I am a mom of three children. I am a mediocre mom at best, but am well rounded by a more than mediocre husband. Together we almost make one good parent.
As a child I remember the parents would make a cake at home for our birthdays. Nothing fancy, just a Betty Crocker Cake with sprinkles, but it was always tasty and we could not wait to eat it! Other times we would get one from the local grocery store and it would have some icing trim and it would say “happy birthday”, with OUR NAME ON IT!! So exciting!
I took cake decorating in high school. I was almost good at it. We had little bags we called “pipes” and they made swirls or stars. Sometimes we could make the swirls and stars into shapes like Cookie Monster or Batman. It was fun and I was now visually creative! Yay me!
As a current parent I have attempted once to make a birthday cake. I think you will agree when looking at this picture that I may have lost my skills! I am not even sure how this monstrosity happened, but in no way was I going to take this hobby up again, so time to go to a professional!
This is where I learned that things have changed since I was a child and a dedicated cake decorating high school student. The bar has, let’s say, risen a bit. Now it seems that birthday cakes, cupcakes and pretty much anything in the baking field requires a full time artistic resident to decorate!
My friend runs Bouquet Plasair and Cupcakes by Miryame. She was my first guest on the pilot of my Youtube show. Check our her work below:
Now I love her and I love eating her cupcakes, but maybe set the bar lower?
How is the average woman to compete? I mean, works of art sure, but not everyone wants beautiful things right? Some people enjoy a cake that looks like dog vomit? (my cake obviously)
Then I met Michelle Brennan-Mann from Mama Shell Cakes. Look at her Monster’s Inc. cake!! It doesn’t even use the pipe stuff we used as kids! How did she even do this? Witchcraft???
I am worried now as a woman that we have set the bar too high! Due to artists like Miryame and Michelle, my kids now want nice things! We can’t have that! We are a no name generic family. We want mediocre, we want half crap! Once we start enjoying….you know what? It’s too late. We are hooked. Good quality, amazing taste and actual pieces of art. These women have set the bar too high for me to make a quality cake myself (given my last cake, my current bar is at a four year old’s level) , so screw it, when I want to eat an amazing piece of artistry that is equal in beauty and taste then fine, I’ll be going to these ladies. When I want to impress friends and family that I look like I can afford mega fancy cakes at what are actual affordable prices, then I’ll go to them. I will go and enjoy every minute of it.
But every now and again, I want to feel like a woman who can do…”womanly” things, so I am gonna crack open the Betty Crocker and make some monstrosity that will make my kids appreciate women like Miryame and Michelle even more.
As an aside, support local. These are two of many amazing cake artists in Ottawa. In addition to catching them online, you can purchase live from them at the Showstopper Shopping Event. See you there December 6th, 4:00-10:00 at All Saints Anglican Church!
Jenn Hayward is a stand up comedian, blogger, author and all around amazing woman (self-declared, don’t ask for proof)