One of my sons turned 3 on Tuesday. He had requested a Backyardigans cake which I intended to create and decorate on my own. While I’m not a newbie to cake baking and decorating, I don’t have nearly the experience as my mother who has been crafting beautiful birthday cakes for her four children and other relatives, wedding cakes, baby cakes and just for the heck of it cakes for over 20-years. I should have backed away and let her do it, but I was determined and when I get determined, there’s something that clicks in my brain and I don’t stop for anything…
Except for those very crumbly, falling apart layers of white cake you are probably gaping at right now. Yep! I made the mistake of using a somewhat questionable (based on reviews) new white cake recipe and thought if I plugged in the right baking technique, we’d be good to go. Not so. I whipped up 3 batches of cake batter and allowed them to cool but as I assembled the layers, they began breaking off and crumbling. It was like putting together a puzzle. Obviously, I don’t give up easily. You can see I’d even spread on the strawberry preserves (his request) and had mixed up and colored a large batch of buttercream frosting. But at 2:30am, a box of toothpicks and many tears later, I declared to myself it was no use. I grabbed my big girl panties, cleaned up my mess and made a desperate call to Ann’s Bakery first thing the next morning. Now, I realize you don’t know me very well, but admitting I couldn’t do it and taking the step to serve bakery cake at my son’s birthday party was an act of love for him and took me to a new level of humility and freedom I didn’t know was possible. All that over a cake? Sadly, yes! Although I’ll never apologize for trying to be as independent as humanly possible.
I wouldn’t have called any other bakery but Ann’s! They crafted my parent’s wedding cake nearly 40-years ago and have been here in Tulsa since 1938. When I managed wedding receptions for a local wedding chapel, I was always excited to see an Ann’s cake walk through the door. Why? Because their cakes were always beautiful and always fresh and delicious. Ann’s is still located in Tulsa at Harvard and I-244 in the original building (what was once the first owner’s home) and is still owned and operated by the same family. They came through for me on Tuesday with a cute, tasty cake for my birthday boy and they will retain my loyalty forever!
Life is all about learning and growing and I hope it never ends for me. When placed in perspective, my ‘hard-knock’ for this week is really nothing, but I feel I’m a better, more mature and healthier person because of it. And the birthday party was a success (except for the part where I forgot the matches to light the birthday candles).