Friday, February 8, 2008

And I'll Eat It, Too.

Today was the best day of the year at my kid’s school, Cake Day. The PTA raffles off a whole whack of donated cakes, which generates a ton of excitement, as well as money. (We usually make around $1700 for the day; its our biggest fundraiser of the year.) This year we got 170 cakes donated, and in a school of 400 kids, that makes for pretty good odds. I think the kids like it better than Christmas. I know I do.

The Loudshoes house did okay, with Thing 2 winning a “Princess Party” cake, which delighted her no end. She was pretty excited for a kid who doesn’t like cake, but Cake Day, I realize, is all about the getting and not so much about the having. It is all gooey and sugary, with candy and gobs of icing and a plastic tiara and scepter. She was thrilled to have won it. Thing 1 did not win anything, but she wasn’t too disappointed because her sister’s cake will be all hers shortly. This is a shot of her prize:
Those blobs down at the bottom right corner are Ring Pops, diguised as "jewels", and not alien's eyeballs.

The kindergarten kids get a couple of cakes just for their class, because they have a morning and an afternoon class, and the morning kids would be gone by the time the cakes are given out at the end of the day. Also, the kindergarten kids each get a cupcake, because they really don’t get the concept of a raffle, and are forlornly disappointed when they don’t win everything they put a ticket in on. (I think it’s a “teaching opportunity” for A Valuable Lesson On The Evils Of Gambling, but other people disagree and just give them a cupcake.)

Some people make incredibly detailed, imaginative cakes that must take hours to assemble. Once there was a huge cake made to look like an incredibly real bowl of spaghetti, and another which was made to look like a sea-monster. (Thing 2 won that in Grade was bigger than she was.) Lots of people just buy stuff to give away. Here at Chez Loudshoes, we recognize that the looks of the cake matter much more than the taste of the cake, and we organize ourselves accordingly….Bulk Barn cake mix is the order of the day, and it’s all about the decorations. Here are our efforts:

Thing 1 made the Valentine's cake, and Thing 2 the St. Paddy's Day cake. Those shamrocks on the top of Thing 2's cake enchanted Toby, and we had to put it in a closet overnight.

I’ve warned my kids within an inch of their lives not to put tickets in on our own cakes…. If we are going to consume an entire cake, I’d rather it be a good one we can make ourselves, rather than a Loblaws cake with edible oil icing. Besides, it’s a lot cheaper to make a cake than to win one. One kid this year won his own cake again, about the third time he’s done so. If I was his mother, I would kill him.

One year, there was a cake that clearly the dad and the kids had made because the mother was out, or left or something. It was decidedly burnt on one side, it listed badly to the left, the icing had slid off almost entirely and the whole two tier affair was about an inch high. And some brave soul had put a ticket in. I had to admire the effort, at least that went into that thing, even if the results were less than stellar.

Around this time of year, it is nice to have a diversion from the regular routine. Cake Day fits the bill nicely.

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