Thursday, April 1, 2010

What happens when a cake maker and a construction worker try to communicate?

Before I begin, let me just say that it is APRIL!!!   Hellooooo wedding month!

So you can read all about our cake saga here.  We gave up on our hopes of getting our dream cake:

And instead decided we'd still keep it 'different' by having an 'offset layered' cake something like this:

But with each layer decorated similar to this style:

Then when our baker told us that it was going to be an additional $1,000 to build that upside down cake we basically said 'No thanks' and decided to give the money to a family friend who has made all of our wedding, birthday and shower cakes for many, many years now.  She's not a pro - she works out of her house, but she would listen to exactly what we want and only charge us $1.00 per slice for 200 people, so how could we beat that?

So we met with her about the design and the flavors and she made us a sample of the red velvet with cream cheese frosting which was just yummylicious!  The only thing was that she didn't have a stand that would offset those round layers like the pic above.  Well, Mr Fix It to the rescue!  He offered to construct the stand for her.  They talked about the sizes they would need and the height of the dowels that would go through each cake layer to secure the cake on the stand.  They talked about how he was going to 'countersink' the dowels so that the stand would be more sturdy and all that jazz.  I didn't understand what they were saying but they seemed to get each other.

So we left and last Sunday Mr Fix It built the stand.  Sorry I didn't get any pics of it but it ended up being a bit of a fiasco.  Because...when a cake maker and a construction worker swap instructions and details, it's like the blind leading the blind.  It's like a deaf dog talking to a mute bird.  (Does that make sense?)

The point is...Mr Fix It wasn't thinking like a cake maker.  And he obviously doesn't ever watch Amazing Wedding Cakes or the Cake Boss because he constructed a stand that wasn't very helpful to a cake maker.

Basically, he used screws, color coded dowels, lines, numbers and all that jazz to build a 'puzzle tower.'  That's what I would refer to it as.  I tried to be patient and understanding and very appreciative but he was getting obviously irritated with me when I tried to explain to him how the cake stand wasn't going to work.

He built it in such a way that you put the one stand down and set the dowels into the little holes he drilled.  Then he expected our friendor to 'PUSH' the cake onto the dowels.  That's what you would need to do because he then built the bottom of the next layer to have holes in it that would go into the dowels below.  Then you actually SCREW the one stand onto the top of the other into the dowels.

So I tried to explain to him that bakers don't push cakes onto dowels.  They set the cake on the stand, decorate it, and then they push or hammer the dowels INTO the cake.  Then they set the next layer (stand) on top of those dowels.  Well, he wasn't getting it. 

Then I tried to explain that if the baker 'screwed' each layer into the one below it, how was the caterer supposed to get the layers apart in order to cut the cake.  To which my lovely intelligent Mr Fix It responded:  "They don't take the cake apart to cut it.  They cut around the layers and around the dowels." 

Really, honey?  Is that how they do it?  That doesn't waste half of the cake trying to cut 'around' the dowel rods?  Oh sweet baby, how naive you are!

After a bit of frustration and some stupid comments Mr Fix It made, I finally just told him I'd give it to her and see if she would be able to work with it.  So I drove straight to her house, showed her what he created, and asked her what she thought.  We both couldn't seem to figure our why Mr Fix It 'color coded' the dowels to fit in specific holes...they're all just basic dowels that are the same length so there's no reason for that really...other than the fact that he drilled holes in the top of some of them for the screws but that was obvious by looking at them. 

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Mr Fix It set the very top layer WAY too far off to the side which I specifically had told him NOT to do because it would make the cake unsturdy.  But he insisted that the screws would hold it all together and that he tested it with weights from his weight bench.  Whatever.  I was trying to get him to see that the screws were useless!

But in the end, me and our friendor talked through some options and realized that there was a way she could actually make it work - and even using the screws!  Which meant that the stand should in fact be pretty sturdy (hopefully).  And the caterer will be able to slide each layer off to cut it and then when he takes the stand out of each layer, the screwed in dowels will be pulled out of the layer below.  Does all this make sense?  Because it was a nightmare trying to figure out.  But it looks like it will hopefully work.

We'll see in just 15 days whether or not the cake falls over!  I am honestly over the cake and I only care if it tastes good!  :)  Cuz as my dad used to say: "Who cares what it looks like?  It all ends up in the same place anyway!"


Brittany said...

Oh noo... that's too funny! I'm sure everything will work out! Your BIG count down begins!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure everything will work out. Good luck!

Ghenet said...

Happy Wedding Month! Wow--15 days! I'm sure it'll work out in the end and I'm excited to see the final product.

Patience said...

I hope everything works out. month for me too :)

PartyPlannerGal said...

Oh my gosh, the cake saga continues! I understand your frustration - sometimes my fiance's "handy" ideas are a bit overkill, but they usually work out in the end. He just installed some great shelves into this broom closet thing in our kitchen to turn it into a food pantry. He had all these crazy ideas about how to do it, but it ended up working!

Can't wait to see how your cake turns out!

Chocolate Lover said...

Fingers crossed that there will be no tipping over!

very married said...

haha - good attitude.

mmmm. i just got a massive cake craving. i NEVER get those!

Mrs T said...

My head hurts just from reading that. Ah men. I am sure the cake will taste good! And that really is the main thing.

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