Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Madrid Fault Cake

I've already admitted that I'm not real great in the kitchen.  I have had my share of kitchen disasters.  The first year I volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner, my entire family was nervous and had scoped out the open fast food chains close to my house.  Admittedly, when I was married to NumberOne, my dinner specialty was turkey dogs and tater tots, so they had a right to be nervous.

My baby sister took me in when I was going through the divorce from NumberOne, so I felt the pressure to pay her back in some small way.  It was getting close to her birthday, so I offered to bake her a cake of her choice.  She promptly told me that she wanted a Black Forest Cake.  I had no clue how to make an authentic Black Forest cake despite my German heritage.  Baby Sis reassured me that as long as it was chocolate and had cherries, it was close enough for her.  Plus, she knows my cooking skills so she probably didn't want to push my limited skill set.

During this time, I was not only working full-time but going to school full time too. I was very good at scheduling things out to make the most of my time.  My weekend plan included going to school for my Saturday class, running to Lowe's for a birthday gift for my dad, getting the supplies to make BabySis's cake, grab an anniversary gift for my parent's, bolt over to Mr. Monkeygirl's apartment to use his oven and cake pans and spend some time with him before I rushed off to the country to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. with my family.

I stopped by the grocery store and bought all of my baking supplies.  I ran across the street to Lowe's to buy Dad the pitchfork he wanted.  While I was there, I found a gorgeous Hibiscus plant for the MonkeyParent's anniversary.  I carted my finds out to the car.  That is when I realized that I had a problem.

In an effort to reduce my living expenses after the divorce, I need to get rid of the pick-up truck.  I had no use for a truck.  I didn't get custody of the dog.  I sold the boat.  It was just a big, bad memory hauler.  Plus, I could probably find a nice used car with lower payments.  What better way to celebrate your freedom, then to buy yourself a cute little convertible?  It met all the criteria - reliable, better gas mileage and the payments were a lot lower than the truck.  The only draw back, you ask?  This car had a trunk that was affectionately dubbed "the cooler". Seriously, the trunk in this car was tiny.  Even a small cooler wouldn't fit in this thing.  But the car was soo cool!

But I digress, so here I am standing in the parking lot with my pitchfork and giant flowering plant.  My baking supplies are tucked in the trunk.  I decide that the pitchfork needed to go in the trunk so it didn't puncture my interior.  I opened the trunk and find out that I just can't drop the pitchfork in.  I have to angle it just right.  I project the correct trajectory and angles (good thing I had just finished up my math courses) and make an attempt to wedge the pitchfork in the trunk.  

Poof!  A huge cloud of flour and sugar erupt in my trunk.  The entire trunk is now covered in a thin layer of flour.  Minor miscalculation on my part.  I neglected to think about the fact that the only way the pitchfork would fit was a direct hit with the tines of the fork directly into the newly purchased bag of flour and sugar in the trunk. No I have to figure out how to clean up the mess in my limited free time.

The pitchfork and plant end up in the back seat as I head over to Mr. Monkeygirl's to bake.  I used Grandma's famous chocolate cake recipe and create my own version of a black forest cake.  Basically, I just added a layer of cherry pie filling to the two layers of chocolate cake.  The cake was perfect.  It came out of the pans with ease.  The icing went on smoothly.  BabySis would be proud of me!

I loaded up all my stuff into the Spyder for my trip to the country.  I decided that the perfect cake needed to be inside the car.  I figured the passenger seat was the safest place to make the 100+ mile trip.  Carefully, the cake was strapped in for the trip.  I made it to the deep woods without incident.  I carefully unloaded everything out of the car and brought it inside.  I took one look at the cake and almost burst into tears.  The entire top half of the cake split open.  Everything shifted to the side.  I forgot to factor in a few things when transporting the cake.
  1. The seats in my Spyder had a natural pitch backwards so the cake sat at an angle for the entire trip.
  2. The layer of cherry pie filing in the middle acted just like a layer of molten lave and let everything shift and slide.
  3. Chocolate cake is just like the earth and as things below shift, giant crevasses will pop up in the layer above.
I was devastated.  The tale of the Great Flour Explosion sent everyone into fits of laughter.  We "fixed" the cake by piping the crevasses with whipped cream. Since we live near the New Madrid fault line, the cake has since been renamed in honor of the molten magma layer and the devastating affects of repeated tremors! It didn't look good, but it was de-lic-ious!


sewwhat? said...

I have tears in my eyes and a pain in my side from convulsive laughter remembering this day! You are good to remember things with such humor! MonkeyMom

P.S. See MonkeyMom's post on Evolution of a Cook, "Sewhat?" blogspot for a little background on this

NV said...

I remember first hearing this story and dying laughing. It's like Bridget telling the story of the cookies and the escalator!