Mom was right again!

This isn’t my cake but it looks similar.

Last week I made a chocolate layer cake for some friends who were coming over for dinner. It was a cake I had made many times before. Actually the cake wasn’t the showstopper; it was the mocha cream icing. Any kind of wonderful chocolate cake works and I have been known to throw in a Duncan Hines box mix when pressed for time. The icing makes the cake.

The fancy way to make this cake is to bake three layers, put the filling between the layers and over the whole cake. You use a decorative tip to make little rosettes around the top of the cake. Then you melt semisweet chocolate, add a little butter (ok a LOT of butter) and drizzle it over the top so it runs down the sides between the rosettes. It looks gorgeous and tastes wonderful.

I forgot how tricky it is to keep a layer cake straight even especially when it has three layers. I trimmed the center humps but there was a definite slope the the layers. After much ado (and a replica of the leaning tower of Pisa staring at me), I put a sticky note on the recipe that said, “I am too old to make layer cakes!”  It didn’t matter; those who could eat dessert thought it was wonderful. (Some of my friends have started getting diet restrictions that really cramp my cooking style!)

When I put the recipe card back where it belonged, I looked at the note again. I am NOT too old to make layer cakes; I just don’t have the interest to fuss around with them anymore. There’s a big difference there. I can make the same cake in an oblong pan with the mocha filling and chocolate glaze on top. No fuss!

Then I thought about a lot of other things I no longer have an interest in fussing over. One is shish-ka-bobs. Too much work and sometimes they fall off and into the grill. You have to pay attention when grilling them. I can do a quick sauté and make a nice little pan sauce. There are a lot more — home-made ice cream and foo-foo drinks (except for margaritas which are really no trouble at all) come to mind too.

It’s not only cooking. Sometimes I take shortcuts with makeup too. I got permanent eye-liner several years ago so I wouldn’t have to do that in the mornings and I don’t always use mascara. It’s such a pain to get off.

I do the same with clothes and shoes. Unless I am going somewhere fancy (and I can’t remember the last time I did that!) I want to be comfortable.

My Mom said this would happen. She laughed at me when I labored over things that really didn’t make a difference or wore uncomfortable clothes to look cool. She said I’d understand when I grew up. I hate when she’s always right. Just one question – why did it take me 60+ years to grow up? I could have saved a lot of time over the years.

 

Photo credit: chocolate cake by dphock via Flickr

22 thoughts on “Mom was right again!

  1. I don’t care what a cake looks like (unless it looks fruity. Fruit flavored cakes are not REAL cake), anything chocolate and I can make it magically disappear in seconds!
    I like your mom’s advice. Now to actually get it into my head…

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  2. The end-result is taste, and that’s usually where I am…right there with ya! But lately, and I think it’s all the wonderful cooking blogs I’m following, I have begun to wonder if I might like to at least perfect ONE cake to wow others…if I do, it will probably mostly “wow” me! 🙂 I’d love a slice of yours right now! Debra

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    • I have three “go to” cakes for company. Two of them are….were…layer cakes that looked fabulous. I think they will now be rectangles or the one would do well as a bundt (banana cake with a wonderful icing and crushed nuts on top!). Now I have me hungry!

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  3. Your cake, lopsided or not, sounds scrumptious. I love to bake, but as I have gotten older and more pressed for time, I find myself taking some shortcuts as well. I just don’t have the time to make “big production” baked goods as much as I would like to.

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    • My mother also said you had to keep baking to keep your skills sharp and she was so right. Sometimes I forget things I know and I’m always double checking to make sure I didn’t forget to put something in.

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  4. “Then I thought about a lot of other things I no longer have an interest in fussing over.” It has gotten like that for me too. No longer put up a Christmas tree and I promised myself I would never get to that stage. Grandkids would be here just twice the whole month and it is just me and my parents so what’s the use? I do string the fewer and fewer Christmas cards that come and maybe some lights at the ceiling over dining room table but that’s about it. Oh, I still take interest in things but if it involves the “fussing” its no longer part of the game.

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    • If it weren’t for my husband, I wouldn’t put up a tree either. The grandchildren are on the other side of the country and don’t come east for Christmas. We have a nice mantle to decorate and that would be enough for me!

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  5. My stepmother never gave me good advice – she just told me what to do!
    I only stopped feeling guilty a few years ago when I don’t strip my bed down to the mattress and turn it every day!
    Growing up takes time!

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  6. If you want “fancy” without fuss . . . bake it in a Bundt pan.

    As for the rest of the fuss and bother, I’m with you all the way . . . and it didn’t take me 60 years to figure it out. I don’t fuss with hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, jewelry or handbags. I am NO fashionista. But I’m comfortable. 😛

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  7. The cake looks great. I really don’t care how level the cake is. Straight, crooked, leaning, it’s all the same to my tummy. And the shortcut I learned early on from my mother is that a house only needs to be clean enough to be healthy, anything more is excessive.

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