Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Work, Home and Family - Saving Dessert - Step by Step Instructions

So, we spent Easter Dinner and most of Sunday afternoon with some very dear friends of ours.  My friend LOVES to cook and it is truly a ministry of hers - having people over for meals, teas, breakfast, snacks, taking meals to those who need it.  (She brought us the most amazing homemade sweet and sour chicken with sticky rice when our children were born!)  She has severe physical limitations for many things but, man, can she cook! I have long since given up on asking if I can bring anything to meals since I know how much she loves to cook and how good she is at it!

The thing is, I love to bake.

And she loves to cook.  And dislikes baking.

So I usually bring dessert.

For Easter it's a carrot cake.

I usually bake the cake on Saturday and then frost and decorate it on Sunday right before we go over to their house.  I even have a cross-shaped cake pan that I use for things like Easter - decorated with piped icing flowers or, even better, edible fresh flowers and fruit, or some combination of all those.

I didn't get my cake baked until very late at night Saturday.  I decided to do a double-layer cake with peach filling and cream cheese frosting, since I had peaches in the freezer to make a filling with and cream cheese for the frosting.  After letting it cool a bit in the pan, I tried to take it out of the pan so it could cool all the way on the cooling rack.

This is the result:


What followed went something like this:

Step By Step Instructions for How to Rescue a Failed Dessert

Step 1:  Sob hysterically (I'm blaming a case of shingles, and being overtired for that!).  Tell John that I will never make a good Pastor's wife because I can't even bake a simple cake.

Step 2:  Let John tuck me into bed with a kiss and tell me it will be all right tomorrow (Sniff.)   

Step 3: Tell John when he crawls into bed later that I have a plan but I need to buy two containers of whipped topping in the morning.  

Step 4:  John gets called into work at 1:30am.  He goes inside the storefront when he stops to buy gas on the way home at 3:30am just to check if our neighborhood gas station has whipped topping of any kind. They don't.  (This is part of why I love this man so much!)

Step 5:  Drive to Target after church Sunday (now at 12:15pm, we need to be at our friend's house at 2pm) to buy whipped topping.  Target is closed. All day.

Step 4:  Drive to both grocery stores.  Both are closed.  

Step 6: Start to panic!  Mentally try to figure out if  I have enough "stuff" to make a second cake and frost it!

Step 7:  Drive to Walgreen's - my last hope and fortunately they are OPEN!!!!!!!

Step 8:  Everyone else in town who needed anything is also at Walgreen's.  Snag the last container of whipped topping out of the freezer case by standing on the little lip at the front of the case in my church heels, fancy Easter dress, and big spring hat to dig it out from the very back where I just barely spotted it.  

Step 9:  Straighten out my dress. Try to look like I hadn't just practically climbed into the freezer case. :)

Step 10:  Snag the last container of pre-made frosting on the shelf and the last box of yellow cake mix.  Just in case. Check out.  Drive home.  Share story with family.  Wonder how I'm going to make this work with container of  whipped topping.

Step 11: Put on apron, dig out pretty glass bowl we got at our wedding (almost 15 years ago now! WOW!)  And do this with the already crumbled cake: 


Step 12:  Attempt to whip still completely frozen whipped topping.  End up with this:


Step 13:  Set partially whipped, frozen mess aside.  Try not to cry. Again.   Drain two cans each of mandarin oranges and pineapple well on paper towels.  


Step 14:  Finally whip the now mostly thawed whipped topping.  Layer on top of cake pieces.

Step 15:  Top with half the pineapple and mandarin oranges.


Step 16:  Add another layer of cake crumbles.  

Step 17:  Place last glob of whipped topping in the middle of the cake pieces.  Stare at top of dessert and wonder what to do next.

Step 18:  Allow almost-8-year-old daughter to take over.   :)

Step 19:  Watch as daughter carefully arranges pineapple in two rings around the outside edge.  Smile.  Carefully cut giant strawberries in half so we have some "color".  Watch as daughter artfully arranges the strawberries and some of the mandarin oranges on top of the dessert.  

Step 20:  Hug daughter.  Take off apron. Cover desert with foil.  Wash hands. Put on coat.  Time:  1:45pm!




And of course take photos.  

Because this had to be a blog post, you know......  

So, that is how you save a failed dessert!  

Oh, and we used the box cake mix and frosting to make cookies to email to Grandpa.  Apparently anything made by the Grandchildren actually tastes good to him (his taste buds are out of whack from chemo) so we're sending anything we can think of!


What have you done to save a cooking or baking mishap lately?  I'd love to hear!

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Lea