Join us for Cake Balls & More
I know we’ve bled into October and September’s tasks have yet to be completed. Rest assured, we’ll get there. But we did cross one of the three remaining off this weekend. Sister Save-A-Lot successfully fought the urge to copy her sister’s super fun white elephant party and hosted her friends to a cake ball party… or as her dad describes the tasty delicacies – “sugar bombs”. And that they are.
Knowing next to nothing about the trendy dessert, we went straight to MOAT resident foodie’s web site (janejarrell.com) to check out her cake ball stuff. The artistically beautiful cake balls perch themselves right at the bottom of her cooking page. (spoiler alert: the girls’ cake balls didn’t come close to looking like those cute things in heart boxes… their’s might be more in the glob category)
Going against everything in me,
I held my tongue as she opted for store-bought mix over scratch.
The box lightened her load.
She didn’t have to listen to me direct.
She got to see “ingredients”… and just might opt for scratch next time.
Her plan centered on preparing as much as she could before her guests arrived so all they needed to do was mold and dip. She (and I) didn’t realize that cake balls require a few rounds of chilling. Hmmm… there’s that time management thing rearing its ugly head. Please tell me I’m not passing down the last minute trait. Surely one of them will be organized. Maybe it’s like hoping one of your kids is a doctors so you get free medical advice. With as many as we’ve got, I’m banking on several bases being covered – medical, religion, law, accounting, maybe government or royalty … but hopefully someone will rise to organization guru. Keep me straight and on time (okay, forget on time… just get me there!)
Step 1: prepare the cake batter and cook as directed.
We put it on jelly roll sheets purely as a result of of poor time management. The long thin batter cooked faster.
Next, she took the cake and
put it into a food processor in order to get small crumbs.
Ingredient number 2 in a cake ball.
Oh, to have gone a scratch route… but no.
She mixed the icing with the finely chopped cake…
and put the mixture into baggies to cool for 2 hours.
Ours chilled for about 1. Hey, you do what you can do.
It always works out.
She also learned how to iron.
Sister Save-A-Lot wanted to use some of her budget to purchase party favors for everyone. What could be better for a cooking party than aprons. I helped her find some very cheap plain canvas aprons on line. We decided, for some reason, to launder them before the guests arrived. Who would have thought throwing 8 aprons in the washing machine could have any issues? It took the kid at least 30 minutes to untangle the strings that had managed to tie themselves into a tight ball.
Armed with Shapries, let the creativity begin.
Next, she pulled out the cake/icing mixture which they formed into “balls”.
These needed to sit in the freezer for 6 hours.
Theirs froze for about 1 while the girls swam and jumped.
They dipped the balls into melted almond bark, using make-shift toothpicks.
(We didn’t read the instructions well. The process would have run much smoother with frozen balls and toothpicks!)
Then they ate until they could eat no more.
What’s a good party without a yummy snack…
especially if you made it.
Together, they decided to send the best of their creations to our friend Dottie’s house for her family to enjoy after the funeral. It turned into a meaningful lesson of caring for those in grief.
Of course, the mess stayed as they ran out to play.
Somehow they think the kitchen fairy mysteriously appears and cleans everything.
We’re working on it.
Isn’t that the story of this whole experiment. It’s a work in progress. Putting it out there, letting them test their wings, helping them realize they can do more than they think they can, keeping them on track to complete the job – even when they hit the part that’s “not fun”.
That’s kind of my story, too. Stepping out of my comfort zone, staying on task, persevering through the challenges that just aren’t fun. It would be so much easier to check out, to rest in the status quo. But isn’t the greatest reward in traveling those challenging roads. Robert Frost had it right.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for
that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Thanks for walking it with me.