Once upon a time, in a former life, I was a professional cake decorator.
I enjoyed it, and was very good at it. But decorating professionally is a stressful occupation; clients and customers can be demanding, and most professional decorators are perfectionists. It can also affect your health, if you do it for many years – you basically stand in the same spot, in basically in the same position, doing very repetitive motions, for many hours a day. My career spanned nearly a decade, and I wouldn’t go near a cake or turntable for years afterwards.
Now, having said that, I’ve decided in recent years that cake decorating is a really fun hobby. I don’t eat cake, of course, but see no problem with a great, big sugary treat for a birthday if you can tolerate the occasional dose of gluten and refined sugar (to say nothing of the artificial colorings), especially if the person celebrating the birthday is a child.
Recently, we were talking with a friend whose daughter turned 3 yesterday about the party she was planning for the little girl. She had a problem because the little girl had asked for a tractor cake – our friend’s parents have some land, and her daughter is fascinated with Granpa’s tractor. The problem was that other than a cheesy cake from a grocery store with a plastic toy tractor on it, she was having trouble finding a tractor cake – especially one that might appeal to a 3-year-old girl.
So I came to the rescue.
And I haven’t had this much fun with a cake in a very long time.