Perpetually Peeved

Eat that, Martha

In the past, I have found myself watching Martha Stewart and thinking, “yeah, freaking right.”  Who makes napkin rings out of stuff you blow out of your gutters?  And, why is everything half done when she starts and *poof* magically finished when she comes back after the commercial?  I’ll tell you why because she’s a sham.  Now, I may be completely inept when it comes to athletics, cooking and anything else that requires eye-hand coordination, but I like to consider myself crafty.  I can sew like a mother…  well, let’s just leave it at that.  But, for some reason, I’ve never been able to do Martha-ish type crafts.  I’m the type of person that buys a sewing pattern and winds up doing it my own way because they “aren’t doing it right.” Yet, a simple Martha thing, like decorating a cake, eludes me.    

One year, I made Biggie a Spongebob cake. I thought, “how hard could this be?”  Borrowed my sister’s Wilton cake decorating set (yes, she is a Martha wannabe – and better at it than I am), bought the Spongebob mold and set to work.  Except, in this case, work was a euphemism.  That crap was HARD.  After sweating, cursing and stomping my foot for 5 hours I finally had a Spongebob cake.  It was beautiful.  Biggie took one look and said, “Um, his pants are the wrong color.”  The wha???  I’d smash this cake in your face if I’d had already taken a picture.  Not wanting the frosting to melt, I stuck it in the freezer.  Then, that morning, not wanting the cake to be frozen, I stuck it in the fridge.  When I pulled it out to serve it, the black surrounding his eyeballs had leaked and it looked like Spongebob stole Mr. Krabs’ company credit card and spent the weekend in Vegas with Patrick.     


Sorry, this is turning into a short story long.  Anyway, last year I spent a lot of money for a custom-made cake at Smalls’ party.  I took one look and thought, “I could have done that — and better.”  So, this year, I did her cake myself.  Which could have gone one of two ways:  bad or very, very bad.  You’ll have to read to find out which, but I’ll give you a clue:  this is an anti-peeve.     

And, this week it is a pictorial/tutorial hybrid.  Posted especially for those who have ever wanted to know how to make an alligator cupcake cake well enough to tell Martha to shove it!    

Step 1:  Rip off someone else’s idea.  Mine came from Hello! Cupcake via the interwebz.    

Yes, I'm OCD -- you got a problem with that?

 Step 2: Go to the store and contemplate buying the pre-made cupcakes, scraping off the frosting and topping them with the green frosting in a can.  Decide this wouldn’t be right and you’ll just have to convince your wonderful husband to make the cupcakes (Remember the last time honey?  When I accidentally left the stove on all night?) and frosting (I’m going to buy the canned stuff.  What do you mean ‘only the best for your girl?’) for you.    

Step 3: Purchase all your “ingredients.” Try to ignore the fact that by the time you are done buying all the crap to make the cake yourself, that you could have just gotten one from the Publix supermarket.    

Yeah, that's about $25 right there.

 Step 4:  Put Dora Season 2 on Netflix, make the kid a cheese sandwich and tell her she must have a Dora party for all her ZhuZhu pets to practice for her own Dora party tomorrow.    


Step 5: Use schematic to calculate that you need some type of board to put the cake on that measures at minimum 22″x12″.  Curse under your breath until you remember that booster seat box you have been bugging your husband to put down in the basement is still sitting next to the back door.  Grab a bread knife and cut off a side.  Measure it and sigh a big sigh of relief.  Plenty big.  Curse under your breath because you know your husband will say, “see,” as if he knew you would need to perform surgery on the box and left it there on purpose.    

Step 6: Line the cardboard with aluminum foil.  Or, not.  Sometimes, being crafty means more than just mimicking Martha.  Sometimes (like, when you are out of aluminum foil), it means you need to improvise.    

 Step 7:  Set up your cupcakes on the board in the shape of an alligator.  Be sure to use the varying cupcake heights to your artistic advantage and resist the urge to get in the car, drive to the supermarket and just buy the perfectly sized cupcakes you wanted to buy in the first place.   


Step 8: Make the white frosting green.  Discover the secret to Madonna’s ridiculously toned biceps.  I bet Lourdes and Rocco have a homemade cake for dinner every night.   


Step 9: Look longingly at the bottle of wine. Decide if you can’t frost a cake sober, you’re not giving yourself a fair shot if you open it. Even if it is only a half a glass.  


Step 10: Start to frost the cake.  Realize you can’t frost air and fill the “holes” with marshmallows.  


Step 11:  Realize that “someone” is also snapping pics for a tutorial.  Take a break to get some love and presumptive compliments on how your alligator cake is “beautiful.”  


Step 12: Finish frosting and apply candy adornments.  



Step 13:  Pat yourself on back.  Walk over to bottle of wine to open.  See you have a new text on your phone.  Read text from husband, “Hey – did u measure the fridge? Don’t want it to wobble trying to get it in.”  Reply, “Um, of course not.  Doing that now.”  

Shit! Why must he be right all the time? And, MAN, time to go food shopping.

Step 14: Thank the stars above that your husband is in the restaurant business.  Clear out the trunk.  Start the AC.  Load the kid into the car.  Load the cake into the car. Drive like an octogenarian the 1.5 miles to hubby’s workplace.  Hand over the cake and pray that it doesn’t end up next to the trout in the walk-in, because while you want it to look like it came from a swamp, you don’t want it to taste like it came from a swamp.  

Step 15:  Officially accept Mother of the Year Award. Resume patting yourself on back.  Post blog entry about how Martha can suck it!  

Yes, that says "Mother of the Year." Yes, my huge eyes are freakishly blue, I have no hair, my face looks like my Irish grandfather's, my left arm is longer than my right and I'm doing a split, but it's a step up from two months ago when my arms were coming out of my head.

Betcha couldn't do that in jail, now could you Marty?

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