Friday, January 11, 2008

Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit

Those of you who have kids, and even those of you who don't have kids but can remember Saturday morning cartoon time, will understand our dilemma with commercials. You know what I'm talking about: "Mama! I want THAT!"

The girls are old enough to know the drill. They ask now more out of habit than out of any real hope. Noah, on the other hand, asks this question at EVERY commercial he sees, and for those 30-45 seconds--with the bright lights and the pretty colors enticing his impressionable little senses--he reallyreallyreallyreally wants whatever it is they're selling. Race cars, Play-Doh, trains, dolls, you name it. The good thing is, there is a Magic Answer that quells all whining, begging, cajoling, crying, and/or tantrum-throwing. The Magic Answer is, "Maybe another day." (Feel free to adopt it; it's not copyrighted...yet.) This Magic Answer works wonders, and to this day Noah has always let it rest after hearing this phrase. I had to teach it to Aaron. He almost fell into the trap--you know the one--the trap of whining, begging, cajoling, crying, and/or tantrum-throwing that can result from, "No," or "You already have too many toys," or "I'm not made of money." I saved him, interrupting from the kitchen in a near panic, "Maybe another day!"

And that's how we get to the Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit.

I first saw this little lovely in a commercial. It caught my eye, and then I moved on. Then I saw the commercial again. "Hello, my friend," I thought, before quickly averting my eyes. This is a commercial for an "As Seen on TV" product! What am I thinking? These things are always cheap crap! Look away! Look away!

And then I saw it again. The real problem was that I have wanted/needed a cake decorating kit for some time now. I don't bake all that often, but I do make my kids' birthday cakes...

(these last two are pictures from the book, but mine looked almost as good, promise)

...and have decorated cookies for Christmas for a few years. In each production, having a decorating kit would have made the process much simpler. Yes, you can use ziploc bags with the corner cut off, but I buy the Wal-Mart brand bags, and when you've had a baggie full of icing burst on your hand, your counter, and your oh-so-precious cake or cookies--especially twice in one decorating session--you just feel the need for a full-fledged decorating kit. And maybe a hammer to beat something with.

Anyway, this is why the Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit just would not leave me alone. It taunted me from the TV, beckoning with its shiny, plastic newness. "Buy me," it sang, "and all your baking fantasies will be fulfilled!" I fell hard. And so I asked for it for Christmas.

When it arrived in the mail, I ripped into the packaging, savoring my new toy. Oh, the joy! The perfectly formed icing bags and tips! The professionalism of it all! Happiness was at my fingertips. Chloe walked into the room and the headiness of the moment engulfed her, too.

"Oh, mama!" she exclaimed. "You got the Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit!" No lie. It was the most innocent product placement I've ever heard. We could have created our own commercial.

"Yes, Chloe. And you too, for only $9.95 plus shipping and handling, can own your own Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit!" *Shiny smile and Vanna White hand presentation*

So what could I do after receiving my cake decorating kit but make a cake? It's not perfect, but it's the first time I've used my kit, or attempted any sort of decorating other than what you saw above. I was pleased.

In the process of basket-weaving. See my fancy cake stand? There's a whole other post coming related to this paint can.

Ooooh. Basket-weave. Prettttyyyy. Ooooh. Christmas lights. Prettttyyyy.

Flower. See the lovely, marbled effect of the red dye that didn't mix in all the way because I was too lazy to mix it all the way? I actually really liked this. I may try it again.

So there you have it, folks. With the Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit, you too can attain confectionary perfection. Not really. But it's fun. And, no matter what it looks like, the cake always tastes good.

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andrea_jennine said...


hoesayfina said...

awesome. your hired! :) Looks wonderful. I do not have a steady hand. I envy those who do. Great work! I have seen that commercial too and wondered if it was a good kit. :)

Jennie Quillen said...

Every time I read a blog of your's I can't help but be amazed at your writing ability. You are an AMAZING writer! Really! Yes, that's MY sister... :-)
Makes me want to go bake a cake, but only if I had the Betty Crocker 100 Piece Cake Decorating Kit.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jennie - I'm (only slightly) more amazed and delighted with your hilarious, clever writing talent than with your wonderful cake-decorating ability. I'm also glad that I never bought you bakery-decorated birthday cakes and introduced you to the pleasures of amateur cake-decorating! What a FUN blog!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Boy can you paint a picture with words! I loved your "most innocent product placement" comment. Aren't kids just like that?

I also liked the marbled effect you got with the flower by not mixing the dye in all the way -- hmm, now you have ME wanting to get the kit.

Keep writing, I love this blog!

Vicki said...

Just saw that commercial & was checking it out on the computer when I saw a blog about it. Thanks for sharing. I'm tempted, as my mother-in-law & husband are always the ones that make the cakes for our special occasion. I foresee that I'd have to practice & practice, but what a tasty idea.

I too admire your writing. I'm an elementary teacher, and am always looking for examples of writing that have bits & pieces of several good writing techniques rolled into one piece to share with children. Good Writing!