Who wants to play Cake-tionary?

No, I don’t want an award or a pat on the back or a gift certificate for unlimited foot rubs just because I, a dad, did something that moms do all the time, because I know that makes the moms crazy – or as I like to call them, “the ladies,” but I do so ironically, which means they can’t call me sexist because I’m only pretending to be sexist while being, in fact, totally sexist. I love irony.

I also love my wife for taking care of most of the birthday party planning over the years and being wildly successful at it. She once created a version of Twister in which you not only had to place your foot or hand on a coloured circle but also had to eat weird food that matched that colour. Like the real Twister, this was fun for only so long. But no one could argue that it wasn’t unique. Or sticky.

She has also typically baked cupcakes instead of the traditional cake. Cupcakes: no big deal, right? But wait. The children get bowls of icing to decorate their own cupcake. But wait. There’s also a lazy Susan loaded with gobs of candy and sprinkles that the children can use to garnish their cupcakes. They can pile on as much as candy as they want! And then we send them home to their parents.

Abby has always had cupcakes, so it was a surprise this year that she asked for a real cake. She turned 13 this week, so maybe she felt a cake was more mature than gummie-worm-infested cupcakes. At the same time, perhaps reflecting the transition from childhood, she wanted this cake to look like Sven, the reindeer from the Disney movie Frozen.

“Why couldn’t she pick Olaf?” I wondered. “He’s a snowman. A snowman I could do.”

I was thinking this because Deb, the partymeister (and quite the lady!) had asked/challenged me to render the cake Sven-like. We had decided we wouldn’t shape the cake into a reindeer but would instead draw the character in icing. Deb had submitted her Pictionary skills as evidence why she shouldn’t do it, and, having reviewed said evidence, I had no counter-argument.

It’s been busy around the house, so I made the cake. No, please, no applause. I can do this. I’m not much of a baker but I can manage a cake or a cupcake and especially a pancake, because it’s basically mixing stuff together, pouring and waiting. There’s not much too it. Ladies, don’t pretend otherwise. And, men, get with it; egg beaters are just like miniature weed-whackers.

I made the cake and then I iced it with white frosting. The cake was lumpy (it’s a long story) so the top of the cake looked somewhat ridged. Thankfully, reindeers are known for their ridgey-ness.

Frozen_-_SvenNext, I found an image of Sven on the Internet. Hmmm, yes, big teeth, red tongue, goofy expression, gigantic eyes, antlers, exaggerated nostril hole – your typical anthropomorphic reindeer. To practice, I sketched out Sven on paper. I don’t like to brag but let’s just say I’m pretty good at Pictionary.

Then again, there’s a reason the Icing Version of Pictionary never took off. There’s very little room for finesse with icing. Icing, in the hands of an amateur, is essentially a paint roller.

The thing is, before I had even begun, I started giggling as I pictured in my head what my Sven cake might possibly look like. And here it was, forming before my eyes in blue icing and a garish red blob of a tongue, just as appalling as I had imagined. It was like I was  psychic – a psychic with really terrible cake-decorating skills.

Ghostly_trioIt looked nothing like Sven. It didn’t look like any reindeer ever. If anything, it looked like one of the Ghostly Trio from Casper the Friendly Ghost, so at least it resembled some kind of cartoon character.

As the final step, I performed minor surgery on two pieces of red licorice and jammed them into the top of the cake for antlers. It didn’t help.

Abby and her party guests arrived, and I presented her with her cake – my first decorated cake for probably my teenage daughter’s last real birthday party.

“I love it!” she said. “What’s the big blue blob?”

“That’s a nostril,” I said.

“Oh, I get it. It’s perfect!”

It’s a sign she’s growing up; she’s learning to be tactful.



About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Family - whadya gonna do?, It Really Did Happen! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Who wants to play Cake-tionary?

  1. El Guapo says:

    Umm…it’s the thought that counts?

  2. That’s so awful it’s awesome. And it’s still better than anything I could make. (And I’m one of the “ladies”.)

  3. Paul says:

    Ha! That cake is so….something. It actually appears to have been done in a minimalist style on purpose. To highlight the blue (frozen) against the white (snow) with the only other colors being the primary red tongue and green eyes. All the colors on the old color TV’s were created with the red-blue-green primaries. They can represent the whole spectrum. Pretty smart fo you to use such symbolism Ross.

    Great post – I’m so pleased that Abby liked her cake. It says something important about her priorities (family ties are so much more important than fancy cakes – Ha!) She must have great parents. Oh, and wish her a Happy Thirteenth Birthday!

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Only you could read deep meaning in a disastrous cake. I wish I had thought to pass it off as art.
      Thanks for the best wishes.

      • Paul says:

        Yeah, well about that “deep meaning”. You see I try to be supportive and yet my MaMa always said that if I couldn’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. In this case that created a conflict that drove me deep into a discussion of primary colors to avoid a paradox. Ha! How’s them apples, eh?

  4. Lynn says:

    Haha Ross! I commend you for your efforts. A cake I am certain your daughter will remember:)

  5. byebyebeer says:

    To be fair, where would the antlers go? It reminds me of Slimer from ghostbusters, so you’d make a mean ghost cake, I bet. It looks delicious. You’ve inspired me to make this the summer of cakes! I’ll let my 13 year old ice them so she’ll have it down by the time she’s a mom. p.s. of course I skipped down to for the photo before reading the last few paragraphs and I totally knew that was a nostril.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Ha. You know when you post something with multiple photos, you never know which one Reader will pick. I was hoping it wouldn’t be the final product so it would be a surprise at the end. I also knew people would peek!

      • You know you can set featured image when you do a post? Down bottom right, that way you get to decide which picture shows in the Reader. Unless you have a video clip in your post, then it picks that always, irrespective of what you set as featured image. I deliberately didn’t scroll down, I wanted to read it all first and then be surprised by the photo right at the end, and I was! Love it!

        • rossmurray1 says:

          I tried that once, and it seemed to do something weird. I think I triggered a sinkhole in Bolivia or something. Anyway, I’ll give it a shot.
          It is a nice surprise at the end, wasn’t it? Proof also that I wasn’t waxing hyperbolic.

          • I quite often use the featured image if I have more than one pic in a post and it always seems to work fine for me. Yes it was a nice surprise at the end, I kept thinking “There had better be a picture of the cake at the end of all this!” I have some interesting party catering/cake making stories too! 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on poohloversunite and commented:
    *Sister looks over shoulder*
    Me: See his lil antlers?
    My Sister: No, I didn’t see the antlers. Why’s he blue…
    My Other Sister: Because he’s cold

  7. Ned's Blog says:

    Well done, Ross. I’m sure your name and phone number have already been added to Pixar’s Rolodex. One year, my daughter wanted Ariel from The Little Mermaid on her cake. I did ok until I got to busty part. Suddenly, one boob was too big, so I tried to compensate with the other. Oops, now THAT one was bigger than the other one. And so it went. Eventually, it looked as though Ariel had been played by Dolly Parton. Not my finest moment in baking. Hold your head high; your reindeer is a masterpiece.

  8. kerbey says:

    That is…interesting. E for effort. If I squint, I can imagine what might have been. And I’m pronouncing that “bean” like Mike Myers did last night on Jimmy Fallon, bc that is how Canadians say it. 🙂

  9. ksbeth says:

    read my post from yesterday and you will see that i can totally identify with this. excellent work, russ )

  10. franhunne4u says:

    One should never judge a cake by its icing …

  11. markbialczak says:

    Congratulations, Ross! I think it looks exactly like a birthday cake!

    Happy 13th birthday, Abby. Don’t give your dad and mom too much of a hard time as you get smarter and smarter than they are!

  12. Sending kids home all sugared-up is just plum mean. You guys are what’s known as “enablers”. And I’ll take unlimited foot rubs, thanks.

    I tried to make jell-o once and ruined it. Jell-o! I wanted it fast fast so I put it in the freezer instead of the fridge. It came out like slush.

  13. Tez says:

    No greater love hath a father for his daughter than to make a reindeer cake then display it to the world! Good onya, man.

  14. The Cutter says:

    Good work! I am also good at Pictionary, so maybe I should try my hand at cake decoration.

  15. That cake is pretty goofy and I love it. Your daughter sounds sweet. Nice work!

  16. Laura says:

    My first thought: “There are no words…” Then your comment box said, “Go ahead, don’t be shy,” and I felt pressured into forming words. If I must comment, here goes: “Your daughter is blessed beyond words to have a father who will bake a cake for her and be willing to go the extra mile and be mocked for his sucky decorating skills. You also have upgraded to a more elite man-card in my mind for this endeavor, for how it turned out, and for good-naturedly rolling with the punches. You also seem to be raising a fantastic kid. Kudos to you!”

  17. Ah, this brings back memories of purposefully asking for challenging cakes to test my mom’s skills. Or sometimes just actually wanting something that would be a challenge. Usually she just iced on the request since shaping cakes IS hard…
    While I can’t say I would probably know what you were going for if I didn’t already know you were going for it, I can say that on knowing Sven was the goal, I can see that in your design. So it could have been far worse, at least it IS recognizable if you know what it’s supposed to be.

  18. benzeknees says:

    Better than I could ever do! Take pride in your cake decorating skills & don’t forget to add them to your LinkedIn profile so maybe you can get a job as a cake decorator some day!

  19. pieterk515 says:

    There is always the option of printing a picture of Olaf on edible paper and then placing it on the cake…Wait that’s too easy. And we men, we don’t do easy.

  20. Oh dear, I remember the first time I put icing on a cake. Actually pretty funny– there was more icing than cake by the time I was done. 😛 I was… maybe twelve. Thirteen. I didn’t believe in moderation back then. 😛 But now… If I can’t play with the star tip I scream “Sacrilege!” and dot orange frosting on Raya’s nose for good measure. 😛

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