When I got engaged, I tried to do as much wedding planning as possible. I did this because I knew that when school started, life would be a whirlwind until the wedding. (Side note: I was right about that! I like to point out when I’m right -- just ask Ross, he knows.)
Anyway, one of the things I did early on was meet with our cake lady. Keep in mind that we are getting married in Mountain Home, Arkansas, which is not exactly the cultural center of the United States. To my knowledge, Mountain Home doesn’t even have a legit bakery. (I define “legit bakery” as a bakery existing outside of a grocery store.) So, we chose a lady who was recommended to us by a few friends. When Mom and I met with her, I had a pretty bad feeling. She was wearing a wind suit. The majority of the cakes in her album appeared to have been made sometime in the 1980s. Several cakes had a fountain feature. Curiously, some were leaning.
I tried to hide my apprehension. I told myself that the leaning cakes must be some kind of optical illusion, or perhaps the photographer was doing a neat lens trick of sorts. I was so in denial that I told myself this no fewer than 8 times -- once for each leaning cake. You have to be in denial when you have no other options.
But they were just looks, after all. I can deal with a cake whose looks are a little on the disappointing side as long as it tastes incredible. This lady has built her business on buttercream, she said, and I love buttercream. Fondant cakes look pretty, but it tastes like old gum. Buttercream, though...oh, yum. So I decided I could deal, because I’m sure the cake would taste great. Right?
WRONG! My father recently had occasion to sample one of this lady’s wedding cakes. Keep in mind that my father, who has a mouth full of sweet teeth and generally enjoys desserts of any kind, is a wedding cake connoisseur. He loves wedding cake. And even if it’s only so-so, he’ll probably finish any cake you put in front of him. Then he’ll ask if you’re going to finish yours.
He took one bite of this cake and refused to eat the rest.
So, there’s the story. We’re firing the cake lady because she can’t make an edible cake. Or maybe we’re firing her because she made one bad cake. Either way, she’s getting the axe. (Or is it ax?)
At the very least, we’re only going to have her make a tiny cake, just for looks. We still have to serve cake, though. The solution? We’re going to make the rest ourselves. Are we crazy? YES. But we are foodies. Taste is important. And when all you’re losing is the Leaning Wedding Cake of Pisa, you’re not really losing that much.
Sympathies are appreciated, as are loaner cake pans!