Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I never thought I'd see the day

that I'd get my daughter to use the sewing machine, but low and behold, we are making aprons! Do you know how long I've wanted to teach my daughter to sew? And how long she has resisited? Well, I don't think she's really that excited about it, but she was a bit shocked at how easy it is to use the sewing machine. And, she really is doing a good job.

As I mentioned a post or two before, we are taking a cake decorating class. Well, she decided that it would be good for us to have aprons. While we were at JoAnns getting something for our class, we went over to the quilting area and I let her pick out the fabrics for the aprons. I think she was expecting me to make them, but somehow I got her to cut hers out and even get on the sewing machine! She's a little more than half done on hers, and I just finished mine. I figured I better stay a few steps ahead of her so that I could head off any problems or confusion. I am not having her read the guidesheet at this point; I'm just telling her which step to do next. Also, I did the double turned hem since it is a curved seam. I want to make this as easy as possible for her so that she will want to do it again! Hopefully I'll have pictures to post tomorrow of her finished apron! Oh, BTW, this is from MCCalls 5825

On the kitchen side of things, we have been making cakes. A lot of cakes. I think I am sick of cake. Pretty soon my husband's office will be sick of eating cake. My daughter's work may even become sick of eating cake - but right now, everyone loves that we are taking this class, because we want everyone else to eat all the cake!

WE are learning a lot about frosting. We are learning that it takes a LOT of powdered sugar and shortening to make frosting. We are scouring all the local stores for the best prices on powdered sugar and shortening! We are up to our elbows in powdered sugar and shortening.

We are also learning that the littlest amount of sunshine in your car can melt the frosting on the 10 minute drive home from JoAnns!

and, since I'm off work this week (our school district takes a week of in October. That's why we start back to school the first week in August!) I'm actually doing some cooking as well as baking. Made a great Spinach Vegetable Soup for dinner. I thought it was going to be spinach overload while I was making it, but it actually turned out pretty yummy. Now, if we could just get the fall weather to go with the soup. It rained all day yesterday, but today it was 75degress. I'm not complaining, it's definitely better than 95. :-)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cake Decorating 101

I've been a stranger to my sewing room lately, but I'm hoping to rectify that this next week while I'm on vacation!

In the meantime, DD and I have decided to take a cake decorating class. Last weekend was our first class, and basically, it was all demonstration for that first day. Our homework assignment is to come in on Saturday with a frosted cake ready for decorating, and 3 different consistencies of frosting divided into different batches for coloring and decorating. Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Well, let me tell you that cake making has never been my forte. They always come out tasting good, but usually are about 1" tall. Grace and I decided we'd better make some practice cakes before we have to do the "real thing" Grace made the first cake earlier this week. Hers came out pretty good, but one layer broke when she turned it out of the pan, so she had to glue it back together with icing. Her icing was a little too thick, so she had trouble getting it to go on smoothly. Also, her sides were not straight up and down, but more at an angle going toward the top.

Last night I made another cake, and she and I frosted it today. Well, my icing was too thin, so it kept sliding off the cake! Also, my layers shifted because the icing was too slippery. Who knew that the perfect consistency for frosting would be so difficult to attain? My goal is to have one of those cakes where the top is perfectly flat and absolutely parallel to the bottom, and the sides are perfectly smooth and perpendicular to the top.

This cake is not it. I figure by the time I make 30 or 40 cakes, I should have it down! I think my co workers are probably going to love me because I will be bringing these cakes to work lest I eat every one of them!

Well, since we had left over icing, and since we could tell how badly we suck at the basics, that we better get a little practice on using the tips and the decorating bag. We practiced on wax paper first, and then put a little design on the cake. Hopefully the next cake I post will look better than this one!