The appearance of the cakes is where the Halloween component comes in, but the ingredients and flavors are not necessarily restricted to “fall.” Thankfully, this is not a show about pumpkin spice. The barrage of flavor combinations and layers with roasted whatevers and infused whozits covered in ganache and buttercream was just too much.
While my family does enjoy creating “shape cakes,” it’s strictly out of a box yellow or chocolate for us. However heading into a weekend visit, I demanded more!
…and then I got stuck assembling it.
It was not a stable creation. MomBert premade 5 mini yellow cakes and some buttercream icing. (Apparently icing with Crisco is a Food Network sin, but it’s pretty standard in our world.) My mission was to alternate layers with blackberry and raspberry jam as well as fresh fruit, sealing the layers with buttercream. Often the contestants run things to the blast freezer to cool them down or solidify them in time for judging. Turns out we didn’t have one of those.
Much like the days of Boxtonia, it has been taking up premium real estate in the living room since August. I bought a slightly pricey and large outdoor Adirondack chair. Retail quarantine therapy. Their prize was the box.
In its latest iteration, it was the last Artober prompt that I successfully completed. It was “Two” because it is over two feet wide and serves two purposes.
Saturday morning, I woke up to a cluster of mushrooms that I could see from my window. They clearly needed me to take their picture. Plus I hadn’t wandered through my backyard in days. Thanks, work week. #adulting
I did a sweep of the yard and checked on Melody and Lucky. Lucky was full of rainwater like a weird rain gauge from the Friday night storm. Melody was leaking. But not water.
Melody had developed a pumpkin ass juice situation which, of course, gushed all over when I attempted to relocate Melody from the patio to the yard.
Both pumpkins are full of moldy growths. Fortunately, I had my macro lens in hand.
This is when the coolness outweighs the grossness. These are pictures of the inside of Melody’s lid. All colors and formations created by nature. So fucking cool!
I like Halloween and I like cats. At least 50% of this statement is true for most of my family members. Therefore when I saw an Instagram post featuring Target’s annual Halloween cat houses, I was ready to make some purchases. My stepmother’s birthday is on Halloween so this seemed like a budget friendly gift.
Three Targets later, ***side note: Target’s website that allegedly tells you something is in stock at a specific store is a LIE. Even the Target employees acknowledged that it is bullshit.*** I had found only one Halloween cat house. It wasn’t the one I wanted, but it would do because after multiple stops only to find empty shelves, I was going to buy the only one in existence!
Yes, the crazy cat ladies flock to buy these however there is a more sinister (at least to my mind) element at work. People also swoop in and buy these up to sell on eBay at insane prices. They are made of cardboard! The one I bought for my stepmother was $14.99! I have seen eBay pricing at over $100 for a flimsy cardboard box that the cat is supposed to destroy. I can’t decide who is more psychotic, the people trying to sell these or the ones trying to buy them.
I decided to let my intense mission go. Instead I did a casual sweep of the pet section at my Target whenever I was there for normal errands. Eventually I was able to buy two other house to bestow upon MomBert and my sister.
I struggled a little bit with pumpkin design this year. I feel like the owl was okay, but rather uninspired. The pumpkin on the left totally got away from me. The vision was unclear and the execution was worse. Our Yelp review will be terrible!
Perhaps due to the poor designs, there was only a 50% participation rate among the cat super models. I’m not sure where everybody was. I definitely sat on the cold kitchen floor with the camera and a bag of treats for an extensive amount of time.
I guess we’re lucky to have made it this far. Two days later the cat/dragon/geometric shapes whatever was leaking and both pumpkins went out to the garden. Hopefully they will be as popular as the spaghetti squash remnants.
As always, Miles brought his soulful A-game….mostly because Mommy had treats.
Two Targets and a website search later, I could not provide my children with the Cardboard Haunted Mansion for cats. The Target employee who helped me said they suddenly started selling out. I blame it on the number of articles I’ve seen about the house.
So my dead cat is in calendar. That’s not weird, right?
Once upon a time I used to buy page-a-day calendars because they were adorable and the scrap paper came in handy at home and work before all my lists ended up in my phone. I gravitated towards ones like Cuteness Overload which was a variety of animals being…CUTE and featured the word “squeeee” in many of its captions. I would also grab cat based dailies like Cat Fancy, the very literal Cat-A-Day and,of course, The Bad Cat calendar. The Bad Cat calendar was strictly for home use as some of its captioning was a bit too bad for school, hilarious but bad.
All of those calendars came with a submission form so that your pet could potentially appear in the next calendar. In fact, one year early in our relationship Bella Luna appeared in both the Cat Fancy and Cat-A-Day daily calendars. She was such a super model.
Certainly I must have submitted other pictures to other calendars over the years which would explain my mail. Workman Publishing has no idea how weird they could make me feel. I had literally just come in from running errands, one of which was to buy 50% off calendars. I stood in Barnes & Noble debating over the last copy of Bad Cat an hour earlier. Now this!
That letter took a bit of contemplation before it made sense. Cosmo has been dead since 2009. So for at least 10 years whatever photo I submitted has been sifting around their offices, maybe physically, maybe digitally. I don’t know! I had no idea what my cat’s posthumous calendar appearance would look like!
Of course, I had to buy the damned calendar now!
Face palm. Eye roll. My poor Cosmo Cat! Immortalized as Yoda. Could be worse.
That was October 2008, a year before kitty cancer. I was hemming up parts of the costume for a friend’s pug and Cosmo wanted to be in the middle of it all. Modeling was the best way he could help. May the Force be with you.
I knew I had waited too long to buy pumpkins when I found that someone appeared to practically be living in them. The cashier told me that they had live-trapped a raccoon in the garden center that week. My concern, of course, was the two cats that roam the store. Everybody’s okay though including the raccoon.
Successful pumpkin carving requires good Halloween based shows or movies although there was a point when I really wondered if I should be holding a knife and watching something with so many “jump scares.” I made it through the extended “Murder House” episode of American Horror Story’s latest season. Not bad in terms of jumpiness, but I am definitely being bullied by “mean girls” in my class that are annoyed that I am always an episode or two behind them. They want to talk about it now! They are not going to be happy to hear that my DVR shit itself last Wednesday and didn’t even record the next episode.
Don’t watch this with a pumpkin carving knife in your hand. Do watch it alone on your couch in the dark. I only lasted two episodes that night because it was late, and because episode 2 had me sobbing to a point my stomach hurt. Warning: box of haunted dead kittens.
***Side note: This isn’t just a cat thing. I HATE it when the horror genre brings in animals, whether it’s the family’s pet or just a random stray who wanders on screen or that fucking horse in season 5 of The Walking Dead. It is always gruesome, upsetting, and completely unnecessary to the plot line. Stephen King, I’m lookin’ at you too.