Saturday, August 4, 2007

Chatty Cathy today

I'm chatty today. I've had nothing to say recently, and all of a sudden, I've tons to talk about.

This post isn't about chatting though - I just want to post pictures of Nora. She has discovered the sprinkler and loves it.

Things are growing!

We are reaping the rewards of our garden finally! I'm picking a few tomatoes each week, and I'm thinking that with the number that are starting to turn red, I'm going to be picking a ton soon.

The rabbits have had a field day with the leaves on the carrots, though picking one of the carrots, it seems that they are still doing okay? The onions are about done, so we'll be picking those when we have the opportunity.

All of my viney plants still have no fruit on them. Though, they have tons of flowers on them, we're hoping to see something soon - canteloupe, squash, pumpkin, watermelon - something! I'm thinking the only possible one left is going to be the pumpkins, since they have a long growing season. I just wish we were going to have some squash, I've been looking forward to it all summer long.

We have yellow peppers aplenty - though we have no clue what to do with them! Any suggestions? Our green peppers are also doing nicely. :)

A new hobby

I've been wanting to take one of the Wilton Cake Decorating classes for some time now. Finally, as a birthday present from my husband, he bought me the class and supplies. Little did he know, those supplies were not nearly everything that I needed. I've now bought pans, parchment papers, cookie cuters for cute shapes, dyes, flavorings, powdered sugar galore, a huge tub of crisco, a larger spatula - well, you get the idea. Thank goodness I already have the Kitchenaid Professional Mixer or this would have been an even more expensive habit!

Over the month of July, I completed the Wilton Course I. It was so much fun, and I'm anxiously awaiting Course II. However, due to my husband's bowling schedule on Monday nights (that will be starting soon), I may have to put Course II off until September. That's okay, I suppose, I still have plenty that I can practice on my own.

The first week, we just learned some basics. The second week, we had to bring in an iced cake and a cookie cutter. The cookie cutter was to transfer an image to the cake, then we star tipped the inside of the cookie cutter image. My cake looked much better before it nearly slid off the plate as I pulled into our driveway.

The next week our cake was cute little clowns. Although, mine aren't so cute. You see, after practicing with your icing for an hour or so on a practice board, you're then expected to use the same icing in order to decorate your cake. The result for me was what I refer to as melty clowns. Still, the basic concept is easy and cute. Sadly, you can see from my photo that mine are not so cute. I tweaked my icing a bit the second week so that it wasn't so sweet and a bit more edible.

The last class ended with the ever evil rose. If you've never had the pleasure of making a rose out of frosting, let me tell you - it's definitely a learned art. I think that I finally got the hang out of it - at least enough that they weren't quite so hideous. You should have seen some of the ones that I started out making! Awful, awful, awful! There's a definite learning curve and I'm told that they are much easier to make in say, I dunno ..... January? Yeah, trying to make them in the heat and humidity of July in a non air conditioned house? Not so easy. After I finally mastered the rose we had to learn a new technique - a bow. And I thought roses were tricky! As you can see, I didn't get as much chance to practice the bow before it was time to throw one on the cake. Since the bow looked so crappy, I then tried to cover it up with the flowers. Yeah, I know, didn't work so well, did it?

I took the class with the idea that I would make my daughter's first birthday cake, and I'm so happy that I'll be able to make a great cake for her. Her birthday party is next weekend, but right now, I'm less concerned with her cake then I am for a cousins bridal shower cake that is TOMORROW! I'm still going back and forth on a lot of issues - fillings, number of tiers, decorations. I have the two bottom tiers done, a double layer 10 inch and a double layer 8 inch. The shower will have approximately 50 people attending. While I know that technically, this is plenty of cake to feed said 50 people, I know the people attending and they will scoff at such little pieces. So, do I do the 6 inch tier? I'm thinking that it probably wouldn't add that much cake to the mix. My original plan, after talking with some family members (and them telling me that those two tiers would not be enough cake) I decided to make some cupcakes as well. But, now I'm all sorts of indecisive and found a fabulous sheet cake online. Would it be horrible to want to make a sheet cake now? Ack - I told you - indecisive! The other cakes wouldn't go to waste - the one that I filled and stacked already could be frosted and taken to a party for tonight. The other could be wrapped and frozen for DDs party next week (where I'm very decisive on how her cake will look!).

I'm never this undecisive when it comes to sewing projects, so I don't know what's come over me. All I know is I'm loving this new hobby. My hips, however, are not.