A couple of weeks ago, when I was work-free and feeling unusually domestic, I decided to bake a cake for my husband. There was no reason, really--I was just feeling particularly appreciative of his all-around efforts, so James and I planned a "Daddy Appreciation Surprise Party."
The event had all the essential elements that any bash should have--games, prizes, food, speeches, but the crowning jewel of the party was indisputable. It was the cake.
You see, before my brother-in-law left for his two-year mission back in April, we used to Tivo Ace of Cakes and watch it on Friday nights. You know, because I'm awesome.
Somehow, watching all of those episodes puffed me up with a very strong, but very false sense of confidence. I'd seen those television bakers apply a crumb coat a zillion times! I was more than familiar with the internal architecture of a wedding cake. And good heavens, if any lay person had the ability to sculpt with sugar, it had to be me.
Not to mention the fact that I worked at a bakery for two years during high school.
Yes, it's true. I was only there to fill the jelly donuts. But this baking thing? It's running through my freaking veins.
So I gathered my tools, rounded up my four-year-old assistant, and channelled my inner pastry chef. Twenty-dollars, three hours, and two buckets of sweat later, I had created this:
It's a trout.
A rainbow trout to be exact.
What? You couldn't tell? You must be grossly unfamiliar with freshwater fish species, because I swear on all things holy, it's like you could reach out, touch that thing and be surprised that you had frosting on your finger. In other words, it's incredibly lifelike.
Or so I thought.
I was proud of this fish. So proud that I posted the pictures on Facebook for all the world to see. So proud that I chose to interpret Jared's laughing as "Whoa! Ha ha ha! How did a man like me end up with a woman of such talent? Ha ha ha! It blows my mind! Ha ha!" as opposed to, "Ha ha ha! This is, hands down, the sh!++*&t cake I've ever seen in my life! Ha ha!"
The smartie candy for the eye? The chocolate sprinkles for the spots? The anatomically accurate hook jaw? I tell you what, I was about to sign my ass up for culinary school.
And then this morning, as I wiped the sleep from my eyes and checked my Google Reader, my world came crashing downaround me. And it crashed down hard.
I clicked on my friend's blog, and was greeted by a picture of this:
Yes, it's a cake. Yes, it's a trout. And yes, believe it or not, it's also a rainbow trout. Just like my cake.
(I know, she totally didn't put enough spots on the tail or the belly--it confused me, too.)
Oh these novices. She'll get the hang of it eventually. And in the mean time, I'll be the one whimpering in my closet.