Saturday, October 23, 2004

I Make Cakes

I've been decorating cakes for over 25 years now (ouch, it hurt to write that). Here's a bit about my history and experience with cake decorating. You'll find pics of my cakes in other entries coming soon to Golly Blog Howdy.

It all started because, as a budding young teen, I wanted to have some spending money.

So I took a job scooping ice cream for the Baskin Robbins corporate-owned stores. Most BRs are franchises, but (at least way back then) BR held a few corporate-owned stores which, in addition to serving the typical ice cream-clamoring public, would serve as the training ground for new franchisees learning how to run their new businesses. These people who had just invested thousands of dollars in a new venture were essentially being trained on the job along with us goofy kids who just wanted to earn enough money to go to the pinball arcade with our friends (yes, that's how far back this goes...I did say "pinball arcade", not "video arcade").

I became interested in and trained in decorating those cool ice cream cakes BR was famous for. It eventually became my near sole occupation with the company such that I hardly ever scooped any more but focused most of my working hours on creating edible concoctions of art. I loved it. I ended up training the new franchisees on the methods of decorating and the little secrets of icing a cake with ice cream (very tricky, if you don't know just what to do). It's a rather something to consider that BR stores across the nation and even across the globe have been churning out cakes based on the training of a 16 year old. But then I look at other people's cake decorating skills, and I am instantly humbled again.

Over the years, I grew up and got Real Jobs, none of which were near as fun and exciting as cake decorating (well, Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf was a close second). So although there was a great expanse of time when I didn't do it professionally, I always kept my tools at the ready and made lots of cakes for family, friends, and colleagues. Then after the birth of the Astronaut, I decided to stick my fingers back into the buttercream and taught cake decorating classes for Wilton. This was great fun and I really enjoyed it. Then, when I was nine months and ten minutes pregnant with Rainbow, I finally took a break from teaching, fully intending on returning. But once my Dear Daughter was born, it was clear to me that with a toddler and now also a newborn, it would be just too much to take care of the both of them in the way I had wanted and also get more involved with additional classes and such. So once again, I walked away from a job doing something I thoroughly loved. Because I loved them more.

Ah, but you can't take the buttercream outta the girl...and so, I continue to make cakes. And I guess I always will.

One of the best tidbits I ever gleaned from my time with Baskin Robbins was a John Ruskin quote which hung on the wall of every BR store. The quote read:

There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.


At June 10, 2008 at 4:07 PM, Blogger Amber said...

Hi! Any chance you know what Baskin Robbins uses for their Fudge topping. We love the "Fudge Nut Cake" (no cake)but all of the BR around us don't know what we're talking about anymore...we've been ordering this cake for at least 25years! (I wouldn't want to really say that I think it's been more like 30 years!) I can make this cake, but my family agrees that it won't be the same unless it has the EXACT topping.Do you have any ideas? Thanks! Amber


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