Last week, I shared that our son Matt got married. This week, I wanted to share that our daughter, Ali, a pastry chef, made the wedding cakes (yes, plural). And, unfortunately, she asked me to help. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love cooking with Ali. We have a lot of fun and she has taught me SO much over the years. But, wedding cakes are SO stressful. I mean…one little mistake and a catastrophe may ensue!
When she needs my help, I just follow orders. Crack eggs? Gotcha. Check the oven temp? Okee dokee. Wash this pan? Happy to! I do NOT do any decorating. No-siree. I’m not any good at that at ALL. While I’m sweating and shaking under the time crunch, Ali is cool as a cucumber. You’d think she was just making chocolate chip cookies for the family. She even hums while she works! I can’t hum because my teeth are grinding like crazy!
So, the morning before the wedding, Ali and I had our stuff all set up at Sarah’s aunt’s house. The view couldn’t be beat! It was definitely THE most beautiful scenery I’ve never had while cooking:
Mumbling nervously, I went to work.
She turned around. “Mom, don’t forget to separate the eggs, okay? Add the yolks to the mix but you’ll need to beat the whites and fold those in later.”
When I get really nervous, my brain flies right out my left ear. I cracked the eggs, put the yolks in a bowl, and added the whites to the mix. I mixed it all together and, when I turned to the yolks in the bowl, I realized what I did. I turned around.
“Um, Ali. I mixed the whites into the batter instead of the yolks.”
She was so sweet. I could tell she was agitated but she smiled, shook her head with eyes wide, and said, “How did you do that?”
After apologizing, I just stood there with a lopsided grimace on my face. She continued, “It’s okay. It’ll probably turn out. Just crack some more eggs and SAVE THE WHITES, okay? Beat them, and fold them in at the very end.”
Sure enough, the cake turned out fine. Perfect in fact. Next was the fondant. Now, Ali makes a really tasty fondant (it’s her secret recipe) but, since she shattered her wrist in a head-on collision back in 2011, she needs help kneading it. It’s a pretty tough job because it’s so thick. So, she put me to work making three batches. I have made it for her many times before so I relaxed, even peeking out the window a few times at the beautiful Maine coast while I kneaded and kneaded and kneaded. All three batches turned out perfect and Ali was happy…so I was happy. Things were going smoothly and she was singing softly while decorating the main cake according to the bride’s wishes.
During the reception the next day, the caterer cut me a small piece of the main cake. She turned around, handed it to me, and whispered, “Don’t eat the fondant. Fondant is never good.”
My eyes grew wide and I laughed out loud as I said, “I MADE THE FONDANT!”
Boy, was her face red! I bet she never makes a mistake like that at a wedding again! She then tasted the fondant and was surprised by how yummy it is, especially mixed with Ali’s lemon buttercream frosting. In the kitchen later, Mason asked if he could take the extra fondant home with him. He treats Ali’s fondant like edible Play-DohÆ. I’m sure the dentist will be happy.
When we were in Maine, it was pretty chilly. The night of the rehearsal dinner was quite cold, in fact. Mason walked up to me for a cuddle, and said, “You should have brought mittens. Not my cat, Mittens. Gloves mittens.”
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!