While the second round of cakes was in the oven this morning (I baked a first batch yesterday afternoon), I stepped out into the back yard with some coffee and a book. I moved a chair into the shade, and glanced up to see a tree spirit keeping an eye on me.
After they woke to a house headily scented with vanilla, the son and the fiancée went off to a family softball game. Her mother has done a wonderful job of organizing activities all week so as to keep out-of-town guests entertained. Tomorrow is Lake Tahoe day. Friday is the rehearsal dinner. And Saturday is the wedding day!
The daughter arrives late tonight, and our small family will be complete. After she gets some much needed rest, the two of us are going to start making batch after batch of swiss meringue buttercream icing so that we can get the cake tiers individually decorated and ready to be refrigerated so as to set up completely before Saturday morning. A friend of the son has kindly loaned us a second Kitchen Aid mixer so that we can make two batches of icing at a time. Let me amend that: so that the daughter can make two batches at a time. When she was eleven years old and I had my restaurant, I taught her to make Swiss meringue buttercream. Some might consider that a form of child abuse; I thought of it as increasing the productivity of the kitchen.
So once again, we’ll increase the productivity of a kitchen. While the tree spirit watches over us, the daughter will plop chunks of soft butter into bowls of whirling meringue as I mortar together layers of sweet cake that will be cut and served in celebration of the marriage of two magnificent young people.