Because my birthday is close to Easter, when I was a little girl, my mother was going to make me a birthday cake; she bought a 2 piece metal cake pan molded like a sheep. I was a scared-y cat with a weak stomach, so I wasn’t sure if I could actually eat a sheep shaped cake. My older sister was a born prophet- she said ‘that cake’s gonna look like a dog’. Baking commenced, the batter began to rise with the sheep’s ears getting singed in the cake tins. I was in a state! When the cakes came out of the oven, my sister said again …’that cake’s gonna look like a dog’… Mother told us to stop worrying- by the time the white icing was swirled on the sheep cake, and shredded dyed green coconut grass was put around the cake it would look just like an Easter Lamb. I looked at the burnt ears and watched as she trimmed its ears- I cringed looking at it! I thought it hurt the sheep~ surely that sheep could feel it’s ears being trimmed. It didn’t help that my sister, the miniature prophetess kept sayin’ the cake looked like a dog! The sheep cake fell over more than once… and just when Mother got the white icing ready to swirl on… the head fell off of the sheep/dog cake! Cryin’ commenced, wailin’really… ‘Y’all get outside and play while I work on this cake!’ We went outside ~ my sister, the pint sized prophet with the shiny brown hair that curled in all the right places, was running and playing while I, the cowlicked black haired, green eyed scaredy cat was sniffing and trying to get hold of myself. Mother finally let us come back inside… and guess what? the sheep cake did not look like a dog! It looked like a big ol’ white fluffy Easter Egg with green coconut and jelly beans surrounding it! How was I ever going to eat a headless sheep disguised as a Prehistoric Chicken Egg! And where were the candles going to be? Dried out, days later -the cake was dumped in trash….the cake pan went in the cabinets and was never used again. Decades later, all grown up~ I was collecting, of all things ~ sheep! I asked Mother if she still had the Sheep Mold…and I am not lyin’, Mother had given that sheep mold to a lady whose husband’s nickname was Jellybean! They had a yard sale at Jellybean’s house, the cake pan sold ~ who knows where it went? Mother felt bad about it…she found another one for me. I never made a sheep shaped cake! The trauma of the ‘sheep/dog/egg’ put a stop to that~ it was put on display with the other sheep at Christmas and Easter …until this year. Ok, y’all know where this is goin’ don’t you? With fear and trepidation, the project was undertaken to see if a sheep cake could actually be baked… Four days…I worked on this cake! A dense cake must be the answer~ a brownie mix was stirred up; sure enough the ears began to burn, I pulled cake out of the oven, carefully scooped some mix from the stomach of the sheep to the ears. Oh gag and oh lord, finally that cake was baked…slightly burned ears but hey, that could be trimmed off…umhmm. I chilled the cakes. I made a thick chocolate filling. I decided no fluffy white icing for sheep wool. I would not use store bought ‘eyes’ either, who wants a sheep with a ‘surprised look’, right? The day before Easter, I melted semi-sweet chocolate. I grated milk chocolate to look like ‘wool’. After I poured the chocolate and set it up as a trial run, I thought ~ this thing looks just like a dog ! Well let me tell you right now sister, I was not going to dye any coconut to surround it! I had already tried and failed to make sugared violets! Oops I’m tellin’ on myself! I was nauseated from eating nearly a whole bag of jelly beans to calm my nerves! My sister~ who rarely uses her gift of prophecy now -told me it would be ‘cute’~ she seems to have switched to the gift of selective lying. I knew different but I kept going … a crack formed on the back of the neck! Oh no, please don’t let that dog head fall off! In the refrigerator the cake went…good, the cake firmed up! more chocolate was poured, more chillin’ ~ I was sort of horrified that there was now a good $20 worth of chocolate in a cake that wouldn’t be fit to eat! Out of the mold, the cake looked just like a Dog! the shaved chocolate was sprinkled around…I was sure it would fall over if anybody looked at it crooked! I surrounded it with Cadbury Chocolate mini-eggs…took a ‘beauty shot’ or 20 maybe…over and over the thought…this thing looks like a dog! She was right! I texted her a photo and told her it looked like a dog and further that cake was so hard it would take a chainsaw to cut it! We got so tickled! For some reason in the midst of laughing I decided to just accept the idea of an Easter Dog! The moral of this story is –
Bakers,do not try this at home, just bake a batch of brownies. Wait for those prophecies, sometimes it takes years before they’re fulfilled. Embrace the goof-ups in life. They can turn into the funniest moments of your life!
Turns out when we got up the nerve to cut the Easter Dog ~ guess what? the tail section isn’t that bad…let’s just hope that dog head is dried out before we get to it…wait a minute, who’s rev-vin’ up a chainsaw in the kitchen?
Live, love and laugh y’all…life’s short! Camellia