That's it. Next year I'm making book on it - on my ability to bake a cake. Or, the inability to do so.
For my daughter's Halloween party years and years ago, I made a jack-o'-lantern cake that was almost too cute to cut. I made my mother a doll cake for her birthday about eight years ago and that couldn't have been any better if I'd baked it in God's kitchen.
But I cannot - that's right, I said cannot - I cannot make a cake worth diddly squat to donate to the D/SAOC cake auction.
Oh, the ideas swarm, each and every one a genius plan in action. Then I settle on the one cake that's sure to work and I make it. It doesn't work. This year it didn't work well, though I got an octopus out of it anyway.
This year I even used cake mixes because you just can't mess up a box mix. Three mixes, no less. Two bundts for the head and one rectangular for eight legs. For a little added flavor, I dropped cherry and butterscotch chips into the batter for the heads.
After baking, I let them cool sufficiently - which has been a sore spot in years past - but when I turned them out of the pan I found 99.32 percent of the cherry chips stuck to the pan and 81.3 percent of the butterscotch chips stuck to the pan, which means cake was stuck there too. In either case, the height needed to get a round head for my intended octopus had been severely limited.
That was at 9 p.m. Friday evening. I figured the next morning - the day of the auction - I would make a carrot cake mix and give the head a third layer.
While I worried about the cakes, I got ready for bed - pills, vitamins, insulin et al - and after I shoot a full syringe into my belly, it dawns on me I might have used the wrong insulin. Should that be the case, I'd be severely over-dosed and I was afraid to go to bed.
But I gotten just five hours sleep the night before and I had to get some rest, especially since I had to get up early to make another octo-head layer.
And to top it off, I hadn't made the coasters I wanted to give. I'd already decided they didn't need the table runner I planned. I had a bunch of other stuff that made a nice gift.
Of course, I slept through the alarm (it's amazing how easy it is to ignore that constant beeping) and had no time to bake an extra cake, so I took the cherry and butterscotch chips and the cake stuck to them out of the refrigerator, blended it with a little frosting and used it as a filling.
At that precise time, the google Corporation in London, United Kingdom, emailed to tell me it had checked my background as a precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and to make sure I was worthy, and, finding me such, had awarded me a boatload of money they'll send as soon as I tell them who I am, my contact address, my telephone and fax numbers (it's always more important when they need a fax number), my nationality, full name, sex, occupation, age and if I've ever won an online lottery.
On the high side, the milk I bought a couple days ago tastes good. Not all milk does. With no one here but me, I drink right out of the jug. I like that. It's basic, like drinking water out of a communal jug when I helped Dad make hay in the summer.
I just hope no one ever wants to eat cereal with me.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org