Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Surprising the Surpriser

Little Sister's birthday has always taken a back seat to Halloween. This year, I'm changing that . . .
Happy Birthday, L'il Sis!!!

Before
During
 It was a surprise.
In more ways than one . . .
Mom and I were away for the day . . . somewhere.
My twelve-year-old brother and ten-year-old sister were home alone.
Well, technically, they were in the house alone.
Dad and my older brother were out in the barnyard.
But I digress . . .
Little Sister decided to surprise everyone.
With a delicious, delightful, delectable (that’s all the yummy ‘d’ words I can think of right now) dessert.
A cake.
She had seen Mom do it.
Even helped.
She dragged out the recipe and equipment and proceeded to assemble and stir.
All went well.
Soon, the smell of ‘cake’ was permeating the house.
Skillfully, she tipped the finished product out onto a platter.
Perfect!
And pulled out the ingredients for icing.
Sugar and milk and vanilla.
All according to her handy, dandy (oooh, another ‘d’ word) recipe card.
She added the requisite amount of sugar and milk.
A dribble of vanilla.
And . . . voila . . . what’s wrong with this stuff?!
The mixture at the bottom of the bowl more closely resembled soup than icing.
What had she done wrong?
She read the recipe again. She had measured correctly. Why wasn’t it working?!
She added more sugar.
Still a watery, sugary mess.
She knew that Mom often added flour to soups to thicken.
Maybe that’s what she needed. A bit of flour . . .
Nope. If anything, that made it worse.
She stared into the bowl.
Maybe that was how it was supposed to look?
She tried smearing some on her perfect cake.
Disaster.
Then she did something not mentioned on the recipe card.
She cried.
And that’s when Mom and I walked in the door.
I think Mom managed to salvage the situation.
And the cake.
With a gently-taught lesson on which kind of sugar to use. (Did you know there were kinds?)
Powdered is best for icing.
Turns out that granulated only works in certain, very select situations.
And flour never, ever goes into icing.
Little Sister still bakes. Infrequently, according to her.
After
Maybe she simply too busy being a wife, mom, grand-mom, flight attendant, business owner, cub leader, runner and all-around good friend to worry about anything else.
And that’s okay.

Love you, Best Friend!


14 comments:

  1. There are more important things in life than baking...not many you understand...but there are some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! Eating someone else's baking comes to mind . . .

      Delete
  2. Awww ... but I do admire her thought processes - she had some good ideas there when things went wrong. What a wonderful idea to make a cake as a surprise!

    Happy Birthday, Diane's Little Sister!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was and is the most generous soul! And thank you! I will pass along your good wishes!

      Delete
  3. My first cake was to heavy and the icing was too thick... we all learn ;-)

    Happy Birthday to your sister !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm . . . thick icing. Is that really a problem? :)

      Delete
  4. Oh, to have the big sister who can remember disasters. My first cake was as tasteless as sawdust. But my mom said it was good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the one thing Big sisters are great for. Remembering our mistakes . . . :) If you need someone to do it, I'm available . . .
      Moms are wonderful!

      Delete
  5. I love coming home to surprise cakes! my kids didn't do that very often though.
    Odd that the recipe didn't specify powdered sugar. Out here we called it icing sugar, so there is never any confusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most recipes call for icing sugar. But this was one of Mom's and probably spelled out in shorthand. :)

      Delete
  6. Awww...this is so sweet. Makes me miss some of the cooking adventures I had with my older sister....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adventures?! This bears hearing about . . .

      Delete
  7. WHAT???? Sugar is sugar! HA HA! I totally would have done the same thing. They need to call the different kinds something other than sugar!

    ReplyDelete

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