Yesterday was a rough day. I was supposed to have the day off but I ended up in the kitchen tackling a last minute birthday cake for one of the grandsons. Technically I could have said no, but when Barbara called to say that she had forgotten her grandson's birthday and needed a cake...how could I say no? Especially when the grandson in question is a really nice guy, turning twenty, hasn't been out to the ranch in two years, has friends visiting, etc. It was not a quick and easy process. Let's just say I was having issues and had to make three batches of cake before I had something usable to work with. Chris called the kitchen in the middle of the third batch and I'm sure he must have thought he reached an alternate universe I was barely able to hold my temper together enough to answer the phone much less carry on a civil conversation. So if you're reading this Chris, it wasn't you it was most definitely me. Apologies. Fortunately for my sanity the filling and ganache that I made to finish the cake came out well, with a little bit of help from my partner in crime.
Anyway it took me six hours to make that cake. Reflecting on the experience today I realized that reason I was having so much trouble was because I was determined to do a great job at a task I really didn't want to do in the first place. I should have just said no. Or I should have let Alex make the cake since he's the one that said yes in the first place. He offered to do it, but I knew that I was better with cakes and that Barbara was expecting me to make it so I insisted on doing it myself. Lesson learned. If I really don't want to do something I should just say no. Then there was the issue that it had to be amazing. Because I wasn't giving up my day off to make a mediocre cake. My philosophy is that birthday cakes come once a year and they should be special. They should be tailored to the recipient and make them feel special. My directive in making the cake was just to do something simple and not worry about it too much. As if. That is so not me. So there I was wrestling with a last minute birthday cake, not knowing exactly what the recipient wanted, not feeling as though anyone actually cared what kind of cake I was making, unable to simply throw something together because I just can't do that, on my day off after working an extremely long week and feeling totally abused and unappreciated. Is it any wonder I was having issues? I finally got it done and it was a damn good cake. Bittersweet chocolate layers with a brown sugar caramel filling studded with peanuts and a bittersweet chocolate ganache for the frosting. No one was there when Alex dropped off the cake. No one called to say thank you. Nothing. Amazingly I'm not bitter about this at all. I have no doubt that Barbara will thank me when she sees me. She probably thinks it was just a little thing and no trouble at all. And frankly I've probably blown it way out of proportion. That tells me that we've made the right decision. It's time to do our own thing. Because I'd much rather shackle myself than be tied down by someone else's directives. I can do better than that. Fortunately the time is coming where I can prove it.
*After I wrote this, I did get a thank you. Apparently they loved the cake and I was just having a really tough day.