It was only a matter of time before I wrote something about food. It is my passion, and quite often my downfall.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I inherited my love for cooking from my Mom, and I started decorating cakes at an early age. Those early cakes were, well, rustic, but they were all originals made up in my head.
I started making cakes for real about 10 years ago. I did many wedding cakes as well as novelty birthday, groom’s cakes, for baby/wedding showers, etc. Some were great successes and others not so much. But love went into each and every one.
I gave it up a couple of years ago when stress and pain were at an all time high. Another reason was that sugar is my enemy – back then it was an addiction and I have recently developed signs of diabetes. So working with the stuff isn’t the best idea. I missed it though and have dabbled a little making cakes for special people.
This past week I agreed to do one for a good friend whose boyfriend was having a milestone birthday. He is a hockey fan and I jumped at the chance of immortalizing our shared favourite team, the Vancouver Canucks, in fondant! I had a real blast turning a simple chocolate sheet cake into a hockey jersey in the great blue and green of our local boys. I was even able to keep my “sampling” to small tastes to make sure cake, frosting and filling were edible.
So, I was able to get through this one with no sugar highs, no temper tantrums, major meltdowns or even manic all-nighters to make sure it was done. On previous projects, all of these things have led to me not being happy with the final product and making it even harder on myself the next time. The cake almost decorated itself. I picked an easy design with the least amount of carving and a ton of eye appeal (or so I hoped). Yes, there are flaws, but of the “Persian” variety and NOT perfect ones LOL!. After all, it is representing a hockey jersey, which is not the most pristine item after it has been worn through three periods of ice time.
I believe that the changes in me were reflected in this latest sweet project. I have more confidence in my physical and mental abilities. I am not allowing bipolar, pain or even sugar to control my emotions and actions. I committed to this project knowing it could very well backfire, and the fact that by Thursday night I hadn’t even baked the cake had me a little worried (it was being picked up Saturday morning). I can’t rely on manic highs anymore to get me out of last minute binds and backing out was not an option purely because for once I really honestly didn’t want to!
So, I baked it Friday morning and worked on it throughout the day, pacing myself with breaks as I needed them. I stopped just short of finishing it. I still had the letters and numbers left for the morning which I had done well before pick-up time.
What has caused this major shift in my attitudes and abilities? I could never fool myself into believing that I am cured of bipolar, OCD, my binging disorder or desire to please and I am definitely no longer in denial that these even exist in me. In fact, it is the acceptance of them and a desire to find out who I really am that seems to drive me now. And it is a much smoother ride!