Extreme Baking

Grandson Nathaniel (17) always asks if he can use our kitchen, and we fall all over ourselves saying yes. This time he wanted to design an Eclipse Cake for the upcoming total eclipse of the sun. He had only one day off before the event. As prearranged, that morning John woke him at 5:30 so they could go to the supermarket when it opened at 6. He wanted fresh lemons, and I had only tired limes on hand. When they came back, we had a quick breakfast, and he set to work. I’d like to sound a {{GONG}} when I’m proud of him.

Before lunch, the two cakes were cooling in their pans, and Nathaniel was ready to begin the filling. He graciously deferred to our schedule, eating a leisurely meal with nary a fidget in sight. {{GONG}}

I was on the other side of the house a bit later when John shouted, “Anne! Can you help us?”

I flew to the kitchen and stopped short. How on earth could I help? Nathaniel was holding one side of a layer, and John was steadying the other. The top had slipped off the bottom and broken apart. We froze, trying to decide what to do to save the cake. There was despair in Nate’s voice as he declared there was nothing to do but start over. He didn’t shout. He didn’t stomp his feet, which are big enough to set off an earthquake. He didn’t pitch a fit or throw anything. He put the layers on a cookie sheet and started over immediately. {{GONG}} {{GONG}} {{GONG}}

Hours later, the new bottom layer was on the pedestal cake plate, and he applied a firmer filling. I held my breath until the top was secure. He was willing to postpone the frosting until after supper. {{GONG}} We ate the most broken bits for dessert.

At 11 p.m. I rubbed his back and said I had to go to bed. He kept working. {{GONG}}

The next morning after walking with John, I said I dreaded to see the state of the kitchen. John said he thought things looked good when he made coffee before dawn. Nathaniel had cleaned up after himself. {{GONG}} {{GONG}}

After breakfast, the baker used his icing spatula to put his final touch on the frosting. {{GONG}} He finished and stowed the cake in the refrigerator before we got home from the week’s grocery shopping. We three ate another quarter of the broken one after lunch. Nathaniel excused himself to get ready for work. When he came back, I asked if he would pose with the old cake.

He said “Oh, no! Not with that one!” With that, he promptly sat down and smiled for the camera. {{GONG}} {{GONG}} {{GONG}} {{GONG}}

2017-08-15 15.09.48.jpg

My apologies, dear grandson. The story demanded documentation.

33 thoughts on “Extreme Baking

  1. It would have been nice to see the second finished product to see the design for the eclipse. He’s a very remarkable young man with such a great work ethic.Everyone must really watch their figures around your place.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m just the same, Michele. We’ve had some funny looking desserts in our house because I wasn’t willing to start over. I used a crumbly cake to make a trifle one time. It was too far gone to patch together. No one complained.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. We have really enjoyed everything he has baked this summer. Four or five times a week he built a charcoal fire and grilled our meat for dinner. It’s wishful thinking that eating healthy meat will offset our consumption of tempting cakes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne,
    Nathaniel is a treasure. I am looking forward to a recipe( baking) book from him in the future with of course bits of his cakeadventures thrown in to keep reader’s interest.
    And little bits of wisdom added here and there would be good too or a foreword from Grandma or Grandma for each recipe.
    The cake was beautiful and your write up great, as usual. I could almost picture myself in your house as I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nathaniel sometimes talks like a food writer! You saw the half of the cake that wasn’t broken. It was covered in lemon curd and lacked the frosting. We’ll probably finish it tonight and have the other one to look forward to in a few days.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I wouldn’t have the patience, and my camera couldn’t store a video long enough to show Nathaniel’s baking. It would be fun to have, though, and I’d play it as fast as possible just to see him rushing about the kitchen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being a proud grandmother to five…I so understand your gong. Mine are a little younger, eleven and down, but they are the joy of my life. (Gong)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fun [and creative] kid to have around. I’d have given up on the cake after the first “mistake” but then I’m old enough to not care if dessert looks perfect or not.


    1. I’m with you, Ally. We eat some odd-looking things here when the perfectionist chef is absent. I’d just as soon eat some of the ingredients by themselves if you’re starting with chocolate chips or M&Ms.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You would have loved this one. There are two slices left and three people wanting it. I suspect I will let the fellows have it and console myself with extreme moose tracks ice cream. Don’t feel sorry for me. I could easily make lemon curd any day and find something to slather it on.


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