Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 2007 Activity -- Cake Decorating

Cake Decorating
Sur La Table
Pentagon Row, Arlington, VA
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Cost: $75 (no, that's not a typo)

What we thought would be an opportunity to exercise our creativity, create a lovely cake to take home, and most importantly, get a set of decorating tips turned into more of a over-priced death march through :
  • hygiene tips (don't eat the icing or it will be contaminated!),
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (don't get your knife contaminated with crumbs!),
  • a fraction lesson (if you want 1 cup of icing, use 1 T water, 2 cups would be 2T, 3 cups would be 3T, repeat ad nauseam) and,
  • passive aggressive behavior ("Oh, I see you decided to start decorating your cake already!).
And for $75, we didn't even get a set of tips! Instead, we got a gift certificate good for 15% off at Sur La Table for that day ONLY and a recipe for icing (because that's the hardest part - stirring sugar and water together).

Never fear - the dilettantes still managed to have fun - mostly by breaking all the rules! Amanda quickly put herself in food coma by eating all of her mistakes. Kathleen made a 3-foot high cake using the "if you make a mistake, cover it up with more icing" technique. This prompted a snide comment from our fastidious instructor: "Well, I suppose if you put 3 feet of icing on it, any cake will look good!" Hmph.

Amy had a tough time deciding what to put on her cake, scrapping the marine theme in favor of a shooting star, while Nicole made a very delicate cake with hearts on it (even if she used the softer green icing for her rosettes - apparently a big no-no). Kathleen ended up covering nearly every inch of her cake, while Amanda took the minimalist (some might say lazy) approach and quit after completing her hippy-dippy flower.

We took ourselves, our cakes, and our lighter wallets to the Irish Pub afterward to debrief and toast Kathleen's birthday!

Overall - the activity was fun, but way overpriced for what it was. Had we walked away with some decorating equipment and tips we couldn't have read in any Wilton book on cake decorating, it would have been better.