Friday, August 12, 2011

True Confessions

So, I sometimes feel like I do a lot of confessing on this blog, granted most of it trivial.  At any rate, I have a new confession.  It's sort of a long story.  I have to preface it by saying that I admire and am slightly envious of the Pioneer Woman.  People, I don't even remember who at this point, had told me about her many years ago, and that I needed to go visit her blog.  Well this was back in the day when we had no internet service, so I didn't rush out to the local library to check her out.  I truthfully didn't even keep it in the back of my mind.  But so many people kept telling me about her, and then my mom bought me her cookbook (autographed, no less), which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I became an instant fan (and eventually visited her website).  Well, I just happen to have a friend who is friends with a friend of Mrs. Drummond. So in some respects, we practically know each other. Now, right after I became a fan, I was in awe of this woman (I mean, who can really do all of that stuff anyway). Well, my friend tells me, bursting my Pioneer Woman bubble, that she (she being the PW) has a nanny and two housekeepers.  Or two nannies and a housekeeper.  There were 3 people that helped her out regularly at any rate.  So I instantly felt justified and less inept having this piece of information.  The confession in this whole story is that she also fell a couple of notches in my esteem of her.  This was back when I had only 2 kids. I have been humbled since this day.  I now have someone clean my house.  If this did not happen I cannot imagine the utter filth that we would be living in.  I can barely get our laundry done most of the time.

I was reflecting on this quite a bit today because my only daughter turns 4 this weekend.  I wanted to surprise her with a cake from the movie "Tangled" because when some friends from church lent us their copy of the movie, she watched it daily for a few weeks (that's why it took us so long to return it).  She and Colin practically have the whole thing memorized, and some days will play "Tangled" in which they quote the movie verbatum almost in it's entirety.  So I started looking on the internet for "Tangled" cakes and found lots of food blogs with excellent photography, which is another passion that I share with the PW and probably what I envy her for the most (except for maybe that she lives on a ranch, which has been a secret dream of mine since childhood), in that she has fabulous lenses and an incredible photo-editing software.  Well, I took some pictures, and since the ideas were not originally my own, but my cake was just a modification of what I saw others do, I felt like I should give credit where credit was due.  Starting with my mother - if she had not been here making lunch for my older three children, and holding one of the two babies when needed for about 6 hours today (so I again was reminded that I was an idiot for ever thinking ill of PW for having a nanny, or two or however many she has), not to mention consulting on the entire project, it would never have happened.  I love my mother, she knows almost everything there is to know about something crafty (I love her for other reasons, too).  And then there's the supermom, and this other lady whose cake ideas I tried to copy for the most part.

Ok, so here's the cake!
We couldn't find pecan rolls at the grocery store, oddly, but found these mini french crullers, which actually worked awesome and (I think) looked better.  We also used two pyrex bowls, a medium and small one.  The medium one was the base, and then the small one was the top.  Plus we cut the little "hump" off of the medium one and put it on top of the small one to make the top of the tower. I did do a platform, like one of the ladies suggested, and I hot glued the dowel to the cake base because I didn't want another disaster, like last year.

 I had a grass/hair icing tip that was so easy to use....
 And the leaf tip for the vine...
 Plus a waffle cone from Brewsters for the roof, a couple of chex for the windows, and a broken pretzel for the little thingy that she throws her hair over.  The hair was the only non-edible thing, it was just braided yarn.
 Oh yeah, and a little flower tip with pearl non pareils that my mom had...
 Voila - Rapunzel's tower!
 I was so proud of it.  Most of you don't know about last year's cake disaster.  It was probably the worst cake I have ever, ever made in my entire life.  It was horrible.  It was really just embarassing.  Ansley could have made a better cake for herself.  Here is a picture.
What you can't see is that the dowels are not doing their job in an already ridiculously ugly cake, and so the entire back of the cake is falling off, and I had to prop it up with cardboard, and some heavy candles.  You can sort of see the back of the cardboard behind one of the turrets.  This was a low moment in my cake decorating history.  Hopefully I've redeemed myself (a little maybe?).

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