Monday, February 12, 2007

Hi, my name is Natalie

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...and I am a cakeaholic. It only took me a month and a half but I am totally engrossed in cake decorating. It takes two parts of my personality, food and creativity, and rolls it into one convenient little package.

Sorry to disappoint you but there are no cake pics tonight. There will be tomorrow night though. You don't think I am going to miss Valentine's day do you? My son is getting a stuffed bear, and a cake. Work is getting...a cake. My husband and mother are getting....yup, you guessed it (drum roll please)...a cake. There are about 12 little cakes of varying sizes and shapes sitting double wrapped in my fridge right now. You would almost think I'm doing it as a side job, but I am not! All of these are free. I must decorate most of them tomorrow night. I don't want to give it away, but they will be the easiest cakes I've made so far, yet the *I think* idea is cute, even if it's been used a gazillion times before. At least I think so. I really enjoy this stuff. I enjoy the baking. I hate the cleaning, but with practice, I'm becoming better and better at knowing how to keep it under control. Rarely does my kitchen get left overnight with dishes in the sink. In fact, I have only my recently emptied pans in the sink right now. The rest of the paraphanalia that needs to be cleaned is long gone. I love the decorating. Even when it goes wrong it's satisfying. I look at my green super flower cake that was only my third and realize that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was at the time and my flowers came out pretty darn well! I did forget to put the finishing touches on a lot of them but that's ok. My son is perfectly content to let me "do my thing" because he knows he'll get some treat out of each batch. Lot's of times he "helps" me. He has is own play kitchen, complete with a very realistic play hand mixer and when he gets the hankering he gets his little mixer and a jar of what he percieves to be the makings of icing (which was a wood peanut butter food item last time), pulls his little chair up to the counter and makes his own stuff. When he is done "mixing", he gives me a beater like I do sometimes for him. Don't worry folks, I ensure my stuff is very VERY clean. I am so paranoid about making someone ill!

But here is my problem. I have very few things that I cook that I like. Among them include my casserole mac and cheese, my mushroom sauce for meat (beef, chicken, pork), and mashed taters. However, I have found that I absolutely ADORE my cakes. I mean, I may not be pleased with how they look, but by golly, they taste fabulous! I can't believe what a talent I have for this. I rarely "overcook", and people rave about the moistness. I really only have two kinds that I'll make right now: Chocolate and Yellow, but the recipes I'm using are excellent, and as I perfect them, I'll venture into other avenues. I'm typically a pretty plain jane type of cake flavor person, but I realize not everyone is.

This is just such a wonderful creative outlet for me. Anybody who knew me as a kid would tell you that I was very creatively inclined, but could never find something that I really jived well enough with to make a career out of it. Now I have a career in something NOT creative in the least, but have found this wonderful creative outlet that who knows, when I'm older or retired, I may just start up my own little quaint business. A lot of people HATE to cut into my cakes. I think they are not all that, I see really professional pics on a website I go to, but I guess for a beginner I'm not bad. But for me, cutting into the cake is half the fun. They see this "work of art" (even though I haven't really acheived that status except in their eyes) and don't want to harm it. What they don't realize is that half of the art is in the taste. So dig in! It won't hurt my feelings! Tell me how fantastic and moist it is!

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