Wilton I

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When I was a little girl, Mothah took a cake decorating class.  I can remember taking her icing bags out of the refrigerator and sucking the buttercream out of them and then putting them back in the refrigerator. I wonder if she ever knew I did that? Now she does.   I loved watching her decorate cakes with all the bags and the different tips and all of that damn icing. I absolutely love icing. Frosting, icing, whatever the hell you want to call it-it’s all the same to me and I will eat it all.  I started making and decorating cakes as a hobby years ago-for my kids. They would ask for something completely off the wall and I would make it and they would be thrilled. I’m not bragging-it’s just a fact. I’m an artist, and artists can just do this kind of thing.  I am by no means saying that the damn things were perfect and looked like they came from a bakery! They were perfect as seen through the eyes of a child, and that is all that mattered.  As time went on, I got a little better at this cake stuff.  I made a Les Paul guitar for Mini Me.  The next year I made a Les Paul Gold Top with gold spray paint icing stuff for Mini Me.  The Middle Child liked to help with her cakes.  She had one that actually weighed probably close to 20 lbs. That year,  she and I actually made our own fondant!  We hand-colored it, rolled it out, etc. It was a two or three layer cake–heavy as lead. The fondant was made out of marshmallow, so it tasted delicious.  I have also made a couple of small wedding cakes for friends. By “small”, I mean 3 tiered and not 6 tiered.   Anyway, I felt that I was a seasoned cake decorator.  The Middle Child and I were trying to find something to do together.  These pre-teen and teenage years are rough on mothers and children.  There is a lot of separation.  The Middle Child spends far too much time in her room, and I spend far too much time on my computer or in the kitchen or in the laundry room or doing whatever needs to be done.  I’m not complaining. It’s just life, and I am sure that it is the same in most every home.  Mothah came up with the perfect solution: she gave us gift certificates to take a cake decorating class together for Christmas. In 2014.  Stop laughing.  We tried to make time for it, but there just wasn’t any.  The Middle Child has Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde, and her voice lessons, and school, and I have a husband, Mini Me and The Baby too–it’s not like there is all this extra time floating around!  Finally, in October of 2015, we decided to take the class. I went on the website and found that we could not take the fondant class that we wanted to take because Wilton I was a prerequisite for ALL of the other classes.  So, we were going to be taking Wilton I.  I was Pissed with a capital P.  I already knew everything that Wilton I was going to teach! Good God! I have been decorating cakes for years!  I have made wedding cakes for God’s sake! It did not matter. I was not special.  I was going to have to take Wilton I.  So, I signed us both up for Wilton I.  Then, something came up and we had to reschedule.  Then, something came up and we had to reschedule again.  I was beginning to wonder if we were ever really going to take this damn class.  Finally, it was time.  I knew we had to each have 6 cupcakes for the first class.  I made 6 homemade cupcakes, that were, of course, ginormous.  I do not deal with dinky- ass cupcakes.  We got there, and our cupcakes were about 3 times the size of everybody else’s. The Middle Child was horrified.  Even the instructor said, “My, those are some huge cupcakes!” “I do not do small cupcakes!” I said.  As class began, I realized that I had done what I am prone to do: not read the directions.  We had none of our supplies. Well, except the damn cupcakes.  We had no scissors, no paper towels, no nothing.  Dammit.  Thank God our table mates were kind enough to share.  The Middle Child told me not to worry, that it was okay, but I know that she was secretly out-of-her-mind-embarrassed and just trying to make me feel better. We got our kit at that class, and it had all the other stuff in it, so we were not totally unprepared.  That first night, we learned how to properly put icing in a bag.  Now, I have been putting icing in bags for years.  I do not see why it is necessary to do it any differently than I have been doing it; however, I did do it her (the instructor’s) way.  I also found out that I could no longer hold the damn icing bag with two hands.  This was not good news for me.  Neither was the news that I now had to hold the damn bag at a 45 degree angle for some things and a 90 degree angle for others. I had to look at the picture in the book just to remember what a 45 degree and 90 degree angle looked like!  I was not pleased with this.  I was (and am) very set in my ways, and the instructor was very set in hers.  I was exhausted at the end of the class, but I did go on to spend $40 on various cool little things she showed us that would make cake decorating easier….because I am a sucker.  And I bought 2 of everything-one for me and one for The Middle Child.  Before we left, she gave us the list of what we needed for the next class. We needed an 8 inch round cake and 5 cups of icing.  She told us to use a cake mix so we would all be on the same level.  She also said to use the recipe in the Wilton I book for the icing, but somewhere along the way, I lost that information.  The icing we had used that night had been given to us and it was Wilton decorator icing and it tasted awful.  All I could think about was my own homemade buttercream and how delicious it would taste on my cake for next week….. We also needed cake boards and a leveler, etc. So, I bought a bunch of shit and we went home.   On the day of the next class, while The Middle Child was at school, I made both cakes, and made 10 cups of my delicious buttercream icing.  We both needed 3 cups of medium consistency and 2 cups of stiff consistency.  It all had to be separated out so we could both color it separately, etc. We got to class and the first thing we did was learn how to level a cake, which I have always done with toothpicks and wire.  I am so happy to never have to do that ever again! I now own a $10 cake leveler that works so much easier and faster.  The instructor was going around the room and she got to one student who had not followed directions and had not used a cake mix.  The leveler would not go through her cake because her cake was thick like pound cake.  The instructor went on and on about it. I was so glad I had followed directions and used a cake mix!  We learned how to fill a cake, which was fun.  I got some raspberry filling and added that to my cake. It was delicious, and I was not expecting to like it!   We got to the icing part.  We were icing our cakes and the instructor looked over at our icing and had a fit.  I had noticed that everyone else’s icing was nice and white and fluffy.  Ours was not.  “What is in your icing?” She asked.  “It’s my buttercream” I answered.  “Why is it yellow?” she asked. “It has butter in it.” I said. “MMHMM” she said, shaking her head.  “You did not follow directions.  You were supposed to make the icing in the book.  This icing is not going to do what it is supposed to do because it is too heavy.” The Middle Child was horrified.  We did our best to ice our cakes, but the instructor was right.  The icing was too heavy.  At the end of the class, after everyone had left, I apologized to the instructor for not following directions.  I told her that all I was thinking about was how good that icing was going to taste-not about how it was going to work in class! And that I had totally blanked out the part about why we needed to make the icing in the book. I said I was sorry and I had not blatantly not followed her directions.  She said it was fine and that there was a reason we all needed to be on the same level with our stuff.  The Middle Child had already gone to the car with half of our supplies….probably to get away from me.  We had our list for the next week, which was much easier. We just needed some brownies or cookies and icing.  That week went much better and was pretty non-eventful. Well, except that I was having some personal drama with a friend and could not (okay, would not)  get off the phone and The Middle Child had to go in for the first 15 minutes or so without me and then I texted off and on throughout the class, and… cried a little.  It was just a stroke of luck that our seats faced the wall…  The poor Middle Child. Oh My God.  So….for the last week of class, we were to bring a cake of our choice, already filled and iced,  and a bunch of already colored icing of different consistencies. So, I got all that shit ready on the day of class.  Let me say that after the second class, I made the icing recipe in the damn book.  We learned how to make roses! I have always wanted to learn how to make roses! The Middle Child is SO much better at it than I am ! She is left handed. She was the only lefty in the class.  All of her flowers, borders, everything turned out much cleaner and neater than anything I did. I think it may be because she has a lot more patience than I do. She is also very calm.    I have to say that I found out that I did not know everything there is to know about cake decorating-by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, I could probably re-take Wilton I and learn more.  I learned a lot.  Our instructor was fantastic.  I loved taking the class with The Middle Child, and even though it sounds like it was a giant clusterfuck, it wasn’t, and I think she really had fun too 😉

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2 thoughts on “Wilton I

  1. OMG. Are you sure we’re not related? As I was reading your post, my middle child started texting me. As I was telling him about my clusterfuck of a couple of days, he said, “you’re the only person I know that this kind of shit happens to.” I just haven’t decided if I am going to blog about it or not because it involves me breaking our toilet ….. Thanks for the chuckle. You rock!

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