Ego check? Piece of cake

“Her picture’s in the papers now, and life’s a piece of cake.” – Ogden Nash, 1936

Oh really, Mr. Nash? A piece of cake? Such condescension rolls naturally from a man who probably never tried to make a homemade-strawberry-Belle-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast cake.

I did and, though the incident happened a full 60 hours ago, I still feel like Icarus did as he plummeted into the sea with his stinking, melted wings.

Shocked.

I nestled that cake in crystal and hauled it 100 miles for my daughter’s birthday, smiling demurely and accepting compliments from the hostesses at the Cheesecake Factory — the Cheesecake Factory, for Pete’s sakes — as I carried it to our table.

I’ve been baking cakes since I could breathe and I knew this one was a winner. I mean, I sifted the flour! I separated the eggs! I whipped the whites! I even set the oven timer, a formal procedure I reserve for only the most delicate of baking occasions.

Why yes, I said smugly to my sister, who asked. I did make the butter cream frosting. I always make the butter cream frosting.

Oh, the humiliation.

I hustled the gang through the formalities — the singing, the wishing, the candle blowing, yada yada yada — and waited for the big reveal.

Finally, the knife sliced through the sparkly yellow frosting, and down plopped a heavy piece of cake, the thud heard round the restaurant.

What’s this, I thought as I looked around in panic. What is that sickly looking hunk of partially cooked pink goo? That can’t be my beautiful homemade-strawberry-Belle-from-Beauty-and-the-Beast cake!

Oh, but it was, a fat hunk of shame.

It might have been the Bundt, which inspired a giddy Greek riff between my sister and me, but probably was too deep for my delicate cake. It may have been the on-line recipe (it was not the recipe).

I think, like burnt ole sunken Icarus, I just got a little too cocky. Ego check? Piece of cake.

Here's the little trollop that proved to be my undoing. With her sparkly exterior and nearly inedible interior, she turned out to be quite a cliche.
Here’s the little trollop that proved to be my undoing. With her sparkly exterior and nearly inedible interior, she turned out to be quite a cliché. (I think those ponies have her number though.)
A color coordinated birthday girl. Due to its interior mush, this cake is quite heavy and I appreciate Katherine's game smile as she struggles to hold it aloft.
A color coordinated birthday girl. Due to its interior mush, this cake turned out to be quite heavy and I appreciate Katherine’s game smile as she struggles to hold it aloft.
Meanwhile, we had a little staredown. We are nothing if not competitive (see exhibit A... and then take a gander at exhibit B)
Meanwhile, we had a little stare down. We are nothing if not competitive (see exhibit A… and then take a gander at exhibit B)
Exhibit A ... hasn't lost a staredown since a mosquito flew in her eye back in 1992.
Exhibit A … hasn’t lost a stare down since a mosquito flew in her eye back in 1992.
Exhibit B...Holy Cow!
Exhibit B…Holy Cow!

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