I decided to play Suzie Homemaker last week while thumbing through a Southern Living magazine. I saw a recipe for a basic vanilla layer cake and several options of butter cream icing to make with it. It seemed easy enough and I decided I would give it a shot. I had never made a cake from scratch and my mom has lent me her Kitchen Aid mixer "until further notice". It doesn't get that much use so I was feeling adventurous. All this the same week of Andy's birthday - perfect! I asked him if it would be alright to try a vanilla cake for him and showed him all the icing options since he's not a fan of butter cream icing. He decided the butterscotch caramel icing sounded tempting so the decision was made - only one request - "as long as it's not pound cake" he said and I assured him it wasn't.
So, after gathering some tips from Andy's mom (the best baker one could meet) and one shopping trip to Wal-Mart and Harris Teeter later, I was ready to go. This was Thursday. I decided I only needed a couple more ingredients to try a chocolate cake as well. Why not make two since I'll already have the ingredients and mess to clean up? That way I can surprise Andy with an option - vanilla or chocolate. This was working out beautifully.
I made the vanilla cake first and was careful to do everything just right. I made the chocolate cake while that was baking. When the chocolate cake was finished I wrapped the vanilla cake, which looked and smelt perfect, and put it in the freezer. This was a great tip from Sue, Andy's mom to keep it moist until Saturday. In order for the chocolate cake layers to cool, I placed them carefully on the wire racks as directed and went to take care of a little work since I had spent over 3 hours working on cakes (shopping included)! About 10 minutes later, I realized something wasn't right in the kitchen - mainly because of the sound of my sweet Mae Belle's paws hitting the countertop and the licking of her lips. I jumped out of the chair and ran to the kitchen yelling only to find my fears confirmed.
You see, Mae Belle's birthday was just 2 weeks earlier. I guess she thought the chocolate cake was for her! Needless to say, I was so thankful I had made two cakes! So vanilla it was. There was only one problem. When I went to taste it the next day before icing it to see how well I had done, I realized I had made a perfectly moist and beautiful POUND CAKE!!! AAHH!! I can't win. So, for Andy's birthday I made him a pound cake with butter cream icing - neither of them his favorites. Oh well. It looked nice and at least I had the satisfaction of knowing I can now make pound cake.
I did redeem myself on Friday by surprising him with a little outing. We went to Durham to test drive a Lotus, Andy's dream car. I had arranged it with one of the salesmen there. He was absolutely just being nice because I told him over the phone there was NO way we would be buying one - that I just wanted to give Andy a chance to drive it for fun for his birthday. He agreed and said we could come and he would let him drive one (these cars easily start in the $60's). Unfortunately it was raining and they wouldn't let us drive it. I think Andy was relieved not to be driving an $80,000 sportscar that didn't belong to him in the rain. We were promised that if we came back on a sunny day, we could have a rain check so I'm sure Andy will take him up on that. I'll be sure to post photos when that happens but until then, here's the car that has captured his heart:
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