There is No Blast Freezer Here.

One too many episodes of Halloween Baking Championship one evening and I needed cake in my mouth ASAP!

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.

We were not going to win the championship for our presentation, it looks like a blob monster, but it tasted good.

There’s a Thought Process

When MomBert stays over, we usually kick back for a few episodes of baking competitions or HGTV. MomBert ends up in my usual tv watching spot and I sit across the room.

Sookie heads for her normal tv spot which should be beside me on the couch. However I have been replaced and the human who looks and smells like me is across the room making heavy eye contact with her.

She really has to think this one through. I’m clearly not making sense.

Based her on her final assessment and some brushing from MomBert, I think Sookie has determined that I should probably stay on the other side of the room.

The Nerve!

MomBert came to visit for the first time in forever. We’re both vaccinated so we had a full day of licking walls and hugging strangers planned. We spent the evening eating glorious local pizza and watching the movie Tag. She was amused.

Sookie joined us in her current TV watching spot. She has taken to confidently joining me on the couch for evening television. I am even allowed to pet her. Partly though, she is waiting for me to go to bed after warming up the fuzzy blanket I use. If I come back out, I’ll find Sookie sitting where I was sitting.

I thought it was very brave of her to assume her normal position even though MomBert was in my regular spot. I watched as MomBert reached out and petted Sookie as one should do when watching a movie with a cat.

The horror. The nerve!

How dare she!

The look of disdain on her face. Sookie is going to have to lick all the fur off her back side now.

Valentines:Shit got weird

MomBert sent this tiny little owl she created for Valentines Day. I’ll add it to my forest of creatures.

I had nothing prepared because I pretty much have Valentines Day mostly blocked from my brain. So I worked with what I had: cat hair. HUZZAH!

This was the intent ultimately with real cat whiskers. ***Side note: Legit cat people have a whisker collection. Maybe for art projects. Maybe magic wands. We don’t really know, but just in case….

But this might have been the end result. I think we have a merkin situation.

May your hoo-haw be covered in cat hair! Happy Valentines Day!

Turkey Redemption

Due to last year’s turkey monstrosity, I got MomBert a cake pan for Christmas that has the appropriately doubled turkey forms in it.

This happened.

It’s not that she likes Pinhead from Hellraiser, there were just issues.

A lost foot. Some middle bulges. We’ve all been there. And the heads. How do you budget for baking the shallow end that is the turkey’s head when the body is almost 3 inches deep? Directions? Naaaaahhhhh.

Then MomBert whispered, “We’re going to cover it in chocolate ganache.”

OH, YES! I swear this is all they do on baking shows: cover, fill, layer everything with ganache. Even ganache with flavors! It sounds fancy as hell.

Turns out a ganache is exactly two ingredients: heavy cream and bittersweet chocolate. The End.

We doused every part of that little turkey cake with ganache and then tucked it in the fridge next to the world’s oldest bottle of orange juice.

I’m not sure if you know this; but when ganache cools, it essentially becomes fudge. Fudging amazing fudge. That little turkey is sitting in a pool of fudge. It’s little bulgy middle? Fudge. Fudging amazing fudge.

Turkey Symphony

This is how my sister and I know it’s Thanksgiving season.

Please pause for a moment and imagine getting this as a phone call or answering machine message because it has been happening before the creation of cell phones and videos. MomBert’s Christmas collection is not quite as diverse.

Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe. Eat whatever. Cuddle a pet. Call a friend. Wear a mask.

Cat House Crazies

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!

Her cat approved so it’s all good.

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.

GGK approved. Retail $16.99. This was the one I was trying to find at first. Lots of visual appeal.
Piper approved. Retail $29.99 but I had a $5 coupon and my Red card. Currently it’s on eBay for $49.95.