Archive | September, 2009

You talkin’ to me?

27 Sep

Frosting chick: Dude, have you seen the number of hits on the blog?

Fondant chick: More hits than Pete Rose back in the day.

Frosting chick: Yeah, and just about the amount of feedback he gets today, very little! How come nobody’s commenting on anything?

Fondant chick: Maybe we’re not interesting after all and our friends are blowing smoke up our patooties when they say they like it?

Frosting chick: C’mon, really? Would they keep ordering cakes if it were really all about the patootie smoke? SOMEBODIES are coming here, the question is, who?

Fondant chick: Aliens, then. Definitely aliens. They’re coming to steal our cake. I just know it. My mother-in-law says so.

Frosting chick: That would explain the sudden loss of aluminum foil in the shop… but perhaps they’re looking for something more. Like insight into the female psyche through witty and smart blog entries?
Fondant chick: Is hubby acting up again-because that sounds more like what women wish men would do. Maybe we’re so good that we leave nothing for our stalkers to say?
Frosting chick: READERS! They’re called “readers”! (*nod to “You’ve Got Mail)

Fondant chick: Ahem. Sorry. Readers. Stalkers=bad, readers=good. Got it. Please excuse my momentary confusion. The lack of comments must be affecting me terribly. Poor self esteem and all that.

Frosting chick: I dig. But we can’t let it get us down. Did you do your affirmation(s) today?

Fondant chick: Darn it! I forgot. All the wondering about the lack of comments has just filled my day. *Sigh* and I have so many other things I need to do. Why oh why don’t they comment? *Whimper* Why am I rejected yet again?
Frosting chick: Now, now, there, there. I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation why were not getting any responses. *sniff sniff* we don’t smell…

Fondant chick: My son smells. Maybe that’s it? Naw, surely they can’t smell him all the way over there. Perhaps the awesomeness of our cakes leaves them speechless?

Frosting chick: Hey, if you can’t smell my hubby’s feet from your house, I doubt anyone can sniff out boy wonder. You might be onto something with this whole “awesomeness” thing, my affirmations tell me so. Following the philosophy of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, perhaps our sweets can CHANGE THE WORLD!!!!!! Eh, sorry. Ok, so it’s not that… perhaps it’s stagefright on the readers part?

Fondant chick: Stagefright? Perhaps we should say something really stupid to make them feel safe? You know, “they have already written something so stupid what I type cannot possibly sink to that level.” Or have we already done that? Just in case we haven’t, I’ll start: I didn’t know Jimmy Hendrix was an African-American until I was in my 20’s. Not good enough? How about this: I cannot pronounce dragees or Tuscarawas or Worchestershire. Still not good enough? Okay, okay. I’ll deny this if it ever gets out, but I regularly fart in public. Hmm, maybe those aren’t stupid but are just private confessions. You got anything?

Frosting chick: Heck yeah! I, uh, can’t believe you didn’t know about Hendrix!
Let’s see…. I regularly retain my “Mother of the Year” status by feeding my ADHD crazy boy PB&J’s for dinner. Now that hubby is gone most nights, I don’t have to cook! I’m totally loathing the upcoming birthday cake I’m doing for next week.  I despise vacuuming. Oh, and I hate feet!

Fondant chick: Feet? Really? Well, I think knees are ugly, if that makes you feel better. Not just my knees, knees in general. Maybe they think we intimidate them? How about this: the first time I made a ball cake, it was raw in the middle. I swear I thought it was done. I checked it with a toothpick and everything. Or maybe this: I am initimidated by other people’s cakes. That is, right up until I see a professional’s work that is not that great. Then I wonder why I’m not rolling in the bucks and world famous. Or at least state famous.

Frosting chick: I getcha. Feet are like deformed hands at the bottom of your legs.  Ok, in tracing my ‘caking’ history, I must go back to the mid ’80’s. I decided that I could absolutely make a TMNT cake. Just the head, I wasn’t all turtle shell crazy. Anyway, to make a long story short, there was just something NOT right with his eyes, and we named him “Retardo”, in the fashion of Donatello, Leonardo, etc… I’m in my 40’s now, don’t make me try to name them. If I ever come across a pic of Retardo, I’ll post it right away.

Fondant chick: Oh, yeah- every cake I’ve ever done has something that is “not quite right.” If I’m lucky, that side becomes the back. If not, I keep my mouth shut and hope no one notices. You know what? They RARELY notice.
So c’mon! If you say something stupid, we promise not to notice. If you say something mean, we’ll try to slay you with a witty comeback. Not a mean one, one we can all laugh about. Stop leaving us hanging out here in cyberspace wondering if we should keep posting or throw in the spatula!

Frosting chick: Yeah, throw us a bone here. Got a question? If we don’t know the answer, maybe someone else who visits might! Got a cake coming up and need some ‘outside the box’ idea’s? We might be able to come up with a concept you haven’t thought of. Tap our creative minds, it’s free!

Fondant chick: Remember, we’re all in the same bowl of frosting together! Okay, that sounds odd. You know what I mean. We all have problems and ideas, even if those ideas turn out to be ones we should have left buried in the compost pile in our minds.

tn

Yeah, can you imagine what it was like to be in THIS bowl of frosting?

P1000614

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Cake Chicks Undercover

21 Sep

Have you ever wondered what a cake decorating contest is like? If you could “hang” with that crowd? If you have a snowball’s chance of competing? So did we. What’s a cake chick with a longing to do? Spy, of course! We’re so good at it, we didn’t even have to lurk around corners to get the story. We walked right in, spoke to people, gawked, took beau coup pictures, and boldly snagged pieces of each cake even though we were supposed to limit ourselves to one. Hey, it’s not my fault they didn’t say that before they started passing the plates!

Here’s the set-up: contestants arrived one hour prior to the competition to set up. They have one hour to finish decorating their partly finished cakes in front of a live audience. And they were definitely live. A little too live at times. Kids, young adults, and way grown people alike were both nervous and excited- too much so at times. While the contestants are decorating, judges interview about their creations. Eek! Go away! They only have an hour!

 After the time allotted has passed, the judges get to work and eat cake while we watch and are served our own pieces. Badda bing, badda boom, winners are announced, and we all go home entertained, full of cake, and a little more educated.

 There you have it. That’s how it works. Satisfied? *Sigh* I thought not. Okay, here’s the whole scoop on this particular contest:

 We arrive at the much disclosed location and pull up to the little booth where they keep the parking attendant hostage. When we fork over our hard-earned-we’ve-got-bills-to-pay five bucks for parking, he sees our swank attire and posh vehicle, takes pity on us, and gives us two free tickets to the event. Score!

 Park the hoopty, walk into the building, and wander around acting like we belong. The contest is being held during a home improvement show so we totally blend in. We look like we drop a hundred grand on a patio, right? Suuurrrre.

 Okay, in our zest and excitement, we’re a lil early for the contest. We get the lay of the land and now the contest starts in….an hour and a half. LOL Hey, at least right outside there’s a horse show of some sort. Let’s go check that out…. Well, city cake chick is not fond of the aroma and country cake chick still can’t stand to see a whip used so let’s not hang here too long. Blah, blah, blah, kill time and check on progress. Nope, zoo dude is still hogging the stage. Lunch? One taco, two drinks, and too much money later, it’s time to check again. Whoo hoo! Snag a couple of seats and wait for the big event to start!

 Waaiit a minute. Where’s the nekked cake? Why are these covered? They look almost done. What’s going on here? Hmmm, guess I should have read the rules a bit closer. I was ready for them to start from baked nekked cake and end with a completed masterpiece. I mean, that’s why I said, “No way am I ready for that” when asked if I was interested in competing. Shoot, had I known all I had to do on site was the actual last hour of decorating any cake I might have tossed my spatula into the ring. Or not. I’m pretty chicken, that’s why I’m a cake chick and not a cake lion or something else equally fierce.

 Cake chicks and cake roosters, there is fondant everywhere! As far as the rolling pin can reach, there is fondant. Out of 5 contestants, there is 1, yes 1, fondant free cake. Here. In middle America. In a town nicknamed Cowlumbus. Fondant. Huh. Whoda thunk it? And not just accents, either. Entire cakes covered. In fondant. I thought for awhile there I’d have to pull my fellow chickie out from under the folding chair where she was rocking herself while in the fetal position. Fondant has officially taken over the world if it’s here.

 Hey, I’m a fondant fan. I’m also a buttercream pipe dreamer. I can eat buttercream literally by the bucket if not stopped but fondant? Yes, I’ll have one piece, please- but only if it’s a kind that tastes good. I’m a wannabe buttercream piper. I’m practicing my skills dreaming that one day a client will ask for an 8 tier wedding cake with royal string work and intricate scrolls and I’ll say with confidence, “I can do that, no problemo.” In the meantime, I fondant. Not that fondant is simple or easy. It’s just a different talent and skill. One I already have. Piping does not come naturally to this cake chick- which makes it all the more exciting to try to conquer.

 Anyway, fondant is definitely here, but there’s some buttercream work, too- along with *gasp* chocolate! Yum, white piped chocolate! *Swoon* Now it’s my partner’s turn to pick me up from the floor. Where I’m crawling towards the table trying to sneak a taste. “Whoa, there, Nelly! Don’t make me harness you and put you in the ring outside!” Alright, alright, I’ll sit back in my chair. For now.

 After we peruse the offerings, the contest starts with minimal fanfare. The crowd quiets for a bit as the work begins- but no for long. Every contestant has their cheering section and some lend quiet support, but others, not so much.

Dispatch Cake Contest supporter compressed

At this point, one of us is sliding in and out amongst the chairs and onlookers taking pictures whilst the other is “standing on ballerina toes trying to see over the heads of the RELATIVES WHO GET TO SEE THESE FOLKS WORK ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME!!!!!!!!” Ahem. As I said, some were calm and others were not.

 La, la, la, la- contestants are covering cakes with fondant, applying borders, covering cake boards, piping basket weave, etc….etc…etc…. It was difficult to see due to people standing and the set up of the whole shebang. Every 15 minutes or so one of the judges announces the time left. Roughly half-way through, a local reporter/judge talks to each one of the contestants asking about the inspiration for their cakes and each caker’s experience with cake. Near the end, the crowd’s patience is at an end and they start filing by the tables, completely blocking the view of anyone polite enough to stay back and let them work without interference. Argh! A child’s curiosity gets the best of her and I see her reach out and quickly slap a cake. Aaaahhhh! I swear, this next part was pure reflex on my part. I’ve been a parent too long. I should have been given more time off as a parent. You would have done the same, I swear.

 I slapped my fellow caker. Yes, slapped. Reflex, I swear. It was as if I was reaching out to slap that child’s hand away from the cake. At the same time, I gasped, “She’s touching it!” Fortunately, the slap was gentle enough that my bud just said, “what?” like a fellow exasperated mother who’s been interrupted one too many times. Security like people (if you can call people in golf shirts security) quickly set up a barrier and the cake was unharmed. Whew! Disaster averted.

 The whistle blows signaling the end of the allotted time and we are all given one more chance to take pictures and shuffle by the cakes. Contestants cut into their masterpieces and the judging begins. We were, umm, too busy eating cake to watch much of the judging. J Hey, you have to know if it tastes as good as it looks, right? I mean, in the end, cake is for eating.

  How did it taste? Disappointing. Then again, I had pretty high expectations so my disappointment was partly my fault. I was looking at the decorators as semi-gods. Obviously, they were confident enough to enter. If they entered, they must have thought they had a decent chance of winning. Judging by their supporters, other people thought so as well. I naturally assumed a person with such high decorating skills would have equally high baking skills. I mean, it’s cake, right? You eat it. Your family eats it. Your friends eat it. Your coworkers eat it. There must be something extraordinary about it, right? Nope. Box mix, box mix, box mix, box mix, probably altered box mix. Call it fudgy chunky pumpkin whatever. It’s a box mix. Huh. So what’s all fuss about scratch vs. box again? Hey, I like box mixes. I make them a lot. It’s just that I had different expectations. I definitely didn’t expect the chocolate to be burnt, but let’s not point fingers at what I’m sure is already an embarrassing enough situation. Can you imagine when that caker got home with the leftovers and discovered that little oopsie? Oh my!

 Other unexpected discoveries were:

 Wilton boxes. Yep, flimsy as they are, every box I saw was a Wilton.

 Not a Viva paper towel in sight. I guess they all trusted their icing to remain perfect. The paper towels I saw had prints or patterns on them.

 Fondant- the homemade one was okay- tasteless, which can be a good thing. It didn’t compete with the cake or buttercream flavor at all. The stuff that wasn’t homemade and that was served was…weird. Very stretchy. The person who flavored their fondant with pumpkin pie type spices- don’t do that. Weird and ick, ick and weird.

 Square corners with ripped fondant. As we all know, that’s what décor is for, right?

 Crooked borders

 Not an airbrush in sight, but there was a can of Wilton spray color involved.

 One person out of 5 wore gloves. None had their hair covered. In fact, one long haired contestant didn’t even pull the hair back in a ponytail. Not all wore aprons.

 The buttercream layer under the fondant was maybe 1/8” thick. Mine is closer to ¼”

  Just interesting observations. Observations that make me think I’m too hard on myself and perhaps I’m ready to play with big guys. Or maybe the medium guys.

 In the end, the little details didn’t seem to matter that much. As someone said to me, “You could have Jesus spinning on top of a pumpkin, and the ‘shoe would still win.” Sorry if that offends anyone, but there’s a truth to it.

Dispatch Cake Contest 'shoe compressed

The horseshoe stadium wins every time. Something to remember, no? I’m not saying she didn’t deserve the win, not at all. She gave a terrific explanation of her inspiration for her cake and she does a mean, fast, straight basket weave, after all.

 Check out the detail on this apple:

Dispatch Cake Contest apple compressed

“Gorgeous!” (must be said in a certain tone of voice with jazz hands) Again, to be fair, the judges were not cakers. Not that I’m aware of, anyway. Only cakers truly know the exquisiteness of a well turned out shoe:

Dispatch Cake Contest william's shoe compressed

or perfectly executed cutey pie pumpkins:

Dispatch Cake Contest baby pumpkins compressed

or the real difficulties of a chocolate collar (even if the decorator says it’s easy):

Dispatch Cake Contest chocolate collar compressed

I guess I just wanted all the cakes to win or something. Each one had their own specialness to it. Each stood on its own as a work of edible art. But dang, did you have to go all ‘shoe on them??? LOL

So, judge for yourself. I know you can’t taste them so you’ll just have to go on decorating skill alone. Which one would you have chosen?

Dispatch Cake Contest 091 'shoe cake done compressed

Dispatch Cake Contest 090 pumpkin and stump compressed

Dispatch Cake Contest 074 chocolate cake compressed

Dispatch Cake Contest 092 pumpkin house compressed

Dispatch Cake Contest 093 square cake compressed

 

Veggie Platter Gone Wild

14 Sep

It’s about time we let you peek into the catering side of 2 Chicks Cakes and Catering, isn’t it? Did you think we forgot or were pulling your leg about catering? Naw. We were just engulfed in buttercream for awhile. Now that we’ve scraped that off, let’s do something that’s on the other end of the caloric spectrum. After all, cakers need their veggies, too.

Most veggie platters look like this:

Okay, so it’s symmetrical. It’s recognizable from across the room. This particular one is a nice arrangement. However, are you anxiously pushing your way into the buffet line for it? Is the room buzzing about its beauty? Are people taking mental notes so they can reproduce it for their next shindig?  Probably not. You know what it is with a passing glance. You’ll let guilt put a few on your plate.  You think it’s nice but you think it’s “just another veggie platter in a long line of veggie platters that are present at every party for who-knows-what reason.” What do you say we spice this up a bit and create a platter that will make your guests gasp, nay perhaps faint, with one glimpse of its awesomeness?

What you need:

 The usual plus one.

 Yes, get out your assortment of veggies, your dip recipe and ingredients, and the ol’ workhorse standby: the glass platter. For mine I used carrots, celery, red, green, and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

That’s the usual part.

 

Happy Hour: Dollar Drinks. Your choice of glass.

Happy Hour: Dollar Drinks. Your choice of glass.

 The plus one is this:

 A Large Martini Glass.

 These are available at craft stores like Michaels, Joann Fabrics, or Hobby Lobby. Go crazy and use your 40% off coupon and snag yourself one of those babies. After you’re done goofing around with it (you know you will), wash, dry, and set aside. Make your dip and give the veggies a bath.

With the exception of one tiny foray into the wild side you will cut your veggies as usual. To account for the craziness, set aside 7 large carrots and 7 stalks of celery.

 Cut the remaining carrots and celery into sticks. Personally, I like my peppers cut into wedges so you can use them like scoops but you can cut wedges or slices, or both- your choice.

To swank up the cukes, pull out your tater peeler and peel off only part of the peel before slicing into rounds. A zester also works spankin’ good for this. After all, it’s not like that particularly nifty tool is in danger of getting worn out, is it? Whichever you choose, it should look striped. If not, you did it wrong. S’alright though. If it doesn’t turn out, just go back and take off the rest of the peel. Slice the cukes into rounds.

All done? K-let’s get to the good part. The wacky part. The out-of-this-world-look-how-creative-part.

Cut two carrots and 2 celery stalks in half across the width and once more down the length. Cut the remaining carrots and celery in half down the length. I’ll wait while you talk your way through it. Acrooooss the width. Dooooown the length. Then dooown the length once more for the rest.

Cool? Funky part coming up!

You’re going to shape half the length of each piece. Position your knife at one of the corners and then angle the knife so it comes out on the other side about half way down the length. You’re going to cut it on an angle, like this:

diagonal veggie drawing

(but without the line in the middle. That’s just there ’cause I’m too lazy to figure out how to make it go away.)

Ah, AutoShapes are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? Anywhoo, cut them so they resemble the picture. It kind of looks like a paring knife, doesn’t it? Alright, alright, I’ll get back to work. Cut the remaining long veggies and the remaining short veggies this way.

At this point, everything is done but the final assembly. You can assemble it now or assemble it at the event. Remember, if you assemble it now, it’s a bit tricky to transport. It can be done, but you’ll have to be tres cautious by holding it on your lap with one hand on the platter and one hand on the top-heavy martini glass. No, you cannot be the one driving, too.  

Assembly:

Place the dip in the martini glass. Clean up the smears. Yes, I know all and I see all. Clean those up, pronto, por favor. Presentation is everything! Set the filled glass in the center of the platter. So far, so good.

Now, arrange the veggies around the glass onto the platter per usual for veggie trays. Think symmetry and creativity. Don’t use the specially cut veggies or 8 of the cucumber rounds just yet.

Once that’s done, arrange the 8 cucumber slices on top of the dip at the top of the glass, sitting against the side. Alternating long and short, arrange the specially cut veggies in a circular pattern inside the ring of cucumber slices. Step back to see the “big picture” and rearrange as needed. Man, this is so much better than regular veggie trays, isn’t it? Ooh la la! Tres chic!

Now, you want short cuts, don’t you? *Sigh* Okay. I guess I can do that for you- but just this once. You can buy pre-cut veggies and premade dip, if you really have to. You’ll still need to do the cucumber and the diagonal cut veggies yourself. Do me a favor, though: don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep a little mystery in catering, shall we?

July and August 2009 077

Don’t forget to take a picture of your awesomeness. Prepare yourself for the clamor that is bound to happen when guests see your creation. They’ll be so astounded by your talent they won’t notice your gray hairs or that extra 10 lbs. you’ve added since they last saw you. All they will notice is the platter, they will look at you “in a new light,” stars will shoot out your eyes, and you can ride this victory all the way through the bake sale you forgot about so-you-didn’t-donate-anything-even-though-you-said-you-would. They’ll just assume you’ve been too busy catering events all over town to have participated. Bonus social points all around!

Belaboring a Theme

7 Sep

In honor of Labor Day, let’s chat for a minute about the amount of labor that goes into our creations. Aside from the talent required to even design, much less create, a custom cake, many hours of labor are logged in kitchens all across the world to bring that idea to fruition. While I’m not going to try to talk you into spending hard earned cash you can’t afford, I would like to give you some insight into pretty much any pricing structure for custom cakery. You may be given a base price plus the costs of extras, a per-slice price, or a total price without cost breakdown, but any price generally includes the following:

doll cake WASC 002

Cost of ingredients. This is what most people use to attempt to calculate our total costs. It is but the tip of the piping bag. Read on.

doll cake WASC 013

Overhead: electric, gas, consumable and nonconsumable products. The electric company doesn’t care that I don’t have the money to pay the bill. No money=no electric. Period.

cake on board sign

Delivery charges: just the mental cost alone of having someone honk, scream, and generally express annoyance with me because I have to drive slowly during the delivery justifies this cost. Additionally, the gas station, mechanic, and bank loan dudes stick a fork, so to speak, in every delivery. Toss in my time here, too- the chip guy doesn’t deliver the greasy yet tasty crunchies for free, and neither should we. While it may seem to make sense to just pick it up yourself, there’s a snag: you don’t know how. Sorry to offend, but most of the time this is true. A lap is not a suitable place for a cake. Neither is a car seat. People and seats have a slant, just as God intended. That slant will kill a cake and it may arrive smooshed on one side. True. Very true. Put a level on that sucker and check it out for yourself. It’s not just you that wants the cake to arrive in one piece. I want the cake to arrive at your event intact, too.  Since I’m the one who knows how to make that happen, I am the chicka you need to deliver the confection.

biz car front

Marketing and office expenses: paper, ink, staples, Internet service, websites, etc…. None of this is free to you or free to me. While we make the best use possible of these resources by re-using, conserving, and taking advantage of free stuff when available, there are still costs involved.

Legal costs: one word- Bridezillas. Enuf said. Two words, actually. Better add the IRS in there before the feds come a knockin’.

 Labor: the reason for the post. Labor, labor, labor. From grocery shopping to baking to carving, to mixing, to decorating. Labor. Grocery stores may be able to toss together a cake in 15 minutes, but custom cakers cannot. Cakes are not massed baked, iced, and decorated in our kitchens. Our designs are much more than a star tip border, a couple of buttercream roses, and a two line inscription. I’m not knocking those designs. There room for every taste in this world and one is not necessarily better than another. If simple is what you want, simple is what you should get and the overall cost should reflect that. That’s why if a bride is on a budget, we may suggest white buttercream, real ribbon for the borders, and silk flowers. Simple, in this context, means keeping labor hours to a minimum. You still get our experience with baking tasty food and our talent for smoothing icing, but you don’t pay for hours on end of decorating expenses.

One hour for “ehh, they’re okay”

One hour for “ehh, they’re okay”

2 hours for 2 tiers

2 hours for 2 tiers

How much labor? That depends on the experience and skill of the decorator. For example- buttercream roses. At this point, I would have to make at least 6 roses to get one decent one. My partner, on the other hand, knocks them out like she was born with a piping bag in one hand and a rose nail in the other (Ouch! Sorry, mamma! It’s my destiny!) Ditto with writing. I can place fondant on a cake as easy as tying my shoelaces. My partner will throw a batch against a wall at least three times before it’s right enough to work. (Yes, of course, she makes a new batch each time. We’re not trying to kill anyone over here.) This is one reason having a partner makes sense. You want buttercream perfection, you get that chick. You want fondant delight- you get this chick. No extra charge. It’s not fair for you to pay for our weaknesses via extended labor charges. That’s a big bonus right there- a freebie from us to you. You don’t have to pay one hour of labor for each rose you select and I don’t have to control the urge to just get it over with and stick the danged nail in my eye. Overall, just know that labor costs are underated much more often (about 95% of the time) rather than overrated. I don’t know about you, but I can’t perfectly predict months ahead of time if humidity will add hour upon hour to a cake because everything melts, won’t smooth, or won’t dry. Only the Supreme Being of your choice knows that and he/she/it doesn’t deem me worthy enough to tell. The leaf that usually take 30 seconds can turn into a 10 minute mini-project for no discernable reason. Stuff happens, we try to cope. Sometimes by eating cookies, but we cope.

 Scroll down and have lookie at the tutorials and think about the time involved to make each vision come alive. Think about it realistically. Even simple stars don’t come out perfectly every time. Things have to be redone. Labor (and medical bills for carpal tunnel, but that’s another topic) costs happen. Covering a PITA cake in fondant can take an hour. Star tipping a soccer ball is two hours. Baking, as you know, is about an hour. Carving can take from 10 minutes to endless hours. Fondant ball borders are about an hour per tier. Seriously. Try it sometime. You will nearly go mad trying to get every ball perfectly round and smooth all while keeping the size consistent. That’s why you hire someone else to do it. Your children have already taken your sanity. You have none left to give to fondant balls so you pay for someone else’s.

 

Still think custom cakes are too high? Do you work for free? Do you say to your boss, “No problem, sir. I’d be deliriously happy to come in early and stay late. In fact, it would make me so happy that you don’t even have to pay me for the time worked. I would refuse any payment in any form. I love my work that much.” Yeah- not! You want me around next year to make your cake dreams come true? That can’t happen if I have to quietly head for the border staying one step ahead of the federales who want what’s due. Yo’, that kind of stuff is only romantic in movies. Real life is the inability to pee in the woods without removal of clothing and the lack of noggin’ space to remember which mushrooms are “magic” and which ones will keep me from finally losing the extra girth.

7 days/8 hrs at least each day, not including delivery (1 hour away) and set up (approx. another 45 minutes). How much would you get paid for 58 and ¾ hours of work?

7 days/8 hrs at least each day, not including delivery (1 hour away) and set up (approx. another 45 minutes). How much would you get paid for 58 and ¾ hours of work?

Happy Labor Day to all of you! Additionally, my apologies to those who still have to flippin’ work today because the world will come to an end if humans can’t buy gas, groceries, take-out, or whatever 24/7/365. I appreciate all of you for all your hard work and I hope you are at least recompensed enough to pay “the man” what is due. If you have today off paid work, do something radical: don’t work. Don’t clean the house, do household paperwork, mow the lawn, or scrub the crayon off the walls. Kick back, read a mag, soak in a tub. Let the kids run rampant through the neighborhood and let your partner work it out for themselves. Forget about hosting or attending a BBQ because heaven forbid someone notices your absence and knocks off brownie points. Today’s your day off. Enjoy!

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