven and looked at…..two pans of batter. What??? Guess who accidentally turned off the oven when he went to verify the temperature. The digital buttons are easy to hit if you aren’t paying attention? We turned on the oven and tried re-baking or to finish baking the cake. It came out looking pretty normal but who know how dry it’ll be.
It’s someone I loves birthday. All they want is chocolate frosting. At this point, I was thinking maybe I’d just serve frosting, no cake. Luckily, our mutual sense of humor wasn’t lost so after a quick run to the store for supplies ( having gone through a dozen eggs). Once home, we measured, mixed, stirred, double-checked, made sure the oven was on. No problem. Twenty-seven minutes later, we had two lovely chocolate layers. Tomorrow, I’ll add delicious home-made frosting. The family will come over to eat, celebrate and enjoy cake. Let them eat cake! Let them laugh at the cake-making trials. Let them enjoy seeing our exhibits from the failures. I’m grateful to have been given a sense of humor . We’ll all laugh together.