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Cake auction cake turns to swimming pool but tastes good

April 13, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Yes, my cake for the last weekend’s cake auction looked good. Finally. In fact, it was almost pretty because I used silk orchids as decoration. Last year’s little cake train was cute — all decorated with candy and cookies — but this year’s Hawaiian Wedding Cake look almost elegant.

Extra orchid blossoms were supposed to be made into a lei, but I ran out of time so I stuck the stems in a vase and called it good.

Still, no matter how good the cake looked or tasted — and I did eat one of the corners I needed to cut off so it would fit on my oval platter — it lined up with the other cakes I’ve made through the years that maybe needed more than a little help.

Normally, a cake bakes with a bit of a dent in the middle. I was prepared for that. But I forgot to prepare for the indent in the platter — which holds any meat juices so it doesn’t drip all over the table — and when I turned over the already slightly indented cake onto a big dip in the platter, I had myself a Hawaiian Wedding Cake swimming pool.

By now it was midnight and I refused to start over. It was midnight because the only flour I had in the house was whole wheat flour, and when I called my friend earlier to ask if she thought it was OK to use it, she said no. So I had to call my sister and beg flour from her.

It wasn’t that long ago, I had to take ingredients for a pasta salad dressing over to her house to use her blender. Walt gave me a blender for Christmas — he doesn’t believe in bothering people so late at night.

Anyway, she lives just half a mile from me, so it didn’t take long and I was on my way to a cake. With that cake, you don’t even need to use a mixer. You just blend everything with a wooden spoon just until everything is moist.

I’d called Linda Dencklau earlier in the day and she told me how to get the cake to turn out of the pan easily, so I was just minorly scared about that, not scared to death. Bless her heart, her plan worked and everything would have been all right if I’d just remembered the divot in the platter.

But, I had to cut the edges of the cake to make it oval, so after I ate the first one to make sure I hadn’t poisoned anyone, I sliced the rest of the edges into small bits, then carefully picked up the end of the cake and pushed the pieces into the divot. That pretty much worked. At least, it worked well enough that with the addition of frosting and the flowers, the swimming pool disappeared.

What also disappeared, it seems, is one of the info boxes that went with my story on assaults in last Sunday’s paper. We have room issues a lot, and Sunday was one of those days. So, because I believe they’re important, here are ways the Iowa Department of Public Safety says you can help when dealing with victims of assault:

• Avoid shock or disgust. If a person’s face shows shock or disgust when hearing about an assault, the victim may feel guilty or ashamed and stop talking.

• Avoid placing blame. Don’t blame the victim. Don’t blame the assailant because the victim may be put in the position of defending him — statistics show 89 percent of assault victims know their assailant. Don’t blame yourself by saying something like ‘‘I never should have ... .’’ That could put the victim on the defensive.

• Believe the story, even if the story changes.

• Talk, talk, talk.

• Allow time for the victim to work through feelings. That could take a long time.

• Educate yourself about sexual abuse.

• Seek services, counseling for further referrals.

Thank you to everyone who purchased anything at the annual cake auction, especially the person who bought my cake. I’m always afraid my cakes are just going to just sit there all alone and sad when all the other cakes find a good home.

And remember, you can offer help to D/SAOC — especially money — any time of the year. The need never goes away.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or'>


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