. . .
A few weeks ago, I signed up for a cake decorating class. It is being offered through a major craft store chain, and is lead by an instructor representing a major bakeware/cake decorating company. Two hours, four Wednesday nights in August. I bake a lot, and decorate cookies like a beast, but I don’t know much about cake decorating. I really want to know how to do pretty borders, roses and that sort of thing. I was pretty stoked to take the class (read: crush my classmates with my superior talent), and 2.0 was pretty thrilled to hear he’d be in charge of disposing of (read: eating) the practice bits.
When I registered for the class, I got a 50% discount. I’m pretty sure everyone did, but I like to think that I got it due to my celebrity status. Then I was told I would need the special course kit – a kit that cost about four million dollars and included a bunch of stuff that I already have and/or might not ever use again.
The day before the course was to start, I’m thinking: I wonder if I need to bring anything else to class? I thought someone mentioned a syllabus… So, I ask at the craft store. The sales associate furrowed her brow.
Salesgirl: Didn’t anyone give you The Sheet of Paper? (clearly shocked and dismayed)
movita: No. The girl was sweet, but a little unclear…
Salesgirl: Well, you definitely need The Sheet of Paper. And did you buy The Kit? You need The Kit.
movita: Yes. I got The Kit. I’m glad I asked about the other requirements. The Sheet of Paper seems pretty important.
Salesgirl: (trying to determine my level of sarcasm) Yes. The Sheet is invaluable.
I wait for her to find the sheet. She hands me the wrong sheet.
movita: Should this be for the course I’m taking?
movita: Because this is for a different course… and it’s in September…
Salesgirl: Oh my! That would be terrible! We’d be all messed up!
movita: Yah, we sure would…
Salesgirl hands me a new sheet. I take it and hold it to my chest so as to protect it. I am very, very careful with it. I take it out to the car. I learn that I need The Kit, some crappy icing produced by the cake decorating company (which, by the way, smells like a-double-s), some colouring gel (optional), a damp cloth, pen, paper, sticky notes, scissors, and six plain cookies for decorating.
SIX PLAIN COOKIES FOR DECORATING? Cheesus. So, I spend part of Wednesday afternoon making perfect sugar cookies. I want to set the bar high. You know, show them how seriously I’m taking the class.
By Wednesday evening I’m ready. I’ve got all of my supplies packed. I’ve got extra cookies and food colouring gels in case someone is without. I get to the class a few minutes early, set up my station, and wait.
The instructor, it turns out, is pretty hard-core. And not super funny. I guess she takes this cake stuff pretty seriously. I’m a full-time instructor of crap, so I know where she’s coming from, but we’re talking about icing here. She was very clear about the start time of the class. 6:30 pm. Not a second later. She. Will. Start. Without you. I looked up at the clock. It was, like, 6:36 pm when she started the class.
Class Instructor warned us that during the first class, there would be a lot of basics covered, but assured us that the class would move at an “adult pace.” I don’t mind a good review – you can always, always learn something new from a class. Like, for example, that a large number of people in my class have never made icing before. Or cakes. Or used a stand mixer. Or, perhaps, google.
And guess what? Class Instructor got way funnier as the class progressed. Mostly because there was a lady up front who knew nothing about everything.
Class Instructor: Now, take out your coupler.
Up Front Lady: Wait. I can’t find it. It’s not in my kit. It’s not in my kit!
Class Instructor: (standing about 6 inches from Up Front Lady, and holding a coupler in her face) It looks like this… (moving back to front of room) So, you take out your coupler…
Up Front Lady: Is this it?
Class Instructor: No. That’s not it. There are, like, four in the bag right there.
Up Front Lady: Wait. I found it!
(the class breathes a collective sigh of relief)
Class Instructor: So, you’ve got your coupler…
Up Front Lady: Did you say that it’s called a coupler?
Class Instructor: Yes. (her teeth are now clenched) Yes, I did.
That’s when I knew that this class is going to be bloody awesome. There are people in the room who almost stroked out when they found out they had to bake a cake for next week. This is the kind of stuff that I find very entertaining. You know, laughing at other people’s weakness and stuff.
In the last five minutes of class we were told to practice making stars with our #18 tip, using the practice sheet, and then to decorate our six cookies. What? I got one cookie decorated. One. Thankfully, there was a lady sitting next to me who was there to job shadow our instructor. So, I had the benefit of a Practically-An-Instructor right at my table. She gave me some great tips on making the stars. And because I had a lot of naked cookies sitting around, I gave her one to munch on. (I hope that wasn’t against any of the cake decorating class rules.) Class Instructor pointed out that because my hand shakes SO much, that there were a couple of tricks I could use. Pretty nice, given that she clearly thought I had some sort of alcoholic tremor going on.
So, next week we get to decorate a cake. Of course, that’s what they said about the cookies… We have to bring a cake to class (2 layers, with a crumb coat of icing), and then we get to make one of the ugliest cakes I have ever seen. It has a huge, poofy ice cream cone on the top of it, which will be made out of icing which I can only assume will smell like a-double-s. Also, we were given a list of about 4 million dollars worth of stuff we’ll need for next week, so I guess I won’t be buying a new camera lens anytime soon.
On our way out of the store after class, I turned to a classmate and said: I didn’t really decorate any of my cookies.
Classmate: Maybe that’s because we started late and then only had about five minutes to do them. (pausing) The one you did is very pretty though.
movita: Thanks. My partner will be very disappointed when I get home though. He’s expecting six decorated cookies.
Classmate: Is that his initial on top?
movita: Uh, no. It’s mine.
Classmate: Maybe you could could tell him that the R stands for, “I really ruff you,” and say it in a Scooby-Doo voice.
I told you this was going to be fun.
. . .