Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 months and 27 days...

Happy March 31st everyone!

Today was our 3-month wedding anniversary!  It was a beautiful spring day.  We spent lunch with a friend who came to our wedding, and he even remembered it was our 3-month anniversary.  Pretty cool, huh?  We had lunch at Magpie's, a little place in Old St. Charles, MO with an outside patio.  We shared a bottle of wine, good food and good conversation on an absolutely gorgeous day.  It was down right idyllic.  Then we went to his place, and he and I kept chatting while we watched G meticulously paint our friend's doors.  It was just about the most perfect 3-month anniversary ever.  

So that was the 3 months part of the title.  The rest of this post is about the 27 days.

What is 27 days, you ask?  My son's wedding, of course!  As the MOTG, there is so much less on my plate than as the MOTB or the B.  But I am taking care of the rehearsal dinner and the wedding cake.  And I need to blog about those things, right?

Let's start with the wedding cake.  We had a cake tasting a few weeks back.  It was G's first ever cake tasting.  S & A came over just for dessert, and we talked and tasted cake.  3 different kinds of cake with 5 different flavor profiles. It was a hard job, but somebody had to do it, so it might as well be us.  We're tough like that.  We can take the hard stuff on. 

I'll describe them in the order that we tasted them.

First we tasted amaretto cake with an amaretto soaking syrup and two kinds of cherry filling.  The filling on the left side was a dark, sweet cherry, and the filling on the right side was a tart cherry.  I expected to like the dark, sweet cherry better, because I liked the flavor by itself better than the tart, but when they were mixed with the cake, we all liked the tart cherry better.  Interesting.  At least it is to cake geek snobs like me!

Then we tasted some amaretto cake with coconut filling.  It was also soaked with the amaretto syrup, and this is the one that the bride, A, liked the best of the amaretto offerings.  So it is ending up in the final cake as one of the tiers.

As a side note, S kept pondering about whether the amaretto cake was too sweet - if there was too much soaking syrup or if the syrup was too sweet or if the filling was too sweet or maybe it was his teeth that were too sweet.  Suffice it to say, he felt it was too something and was offering suggestions on what to adjust.  Yep, mama Deb raised a cake snob or two.  I admit it.  Send me to a 12-step group.  I'm ready.

More on that interlude later...stay tuned...

I had asked S & A to tell me their favorite dessert flavor profiles, and one of the ones S mentioned was cinnamon.  So I went searching for cinnamon cake recipes.  The only cinnamon cakes I'd ever made before were of the bundt variety with a cinnamon sugar streusal filling baked in the middle.  I knew that wouldn't work for a wedding cake tier, so I had to search.  My daughter, S, mentioned a cinnamon crunch cupcake recipe she'd seen on pinterest, but when I looked at it, I could tell it wasn't quite right.  So I kept looking, until I found this snickerdoodle cake with brown sugar cinnamon buttercream from the foodie with family blog.  It sounded just right.  And it was.  I belive the first words out of my son, S's, mouth when he tasted it were "This is money."  It was surprisingly good, so it will be another tier.

Finally S & A had said that they like dark chocolate, so I asked if that meant the chocolate stout cake.  A wasn't too sure, since she didn't want the cake to taste too hoppy.  I said I didn't know, but let's taste and they could decide.   So the final cake tasting was the chocolate stout cake with ganache filling.  At the first bite, I believe the first words out of S's mouth were, "Forget everything I said about the amaretto cake.  Whatever A wants on that tier is fine with me.  I'm in for the cinnamon and the chocolate."  So the largest bottom tier will be the chocolate stout.

Which brings us to the overall design of the cake.  They will be square tiers.  But the bottom tier will be large enough that I don't want to use cardboard to support it all.  I want to use something harder like wood or plywood.  Or really this stuff called MDF.

I know, it looks like plywood, but it's not.  It's a pressed something that has a smoother surface than plywood and doesn't warp the same.  We picked up 2 sheets tonight so G can make the cake base as well as a work bench for himself in the basement.  (We also picked up lots of charcoal for the rehearsal dinner cause Home Depot has a really good deal going on it this weekend, but that is for another post...)

Right after we picked up the 2x4's to go with the MDF and loaded them on the cart we noticed a man trying to pull one more MDF off of the rack.  These things are heavy, they have some serious heft, so G went over to help him.  And because G does this all the time, he struck up a conversation with the guy, asking if he had experience with MDF.  He said yes, that it needs polyurethene to make it waterproof.  Good to know.

We check out.  We're loading the 2x4's in the car when lo and behold the MDF sheets won't fit.  No way unless we ask Home Depot to cut them down.  But have no fear!  As we're standing in the loading zone of HD who walks by except the very same guy who G had been talking to inside.  He turns around, looks at our dilemma and asks how far we are going.  We tell him, and he says, "I'll follow you in my truck.  Let's load it all there, and we'll get it home for you."  That, my friends, is what I call a Godsend. 

So here we are loaded up with his stuff and our stuff, ready to head home!  I do love a happy ending, don't you? 

That's probably enough for now.  I'll continue to track the design and the work to build their wedding cake.  S doesn't want a groom's cake, so no train this time.  Or Mac.  Or bass guitar.  Or a replica of some fancy, schmancy sound system that S and only 10 other people on the planet know how to run.  Nope, only the wedding cake.  But that's cool.  I'll also post about the rehearsal dinner prep as we count down the days.

27 days....almost only 26 as late as I'm posting this tonight...