Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Weekend with M.C. Skat Kat

Remember when Paula Abdul was cute and didn’t slur her words? You know, post-Laker Girl, pre-Emilio Estevez? Remember her music video with the animated cat? “I take two steps forward. I take two steps back.” Yeah, that was my weekend—only without the big hair and stirrup pants (Okay fine, I wore stirrup pants--in fact, I still wear them all the time. With matching scrunchies.).

Speaking of cats and wearing unattractive clothing, Balou the cat wants you to know that he thinks Crocs, even when only worn in the kitchen, are spawn of the devil ugly. So incensed was he that I wore them for Saturday’s festivities that he insisted on supervising the endeavor from the top of the fridge—where he could keep an eye on them from high. In my defense, the UCLA-themed rubber clogs were free and they really are helpful when standing on tile floor for 10 hours straight.

Maybe I've read too many food blogs--but it seems like the authors always post ingredients of their recipe before blogging the making of it. Who am I to break the mold?

All in all, I think I made forward progress on Saturday, just not as much as I had hoped. Saturday morning began auspiciously as I busted out four-half batches in the first hour (yes, I am aware that four-halves makes two wholes). As I made each batch, I piled it into a single bowl. It turns out that this would be mistake number one of the day. Instead, I should have sealed each half batch separately in zippie bags. Even covered in plastic wrap, the stuff dried out fast and the last ¼ (ie, the last half batch) wasn’t even usable by the time I got to it. Still, the bowl of dough was impressive.

Along the way, it seemed like no matter how neat and professional the looked going in, they kept coming out looking like a kindergartener had done them. The windows were hit and miss and the egg wash tempered unevenly. I had to keep reminding myself that I am not a professional pastry chef—or even an amateur one and that a certain level of homemadeness can be charming. Yeah. If you’re five.

I’ve just come to accept that I will have to redo some of the pieces and I’m hoping the decorations will cover up most of the flaws on the others.

I didn’t get through all of the pieces. Still to make: front façade, 4 short tower pieces and a redo of the three-windowed front tower piece you see above. This is kind of a set-back because I was hoping to begin decorating the individual pieces this week. I wonder if Frank Gehry has these issues?

Do you ever feel like you have to explain your purchases to the checker? Saturday morning I was at the drug store buying butterscotch hard candy (why is it that you can only find butterscotch hard candy at the drugstore), spearmint leaves (you know, the gumdrop kind) and Jolly Ranchers. All of this stuff was for the Royce project. Now, normally I wouldn’t have thought twice about my weird selection BUT it was a week before Halloween and there was all kinds of way better candy everywhere. When I put my selections on the counter, the checker eyed me like—“seriously lady, this is what you are giving out for Halloween—you are why we have terrorists.” Apparently it is psychologically important to my, well, psyche, that drug store checkers think highly of me so I blurted, “this isn’t for Halloween, it’s for a gingerbread house.” To this she said, “Oh, a little early aren’t we?” I should have just kept my mouth shut.

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