Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why I Didn't Bake a Birthday Cake for my Mother-in-Law

I was supposed to bake my mother-in-law's 80th birthday cake. We had a small family party planned for her today and I volunteered to bake her the cake of her choice (she choose carrot cake). I found a really yummy recipe and my initial plan was to bake the cake layers at my house earlier this week and transport them to Austin for icing and assembly. It was going to be a lovely cake that would not just taste good, but look good too.

But then I ended up spending every single night (except Friday) working late. And when you get home from work at 9:00 pm, the last thing you want to do is to start grating carrots. No, you want to have a glass of wine and go straight to bed.

So I moved to plan B. I would bake the cake early on Saturday morning in Austin. And I prepared accordingly. When I got home from work on Friday and started to pack, I packed half my kitchen. Or at least it seemed like I did. I had three cloth shopping bags filled with everything from flour to cake pans. I brought my mixer. I brought parchment paper rounds to line my cake pans. I brought every single thing I thought I would possibly need to successfully bake this cake.

I had a plan.

Unfortunately, the universe also had a plan and its plan did not involve measuring flour and sifting confectioner's sugar. It's plan involved my husband waking up at 3 in the morning with severe abdominal pain which sent us to the emergency room here in Austin. Several tests and hours later, we were told that he had gallstones which had decided to take up residence in the neck of his gall bladder and our ER doc was going to be talking to a surgeon who would decide whether he was admitted to the hospital to have said gall bladder removed or if he would be released to have the surgery done quickly after we got back to Houston.

Thankfully he got released. We did get to celebrate his mom's birthday with the rest of the family and thanks to my son and daughter-in-law, there was a carrot cake. On which I put the candles I had brought from Houston, the only item I had brought for my cake-baking which got used.

Hopefully tomorrow morning we will head home to Houston. I've already emailed our family doctor requesting a referral to a surgeon. I'm just hoping we can make it back without having to go to the emergency room again. But right now, I just hope he can get some good sleep tonight.

And that's why I didn't bake a cake for my mother-in-law's birthday.

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