Saturday, July 09, 2011

A birthday party for a wanna-be Derby Girl

On Tuesday, I arranged some of Jenny Hart's Roller Derby designs from Sublime Stitching, traced it onto fabric, and started stitching a birthday gift for my dear friend Jenny P.  I had to leave the house for her birthday party at 5:30PM today, and finished the last stitch on her gift at 4PM. (!!!)    I quickly set it in a simple wooden frame, wrapped it in red tissue paper, and tied it up with a bit of vintage white rick-rack.  So relieved to have finished it in time!

Roller Derby Girl "Jenny-Itus"

Jenny is known for her reckless crafting, rock 'n roll style, which she attributes to a sickness known as "Jennyitus".  She and I like to imagine that we will be Derby Girls some day, and of course Jennyitus will be her name.  I have yet to come up with my Derby name...

Most of the party guests ordered these "Jennyitus" shirts to wear in support of our favorite illness:

Jennyitus t-shirt
(Graffiti letters designed by our friend Mike, screen-printing arranged by Lisa H.)

The birthday girl is gluten intolerant, so I had planned to maker her a special cake that she could actually eat, but suddenly there was a snag in the plan: the restaurant we were holding the party at doesn't allow take-in-cakes unless it has been made in a commercial kitchen.  My friend Alicia elaborated: "I'm pretty sure that just means your home-made cake just needs to be in a bakery box..."  I was terrified of getting caught out, but I was determined to make Jenny's cake.

I went to our local HEB (grocery store), and asked to purchase a round plastic cake box and a gold cardboard circle to set my cake on.  While the bakery girl had her back turned, I started quickly picking off the price sticker on the cake nearest to me on the rack, which just so happened to be a "1/4 sheet Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting".  The bakery girl turned back to me while I was still removing the sticker (just below the counter, a tiny bit out of her line of sight), and saw me staring vaguely into space.  "...Is there anything else I can help you with?"  (and the sticker came off the box with a pop!!!)  "No, no, that will be all."  (surreptitiously hiding the stolen sticker in my sweaty palm as I took the cake box she was handing over)

In the past, my cakes have never been known for their looks, but with the pressure of the Bakery Cake Look Alike, I gave it my best effort and turned out the prettiest cake I've ever made.  (Nope, I'm not going to be modest about it.  Most of the time my cakes are ugly, so I am pretty damn proud of this one!)

Cracked Earth Chocolate Cake with Stabilized Whipped Cream and Strawberries

I used this Cracked Earth Chocolate Cake recipe, which turns out a moist, fudgy cake with a cracked top, and frosted the top with a simple stabilized whipped cream, topped with artfully arranged strawberries.  (This whipped cream sets up really nice and firm once it's been chilled, so if you use this recipe, be sure to frost your cake with it immediately, and set any decorations into it right away as well.)

Faking a bakery cake

The waitstaff never questioned the "red velvet" sticker, or the fact that it was supposed to be square and not round (!), and the birthday girl enjoyed her cake.  Success!

Faking a bakery cake
(Please excuse the chipped manicure...)

Cracked Earth Chocolate Cake with Stabilized Whipped Cream and Strawberries

So tell me: what is the most shady thing you've done in the name of love?  What's the closest you've ever come to a deadline?  Also, what would your Roller Derby name be?  What should mine be?

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