Thursday, December 13, 2012

Entry #66 - Guest Spinster Special - The Bake Off

Gus settles in to help with the blogging...

I love you, Amanda Marshall 

I met Amanda Marshall (no, not that one) a couple of years ago at my friend Anna's birthday, and it was love at first bite...and sight. Not only did she make exquisite cupcakes (chocolate, banana butter-cream, I recall peanut butter), but she was also one funny bitch. In addition, at the time she was a Spinster with multiple married siblings and a whopping 12 nieces and nephews, ergo she trumped me in the Spinster Hierarchy; a rare and impressive feat to be sure. She was my Spinster Superior.

Needless to say, we hit it off right away, and even though she is no longer a Spinster I have been looking for an excuse to force myself upon her for years. The golden opportunity finally arose when, (on the night of the Unicorn Slayers) she jokingly said I should come to Vancouver and bake a cake with her. Now, Amanda Marshall is a cake wizard (see picture below), so I swiftly and deftly turned that just-kidding-ha-ha invitation into an actual date. Sound familiar, men I have dated?
I understand accurate copyrighting about as much as I understand non-disclosure agreements,
but I feel pretty good about slapping "Amanda Marshall: Cake Genius" across this cake.

And so it came to be that one month after Anna P's birthday, I packed my little blue suitcase and headed to the big city. Even though I grew up living only 40 minutes from Vancouver, I always feel like a little Spinster in the big city while I am there. I arrived downtown a little early, so I decided to partake in one of my favourite spinster sports for a few hours: Suit Watching. I grabbed myself a tea, sat myself down in a high traffic area, and commenced the ogling. Men in well-cut suits make me very, very, happy; as happy as a straight man at a Victoria's Secret Fashion show. A number of years ago I visited New York City with my friend Kristen, and she had to take me by the hand a few times as I wandered off after a number of particularly handsome men in a suits; "shoes match belt...cufflinks" I would mutter longingly, "I know sweetheart, I know" she would reply as she led me away. Where was I? Oh, right!

After my two hours of suit watching, it was time to meet up with Amanda Marshall for the festivities.
My visit ended up having a distinct "sitcom" feel to it, as you are about to find out...

As soon as Amanda  Marshall and I arrive in her parking garage, she gets a call from her room mate, Liz, saying some guy just buzzed up and was Amanda expecting anyone? Turns out an acquaintance of Amanda's, whom Liz had never met, had arrived to pick up his Big Lebowski themed birthday cake. This was a fun surprise for Liz, who pictured some murderer making his way up to the 9th floor in the style of Criminal Minds. Amanda and I arrive upstairs, and we go through every possible combination of introductions needed for Liz, Big Lebowski and I to be properly acquainted. Then we all move on to awkwardly discussing how awesome the cake is, in the way that only recently acquainted people can, because this is the way of the sitcom.
You're welcome, Big Lebowski. 

I should mention that the first thing I noticed about Liz was that she was rocking an awesome high (loose) side pony, which in my mind denotes an immediate Spinster Seal of Approval. Oh yes, Liz. We are going to get along just fine.

After Big Lebowski leaves with his amazing cake, "don't drop it!" (helpful spinster advice), I decide to change into leisure wear so I am ready for cake making. Amanda Marshall does the same, including slippers that are blue terry cloth flip flops that were part of her Halloween costume(Energizer Bunny). Liz is already in her leisure wear, but has yet to pull out "Rumple" Crumpstein, her beloved leisure sweater. He would make an appearance later though, which no one was opposed to.

After opening some wine and eating some cheese, the magic commences...woah, déjà vu...anyway, we listen to(sing loudly over) a medley of Disney music, we drink wine...and Kahlua. We taste test everything, multiple times, for quality control purposes only.

In loving memory of Amanda Marshall's white iphone, which was lost the next night when we were out dancing. Spinsters party hard. 
Once the cakes are in the oven, and the buttercream frosting has been coloured  a perfect Tiffany Blue, we take a few minutes to relax with our wine. It is at this point that a downstairs neighbour arrives for a visit with her two adorable dogs, Jack and Charlie. Wine fueled lady banter ensues, because this is the way of the sitcom.
Spinster Friday night, mixing up some frosting and hanging out  in front of the fireplace with an adorable dog. 

When the cakes cool, we commence icing. At this point we have been drinking for a while. Even Amanda Marshall is nervous as this is her first go at this particular technique. She, Liz and I all take turns reading the instructions aloud on the ipad and then staring at the cake. Eventually, Amanda Marshall goes for it; she makes it look easy, so when she offers me a turn I give it a try. If you look closely in the pictures you will see where my work's the part that looks like it was completed by an intoxicated toddler.

I was pretty impressed by the final product, it was the most beautiful and impressive cake I have ever made. Conversely, it was no even in the same league as the best cakes Amanda Marshall has made. I feel like there is a larger metaphor for life in there somewhere, something along the lines of me being "one man's trash", but I'm not sure I want to pull on that string.

In the morning, Liz makes us berry pancakes, because of course she somehow intuitively knows how this girl feels about pancakes. The downstairs neighbour, her boyfriend, and the dogs all join us in their pyjamas (the people, not the dogs), because that is the way of the sitcom.

I had a pretty great time, and in the near future I plan on inviting myself back to Vancouver to hangout with Amanda Marshall, Liz, her side pony, Rumple, the neighbours, their dogs, and some wine.

Thanks, Bitches.


  1. OH MY GOD. Best Spinster Aunt EVER...Though I may be biased. I am sitting at an internet cafe in Kenya as we were monsooned upon and missed our connection to Uganda and am just enjoying this little gem now. No better way to cheer up a sun burnt, mosquito bitten white minority in Africa than this blog. I wish you were here drinking (god awful) wine and getting stared at with me! Mwah!

    1. Friend! Lord knows if I was in Africa with you we would be getting stared at even harder than you are getting stared at thanks to my uber white skin and gingery hair, know what I'm sayin'? I am glad you enjoyed your diary entry :) (even though it is not possible that you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being at your place and baking that cake with you!)
      Take care of yourself, you know spinsters always slather themselves in sunscreen...