Friday, April 11, 2008

A Thank You, and Giving in to the Demand

I want to say a big Thank You to Joansie, for these wonderful gifts!

Back in December Joansie posted that she had joined a "pay it forward exchange", and I signed up for the exchange with her.

This week I got a package in the mail with a note saying it was the PIF gifts and an early birthday present.

The package included a wonderful grey ribbed scarf that she knit with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, 6 note cards she made with her own photos, and bottle of eucalyptus Eucalan (I had actually been wanting to try this, but they don't carry that fragrance where I buy mine) and "Things I Learned from Knitting" By Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

I think the book, specifically was a birthday present, because Joansie and I will be meeting up in Northampton, MA later this month to see Stephanie at Webs, and I had told Joansie I planned to buy her latest book there at the signing. Now I will have the chance to read it in advance.

For Faye, Lisa, and Tammy who are awaiting my PIF packages, I am working on it, but they won't be ready for a while now... too many gifts OTN at the moment.

As for giving into the demand:

Yesterday Joansie shared a picture of her Easter Bunny cake that she makes annually, and explained that she started the tradition as a young mother who really wanted to impress her children. Although I have no children it reminded me of a scenario in my life, and I left this comment on her post:

I love your Bunny cake. When I see you at Webs remind me to tell you the story of the "alien" cake I made once, and the years of trying to out- do myself that followed. (it's way too long for a blog comment!)

Today I recieved an e-mail, and this was it's entire content:

Not Fair!!!! How can you leave a story (comment on Joansie's blog) like that unfinished! I demand you blog the story of the alien cake!!!!

As I had written my comment to Joansie I had thought of blogging the story, but decided against it, as I can not locate photos to share. I guess I'd better reconsider that decision. So, here it is:

My brother Gerry, and several of his friends were huge X-Files fans and some where around season 3 or 4 started having a party to get everyone together to watch each season Premiere and Finale as they aired.

For the first party I had promised to bake a cake, and as I was mixing the batter I decided I wanted to do something to tie the cake in with the theme of the evening. I ended up grabbing some green food colour and some Oreo cookies and made a green cake with dark brown veins running through it. I used a simple chocolate icing, so the cake looked quite normal before it was cut, but a bit shocking once you saw the inside. I called it the "Alien Cake" and thought it was a fun touch, but nothing more.

When it was time for the next party I promised to bring a dessert again. It was a busy week for me, and I decided to buy cookie dough, and bake cookies just before the party so they would be fresh (if not truly home made). The day before the party Gerry happened to mention that his friends had been so impressed by the alien cake, and couldn't wait to see what I made this time.

Suddenly the simple sugar cookies didn't seem good enough, and in a panic I rushed out to the local paty supply store and gathered up a bunch of junk that I hoped to fashion into something that gloriously represented the spirit of the show. Here's what I got: Two disposable serving spoons, two disposable serving sporks (a spoon with a fork like tip), chocolate chips, a heart shaped cookie cutter, an alien head candle, and a disposable shell shaped foil cake pan.

I went home and, once again pulled out the green food colouring. With that , the cookie dough, and the chocolate chips I was able to squish the heart shaped cookies into alien heads. While they baked I took the plastic utensils (limbs), foil pan (torso), Alien head candle, and some silver fabric and fahioned a hollow alien in a space suit. When the cookies were cooled they went into the foil pan from the back of the alien. The whole contraption was then flipped onto a parchment lined cutting board. A scalpel was laid aside the alien, and at the party we cut into the Alien's chest (the foil pan) and opened it up to reveal the cookies. I was amazed that I had successfully pulled off my "Alien Autopsy" serving dish!

Then there was the next party.....Two a year for several years. Each time I felt the need to out-do myself from the previous time. I can't even fully recall every dish I made for these parties, but I seriously racked my brain each time.

I know I made an alien head cake, and I cleary recall my favorite one:

The Roswell Crash Landing cake: Based on the popular story that a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in the 1950's, I started with the Grand Canyon Cake found in this humorous cookbook, it's a five layer cake, each layer a different colour, split down the center after assembling and frosting. The different coloured layers are supposed to represent the different layers of the earth's stratosphere that are visable in the Grand Canyon. After I split my cake down the center I inserted a UFO I had molded out of chocolate. There were also marzipan aliens lying injured at the scene.

For the series finale I was asked to make a series of sculptures based on the show, one sculpture for each season! I won't even get into desribing them, however, I have asked Gerry to try and locate some of the photos, since I can not find any of mine. So, perhaps I will be able to share photos at a later time. I have no idea where the actual sculptures are these days. I think most have been damaged beyond repair since then.


Joansie said...

Brian,you must find those Bet people love having you at their parties as you are so creative.

Witchypoo said...

OMG! I must see photos of your alien cakes - the autopsy one sounds awesome. We used to get together with friends for season finales and play X-File Bingo using the 'common' phrases that seem to pop up in every show.

Nice PIF pressies too!

gerry said...

OK- i've found a few photos (non-digital), will see if i can get them posted somewhere this weekend.

No photos of the autopsy cake yet, but i'll keep looking- i'm sure i must have put them "in a safe place" so i wouldn't lose them.

i *did* find some great photos of your sculptures- and the actual Tooms sculpture lives on on my bedroom windowsill to this very day!

Lil Knitter said...

That was a great PIF/Birthday package. Congrats!

I would love to see your creations...I sure hope Gerry can find some photos. I once made a Spongebob cake for my was pretty awesome if I say so myself. I might even have a photo of it somewhere.

*If word gets out...people are gonna want you to start making them cakes.*


KnitWithTammy said...

ROTFLMAO!!! That is too cool!

You MUST find those photos!

Oh, how I wish I were going to WEBS with you and Joansie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Yarn Harlot! Would love to see her in person, she is so witty! (Plus, I would just LOVE to see WEBS in person! drool . . .)

Nice gifting too. ;)

LizzieK8 said...

I'm so glad I harassed you into blogging the story! It's great. I so appreciate someone that takes and idea creates something from it! And I love "themed" things. Congrats on your creativity! Can't wait to see the pictures!