Sunday, 4 August 2013

Horsin' around...

My husband's recurring phrase recently has been that there's only a fine line between a hobby and deep psychopathy, and that I'm cartwheeling along that fine line like a laissez-faire pre-schooler hopped up on Red Bull. I'd argue with him, but I only really understood about half of what he said, and the half that I did understand had me agreeing... The other half (of course) was wondering where I could hide his body, if I had to.

A brief segue before we proceed: Husband likes to cook. It's a strange quirk and is not normally found in a lot of men... He also detests craft. Not that he doesn't appreciate it from a distance, in the same way that a mollusc might appreciate a mountain climber; he just has no desire to ever be a part of it. It's flavour he craves.

This led him recently to decide it was time to buy a new set of knives. I still have yet to see the link between the sharpness of a knife and the flavour of a meal, but he assured me that as part of his cooking escapades, the knives were needed.

Two days after their arrival, my daughter decided to help out washing up the items that were strategically placed into the sink to "soak". Sometimes "soaking" can take up to five days... Shut up.

She picked up the knife, grabbed a sponge, and ran it across the blade... Not halfway across the edge, the sponge fell in two like one of those Samurai movies where they throw an apple in the air and swing the blade and when it comes down, it's a Cider... But, it also sliced a diagonal chunk of her finger.

After a frantic call to Husband at work for instruction, and his attendance to the worst of it when he got home, determining that stitches were not required, it was decided that perhaps only adults should handle the super-crazy-sharp new knives.

Bear that story in mind.

Now on to the cake: It was going to be a carousel cake, and I had no real idea how I was going to do it... Two cakes on top of each other? But how would they stay up? What about the horses? Fondant? Meatloaf? Actual horses?

The conclusion was to make three cakes, sculpt the top two into a cone, cover them all white, make them pretty, and hot glue a bunch of the horses to some cake pop sticks, which would be wrapped in ribbon... $30 in overpriced miniature plastic ponies later, and I was ready to rock!

Or at least, so I thought. On a carousel, there's also a centrifuge which houses all the machinery and provides the bulk of the support... I had a super-thick cardboard roll from some Glad Wrap which I presumed would be better suited to hold a 3kg cake top, rather than my original paper towel inner tube idea.

The only problem was: it was much longer than the cake pop sticks. No problem, I thought. I'll just, y'know, mark the same distance on it with pencil, and then casually use the new bread knife to cut it to size.

It was 9:30pm. Husband had decided that there was no way I was going to get to bed before it was officially "tomorrow", and so had decided to go to sleep... All of a sudden, a shriek came from the kitchen as I screamed "COOKIE, I NEED YOUR HELP" which is spouse code in our house for "SOMETHING IS BLEEDING AND I DON'T WANT ANYONE CALLING COMMUNITY SERVICES!"

With a sigh, he emerged to find me knelt in the kitchen, clutching my finger desperately to make sure that the whole thing didn't just drop off. In my head, I'd already begun trying to work out how I would handle life without a left index finger... How would I point things out to people without appearing rude? If I wanted to pretend to shoot people, how would that even work? Could I claim a disability pension? Would I be able to play piano any more? What if I want to learn piano?

This is what Husband saw:
This is what I saw:
Dramatic re-enactment
As he cut some sterile wound dressing and put a band-aid over the top of it (because it was bleeding quite a bit), I sank further to the floor, breathing heavily, white as a sheet. I maintain that it was due to serious blood loss... When Husband pointed out that a couple of drops in the sink didn't constitute "serious blood loss", I told him to go away and start dialling the Red Cross now because otherwise by the time they got here, I'd be lying on the floor like an empty popper ("juice box" to my American readers), or a victim of Dracula.

Husband upgraded the knife rule to "Only adults except Nat" are allowed to use the knives. He graciously finished the cutting of the cling wrap tube, and also the centrifuge's markings from the bottom cake's fondant so that it could sink properly into the cake without squashing it:

Like a surgeon, cuttin' for the very first time.
Two band-aids and four hours later, I finished the cake! The top has a matching-sized cake board, clearly, otherwise it would've fallen clean through the upright supports...

I will admit that trying to decorate the cake to look like the old lights on the classic carousel was a lot of work, but I was pretty happy with the final outcome:

I've been told the greats suffered for their art. Bunch of amateurs! Sure, Michelangelo developed a terrible back from spending half his life painting the Sistine Chapel. Sure, Leonardo faced times of starvation. Sure, Donatello was teased by Raphael for being a nerd in the sewer before Master Splinter separated them and told them they were bad turtles. But not one of them had to suffer a major bread-knife attack.

But, I'm a survivor! I will not let myself become yet another victim of bread knives everywhere. I will go on! I will look to the future. And I will continue to bake.

Husband has since put the new knives up on a shelf, out of my reach.
That sneaky, sneaky bastard.


  1. Oh Nat hilarious! I was in stitches

  2. Oh WOW! What an amazing masterpiece!
    ~Me & hubby ~

  3. That is so funny but also what a brilliant cake!

  4. Can you make me a Pony Cake for my next birthday! This is amazing!!!