Friday, April 11, 2008

Volcano Virgin

That title came from somewhere - an old Doonesbury joke, I think...

For weeks, Brian has been planning his birthday celebration. He had drawn up extremely elaborate plans of how I was to decorate his sheet cake - the final design included a volcano spewing lava and ash into the air, people running away in terror, etc. All of which was way beyond my skill level. (Actually, anything more difficult to draw than a smiley face is beyond my skill level.) So then, naturally, I was beating myself up over how I don't make super creative cakes for my kids' b'days - you know, the way Dawn (Because I Said So) does. Because she has 6 kids, too, you know; but you don't see her telling them, "Hey, I let you pick out the frosting color - what more do you want?" Nope - she makes cakes shaped like cars and...and...other stuff like that. Which just points out to me my complete inadequacy as a mother. (You hear that, Dawn? Stop torturing me.)

Anyway, necessity is the mother of invention and all that; so, even as I despaired of ever being the fun sort of mother who makes Wow! birthday cakes, I suddenly remembered the Barbie Doll cake (check it out), where one uses a 2-qt measure to bake the batter in so that it comes out skirt-shaped. Which, I realized in a flash of brilliance (or maybe it was a flash of desperation), is also volcano-shaped. And thus great ideas are born...only, it didn't work quite as I envisioned.


Not very volcanic-looking, is it?

Not only did it look pathetic, but it was so dense and chewy as to be almost inedible. Hmmm....so I made a regular sheet cake (that we could actually eat) and plopped my poor excuse for a volcano on top. And, whaddaya know? It still looked pathetic.



But Brian and David, bless their imaginative little-boy hearts, decorated it with frosting and lava-like frozen strawberries and little Monopoly houses and hotels, and they thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Really. It seems that my kids refuse to accept the fact that I am most emphatically not up to the job of giving them a fun childhood. They like me, in fact (well, the non-teens do, anyway). And how great is that?




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20 comments:

  1. I thought you were going to announce that Larry wanted it to be a Catholic birthday cake, so you combined the two themes.

    I'm impressed. My kids don't even get birthday cakes anymore, just whatever's on sale at the Kroger. ("So it's a peach pie...it still holds the dang candles, doesn't it??")

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  2. If it makes you feel any better, my six-year-old came up behind me the moment I clicked on the image and announced, "THAT'S a volcano. A volcano CAKE. It looks EXACTLY like a volcano."

    Boys do not see these things with a critical artistic eye. Consider your cake a success. :)

    And a heck of a lot better than my sorry attempt at making a fire truck cake a few years ago.

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  3. jamie - Well, I happen to think that your 6-year-old is a wonderful little kid. Tell him I said so.

    And it would be fun to see pictures of that firetruck.

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  4. It's WAY better than I could do. But I fall in with Kalynne on this, whatever is at Jewel works for us. Although we get some really cool, and great tasting, cakes whenever we have special occasions (i.e. first birthday, first communion, confirmation, teen moving out day{wait, that hasn't happened yet.}), of which we have a combo first holy communion/confirmation party coming up.

    I wonder if Jenni will let me pick out the cake this year, I see a volcano with Barbie theme (for a boy and a girl, of course).

    I'll let you know. Although, I think you may well know the answer already. :)

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  5. I love the cake it's very volcanoey! I think it's great, and you should not give up! I like it more when a Mom is willing to try and think she failed when really in your kids eyes you can do no wrong (until they hit puberty).

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  6. Looks like a volcano to me...you can tell 'em I said so...and I have even been ON a REAL volcano. I am a volcano expert. Of the visiting and squeeling variety.

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  7. This is pretty great. My kids like me too... Weird, eh?

    I think the cake's cool.

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  8. Don't you love the rose colored glasses that our children see us through for the first few years? Years of my husband working 3rd shift started our family tradition of Birthday Donuts for breakfast. Luckily they considered donuts from the local grocery store bakery a treat. About the cake, I think it is wonderful.

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  9. better than great. it's awesome.

    that cakes is crazy and adorable.

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  10. It doesn't look bad. In fact, it looks great! And hey, if the kid is happy, then mama should be happy, right??

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  11. I am totally seeing Pompeii in that!

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  12. Dude I would totally eat that.

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  13. I bet it made them feel AWESOME to design it! I have to say I'm impressed, the barbie cake mold was inspired...and if the cake frosting was sugary enough, it WAS the best cake. Ever.

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  14. It absolutely rocks...and the boys clearly poured a lot of love and effort into decorating it.

    Happy Birthday, Brian.

    Heidi

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  15. IT looks great. And I found that if for me I am not so creative, the kids love what little I CAN do. Great thinking on the barbi part.

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  16. Well I've never made any super special cake like that for my kids! The biggest one I've done was cupcakes with sprinkles! Pathetic, huh? But, anyway, my son would absolutley love that cake! Your boys are lucky!

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  17. That acceptance is priceless. But that cake seriously does look like a volcano. Even Jamie's son thinks so.

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  18. YOU take the cake!

    That is GREAT!

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  19. Oh stop! I can make cakes, but ask me how many times I've cooked an actual dinner this month!
    I love your volcano cake and obviously, so did your kids! Awesome job!

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  20. Oh, that's perfect. And the green makes me laugh--after all, volcanoes bring things up... (ducking) (forgive me!)

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