This week the blog turns four years old. Happy birthday to it! Thanks for reading! When I first started, all I wanted was a blog that was read by slightly more people than my five friends who adamantly subscribe to everything in their Google Reader. (Google Reader FOREVER. WE’LL NEVER SWITCH OVER TO GOOGLE PLUS!)
In what has become a blog tradition to mark the passing of the years, I’ve baked a weird cake to celebrate. But first, let’s reminisce over the previous cakes. The first year, I baked the CAKE WITH EVERYTHING, a magical cake that could cause seizures just by looking at it.
The second year, I used the Big Top Cupcake, a special silicone pan that makes Godzilla-sized cupcakes. I’m still burning inside over the fact that I paid twenty-two dollars for a rubber piece of crap that I regularly see in THE DOLLAR STORE now. But that’s what happens when you jump on the As-Seen-On-TV bandwagon too early. At the time, I convinced myself we would use the Big Top Cupcake semi-regularly, but this post is evidence of the first and last time we used it.
Behold, THE SEXY PIG:
Last year, I didn’t bake a cake because I got married. Yes, the Surfing Pizza Birthday and my wedding anniversary fall within the same week. So here is a picture of our wedding cake instead. This was one-hundred-percent the wife’s influence. If I’d had any say over the wedding cake, it would have had an overflowing volcano on the top and eyeballs down the sides.
For this year’s cake, I decided to go vintage. 1990 Vintage. I bought an old Ninja Turtle cake pan on eBay, produced by Wilton. Wilton is like the Betty Crocker of cake decorating. They’ve produced shaped-cake pans of all the classic characters. I was only slightly skeeved out about the prospect of buying an old, sketchy cake pan off eBay, and it didn’t help matters when it arrived smelling like someone had used it for an ashtray for the last twenty-two years.
Sparing no expense, I went with the special decorating tubes of frosting. It’s a brave new world venturing beyond the standard tubs of Betty Crocker frosting. Even though the cake pan is an official “Michaelangelo” pan, I decided to make Raphael for no reason other than the tube of red frosting excited me the most in that moment there in that brave new aisle.
The baking of the actual cake was pretty simple. Take a box of cake mix, add eggs, oil, stir, dump it in the pan, and stick it in the oven. It was even easy to pop the cake out of the pan without destroying the shape. PAM is a miracle, and that’s the first and last lesson of baking, my friends.
There’s the Ninja Turtle cake in its pure cakey nakedness. Next comes the decorating part. Oh, the decorating part. Please refer above to the Cake With Everything and the Sexy Pig. You know where this is going.
First, let’s take a look at few examples of other Ninja Turtle cakes:
This is the pan insert’s example of the cake. What’s up with the sheet in the background? Is this the official Sears Portrait Studio photograph of the cake pan? Note the creepy cake eyes staring into your soul.
Next, here’s Sam’s 5th Birthday Party cake:
And another example:
If I was Bruce, I’d be a little pissed that the Ninja Turtle belt has “B” on it for my name rather than the turtle’s name, but it’s an honest and endearing Mom-mistake. These cake examples aren’t completely brilliant or anything, but they’re fairly decent, and it makes you think with a little patience and some fancy decorating frosting, anyone can whip up a passable Ninja Turtle cake. Anyone that is, except me.
I want you to know I tried really hard. I took my time with it painstakingly. I used freaking toothpicks to keep the colors exactly within the lines. I will never have that level of patience for another single project I attempt ever again in my stupid life. Seriously, I depleted my lifetime’s savings of patience for this.
I wouldn’t even have the patience to do this again for my own kid’s birthday cake. Then again, my kids will probably have to beg me not make them an embarrassing cake, begging for a grocery store cake like all the normal kids get.
It looks like I did it with both hands tied behind my back as I haphazardly squeezed the tubes with my mouth. And yet at one point, the wife came downstairs to check on my progress. She looked at the cake, and with one-hundred-percent sincerity, said “that looks really good, honey!” And she totally meant it. This makes me think either:
A) she just really loves me and supports whatever I do—even if it’s spreading gloppy piles of greasy frosting around on a cake I baked in twenty-two year old pan that smells like cigarettes.
B) she also does art therapy with kids, and this is just her tone-perfect encouragement voice as she analyzes to herself the resentment this represents towards my father.
c) she doesn’t care anymore. Afterall, earlier the dog had peed in our bed, ripped around the house for five whole minutes while we tried to scold her and take her outside, and then finally went outside and instead of peeing, attempted to eat every last stick, rock, piece of mulch, and daddy long legs in existence.
Despite its looks, the cake was surprisingly good. The fancy tube frosting tastes as good as it is fun to squeeze out. The head was also just as fun to cut off.
Another year, another cake. This year brings more of the same: random toys, snack reviews, essays, and a Halloween countdown starting in two weeks. Again, thanks for reading the blog!