Saturday, November 15 2003
Gretchen worked most of the day on the massive cake for David the rabbi's wedding. It had to be a cake large enough for 200 people, and this meant it would be a four-tier monstrosity. Gretchen multiplied a recipe she had by a factor of ten to make the constituents.
Since she'd never made such a large cake before, Gretchen encountered a number of unforseen difficulties along the way. One of these was a lack of straws. Normal drinking straws are used as a support skeleton within large multi-tier cakes, and a cake this large was going to require lots of straws. Gretchen sent me out on a mission to pick up some from the Stewarts in Hurley, but by the time I'd come back, she'd done some further reading in the Cake Bible and realized she needed to use wooden dowels in the lowest tier, straws being too flimsy to support the immense World-Trade-Center-style compressive forces. We didn't happen to have any dowels available, so we cut off segments of the sticks from some citronella candles in the garage.
Later we both worked at decorating the cake with candied pistachios, both chopped-up and whole. There had been some defects in the frosting on the topmost-tier, and now it covered with crumbled pistachios, and we did our best to continue this theme down onto lower layers.
In an echo of this delicate dance between fuck-up and concealment, Gretchen later went through most of her fancy dresses trying to find one without a plunging neckline she could wear at the wedding. She needed to conceal a horrible gash at the top of her chest. It looked like a fresh heart transplant scar, but it was actually just a cat scratch she'd received while playing with felines at the Ulster County SPCA. The only dress Gretchen had which lacked a low neckline seemed inappropriate to wear at a wedding (at least to me); when asked by Gretchen to describe how it looked, I answered, "It looks bondage schoolgirl."
While I was out and about several times today, I noticed that there's a species of moth that flies around in this weather. It can be thirty degrees and windy, and you'll see that moth flitting between trees in the forest. At night you'll see them in your headlights when driving through the woods. I have no idea what biochemistry enables an insect to fly when it's this cold. Perhaps they're temporarily warm-blooded while exercising their flight muscles. In support of this theory, many species of moth have dense fur covering their bodies.
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