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I’m no Duff, but…

August 19, 2008

Ian’s 8th birthday was this past Friday, and we had a family cake-and-ice-cream party that evening. We were pretty lost on a “theme” (all kid parties apparently MUST have a theme- I think it’s a federal law), other than Ian said he wanted a baseball cake “like the one on the box”. Dawn has this cake pan that bakes round cakes (“round” meaning spherical, or actually half-spherical, I guess- I suppose it’d be kinda hard to make a spherical cake) into which you can put filling, if you so choose, and on the box it shows such a cake decorated as a baseball.

Dawn instantly decides I’m in charge of decorating the cake. I thought, it’s a baseball- white icing with red “laces”- how hard can it be?! (Notice I said I thought it, not said it.) Then that somehow becomes “cakeS“. She decided to make the baseball cake chocolate, make a regular single-layer white cake, and then make a dozen cupcakes, 6 chocolate, 6 white.

So the morning of the party, she’s getting a shopping list together for the party when the fact that we have a green tablecloth somehow popped into my head, for whatever reason. Then, I suddenly envisioned this green tablecloth with white lines in the shape of a square, not unlike a baseball field. Hmmmmm… I says. I remembered that a couple years ago for Ian’s birthday, we got a Schnucks cake that had a little Cardinals helmet on it and also a roughly 4-inch plastic home plate with the Bird-on-the-Bat logo. Ian kept them, so I went to work.

I spread the tablecloth out. I found two pieces of brown construction paper (actually, I stole some of Dawn’s scrapbooking paper; she hasn’t scrapbooked since Adam was born) and taped them together for the “home plate area”. I affixed the plate in the middle and then take white duct tape and fashion a batter’s box, base lines, bases, and a pitching rubber. I thought it looked pretty darn cool, if I must say so my damned self. Which, of course, I must.

Decent, for a 15-minute job

Decent, for a 15-minute job

The only thing that bothered me was that it wasn’t to scale. If I would have come up with this idea before 10AM the morning of the party, I likely could have planned out a much, MUCH better way of Costnering a ball field out of a tablecloth. (“Field of Dreams” reference… stay with me, people.) Dawn said, “it doesn’t matter; you can tell what it is”. “Honey, Honey, Honey,” I said, “of course it matters.” She doesn’t get it. Actually, it was perfectly acceptable, but that’s my contribution to the OCD oil spill in the ocean of life: whenever I do anything like this, it’s got to be perfect, or else it’s a failure. That’s just how I am. Hey, everybody is OCD about SOMETHING; even you. Deny it all you want- there is something about which every person obsesses.

Anyway, it comes time for me to work on the cakes. I start with the baseball cake. Dawn iced it in white for me with the butter-creme frosting she MADE (mmmmmmm…) while I was dicking around with Duct-tape Stadium. She had picked me up this Betty Crocker cake decorating kit that had a frosting bag, little stencils for designs, all these special little tips to use for trim and piping and what not, etc. So she colors some of her frosting red and loads up a bag for me to go crazy with the baseball cake. Again, ’twas not perfect (damn it!!) but it was respectable.

As I finish it up, I look at the cupcakes and think, I can do something with them. I decided to put uniform numbers on each one to represent Cardinal players. (Apparently, said “theme” as mentioned above became “St. Louis Cardinals” at some point. I hope that was okay with Ian; luckily he is a Cardinal fan) So I made a Chris Carpenter cupcake, along with cupcakes for Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Aaron Miles, Cesar Izturis, Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, and Skip Schumaker. Basically, the starting lineup. I made one for Chris Duncan (first non-starter I could think of) and had two left, and decided to represent old school, and made a Lou Brock and a Bob Gibson cupcake. My Hall of Fame Cupcakes collection, I guess. So then Dawn came up with the idea of placing each cupcake in its respective position on my “field”. I sort of brushed that off and said, “yeah, I guess we could do that if you want”, the whole time pissed off that I didn’t think of it.

Then comes the regular cake. I’m staring at this blank canvas of white butter-creme, wondering what to do with it. I’m staring at it, I’m staring at it, I’m staring at it… I’m staring some more at it… then I decided, screw it and go with the only idea I could come up with.

The logo cake

The logo cake

Hey, you gotta admit, that’s pretty friggin’ good for a non-artist person to freehand on a cake- something said non-artist person has never even attempted before- using a ballcap as a guide. I don’t care whether you like the Cardinals or not. Okay, don’t admit it. I’ve patted myself on the back enough. I’m pretty friggin’ proud of it. I almost hated to see it get cut.

So seeing how well that cake turned out (if only in my eyes), it got me wondering. Do I have some sort of talent I never knew I had? Was that cake simply a fluke? Could I possibly have a future in cake decorating? Might it even become a business possibility? And what about Naomi? (Mom’ll get that reference…) Now don’t get me wrong, I have no such delusions of grandeur that make me think that Duff Goldman, the Ace of Cakes (just about the most awesomest show on all of television), has to fear for his job- EVER- but hey, who knows… if I were to get good enough at it, I just may not have to ever punch a clock again.

And that prospect is worth all the shit that Brian, Doug, and Mark gave me all night for decorating the cakes. That’s all right, you three “manly” mens, when you need a cake some day down the road- and you will- but you can’t afford me, you just remember August 15, 2008, and then run to Schnucks’ bakery. Bitches.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2008 3:29 pm

    NICE JOB!!! Come January you want make me a Handy Manny cake??? Just kidding!

  2. Mrs.Johann permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:20 pm

    We love Handy Manny! A tool box cake is a great idea. Johann I know you can do it!

  3. Johann permalink
    August 20, 2008 9:37 am

    Oh dang… I’m getting orders already… >gulp<

    Mer, all I will say right now is, we’ll see. If my abilities improve, possibly.

    And dear, you pretty much just punked me into it- thanks a lot! 😯

  4. Marjorie permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:40 pm

    You can call your business “Johnnycakes.”

  5. Johann permalink
    August 21, 2008 7:56 am

    Or how about “Majestic Interlude”?

    That’s a good name.

  6. August 21, 2008 7:01 pm

    LOL! Adrian is Handy Manny Obsessed. I was just kidding about the cake, although I think Ian’s was awesome! LOL! We bought Adrian a whole bunch of Handy Manny Stuff.

  7. Johann permalink
    August 21, 2008 8:16 pm

    Yeah, both our boys are big time into Handy Manny. I just like that they try to teach a little Spanish.

    The wrench and that Mr. Lopard (the candy store guy that has the cat with the matching combover) are weenies, though. πŸ˜‰

  8. August 21, 2008 8:59 pm

    This is for you Mr. Johann.

  9. Johann permalink
    August 22, 2008 7:14 am

    Thanks, Shoo… that was awesome.

  10. May 9, 2013 2:09 pm

    I like Johnycakes! so are you still making cakes? Do you make your own icing? I have an amazing butter creme recipe if you want it.

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