Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graduation time again

Holy mackerel! Am I glad that is over!

Graduation time is finally over and I think I'm starting to be a tad less exhausted.... cookies, cakes, cookies, cakes, icing, candies, put it together, hope it's decent, truly hope the kids/parents/teachers love it all....

I thought I was going to fall apart there. Lisa (my sister) tells me her school will order 2 cakes for the kindergarten graduation and, if I thought I could, she would order the cookies "sur mesure" (i.e. hair and eyes match the kids they are named for!!!) from her to each kid. I figure, "why not?"

Next thing I know, there are four more cakes for grade 6 graduation PLUS a special cake just for the grads themselves. This includes candies of mortar boards and diplomas... 37 grads. For Wednesday night. I figure, I'll start early and have plenty of time. Right. I have one mould and in said mould, there are two (2) mortar boards and two (2) diplomas.... Hmmm...
should be do-able, I'll start on the Monday for the Wednesday evening delivery....

Make-believe scenario: melt the candy melts, tint them the appropriate colour and let's go. Right. True scenario: Melt the candy, paint the tassel white, paint the ribbon red, pour in the white to fill in the the diplomas, pour in the blue to fill in the mortar boards. Place in fridge to set. Wait. Re-melt candies that have hardened and proceed as before... Three hours into it and a mere 20 pairs are done... Meanwhile, I'm baking. I'm baking two layers at a time for each of the cakes. Thank goodness I've got two ovens. The base is 12" X 18" and the top is two 9" X 13" cakes that, once put on top of the base, will look like an open book. Piece of cake! No pun intended, of course. I've got 3 of the 4 basic cakes done and a mere 20 pairs of candies. Gotta get to bed - got lots of time tomorrow...

Tuesday, start working right away when I get home from work at 4:00 p.m. I have one more "big cake" to bake plus the grad cake. In between the baking, I'll start icing the oth
er cakes. I figure these will be easy as I'm not going too crazy on the decorating.... Two are chocolate cakes with chocolate icing and two are vanilla with vanilla icing. A few flowers here and there, a "Congrats Class of 2010" and we're done.

Not so fast.

I only have a standard Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and can only do the equivalent of one pound of butter with six cups of icing sugar at a time. Enough to spread between the layers of one cake and apply a thin crumb coat to the rest of the cake! Damn! I manage to ice all four cakes and bake the grad cake and finish the candies but must quit because it is now 1:30 a.m. and I can't do any more.


Back home at 4:00 p.m. and it's crunch time! Two hours to finish the grad cake! Yikes! Create a red mortar board by coveri
ng a smaller cake plate with red fondant. Ice cake, place mortar board on cake and place all 37 candy diplomas and mortar boards around the cake. Crap! Have to write the names of each grad as well!

Finish with time to take pics before pick-up!
Lisa shows up at 6:15 p.m. Phew....

After going to my karate class (Prepare the dough because not only do I have the Boucherville Elementary School order, I have promised Iain (my son) 53 cookies for his graduation on Thursday evening!

So, now I can concentrate on the cookies for Iain's class as well as start work on the cakes for the kindergarten graduation due for Friday morning at 8:00... balderdash.

I bake all 53 cookies and one of the two cakes and decide to prepare the royal icing for tomorrow - smart move. Finish working at 12:30 a.m. Need to sleep. Have to be at work for 7:30 a.m.

Thursday. Get home from work at 4:00 p.m. Ice all 53 cookies including writing all the names. Get to the graduation for 6:00. Are told it will last 1/2 hour. Lasts 1.5 hours. Leave Iain to party, go say "hi" to fellow high school grads (don't things always get booked on the same night?), have a glass and a half of wine, am picked up at 8:55 p.m. to go pick up graduate son as party is over. Go back to baking and icing and whatnot.

Have a Golden Friday so I don't have to go to work.... instead, work on kindergarten stuff until
3:30 a.m.! I must admit I am pleased. The two cakes look lovely, I have created fondant butterflies (their theme for the year) and each and every cookie represents the child it has been
named for: blond hair, blue eyes; brown hair, green eyes, etc.

All is ready for pick-up at 8:00 by Lisa.... phew!

My sister Tracy takes pity on me and invites me for breakfast. Can I say no? Hell no! I'll fall down later!