So, assuming from the handout I had that you could just swing on by any time in the two hour time slot, I got Ethan up from his nap a little early and headed over to check out the last 40 minutes of play group to see if it was his sort of jam. I feel like at 8 months old, it's about time Ethan started learning to play with other kids more often than just seeing his cousin once a fortnight.
Of course, once I got there I was still allowed in, but I learned some very important things:
1) You have to sign up for this play group. Holy exclusivity, Batman!
2) There is a waiting list for this play group.
3) The first rule of play group is: you don't talk about the play group. (Only kidding...but that's what this felt like!)
4) If you show up more than half an hour late, the cranky receptionist gives you the stink-eye and a condescending warning. Do this twice, and they kick you out: end of discussion.
Talk about intimidating you out of even wanting to come! But I figured I need to make an effort for my boy. I can't have him being a social pariah with crippling awkwardness. Granted, I don't think he'll give off the nerdy loner vibe, but I don't want my kid to be a five-year-old Mr. Darcy when he goes to Kindergarten! So, having signed up for the waiting list, we went back to the room where play group was being held.
|Making friends during the last activity!|
The other first today was one for me: baking an ombre cake. Yeah, I decided to get on the trendy Pinterest-obsessed bandwagon and try one of these.
|via: Eddie Ross blog|
First problem? I had only one egg of the 3 I needed. Oops. Solution? Replace 2 eggs with golden syrup in egg-sized spoonfuls. Crisis averted, I quartered my mix and added the red food dye in sufficient quantities. With a little tweeking, I had the vague sort of fading effect I was after.
|Not entirely what I need, but pretty close|
Huzzah. I was nearly ready to chuck it all in by this point, when I came upon Solution Number Two: I snagged two plates and re-formed my crumbling cake mess into two approximately 9" layers. I bunged them in the freezer to set so I could frost everything without ripping it to even smaller shreds. Lesson learned, I greased my pans the second time around and got mostly intact layers with minimal crumbling.
|This looks creepily like raw ground beef...|
|via: Not So Humble Pie|
Basically: 5 oz cream cheese; 3 oz softened butter; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 3/4 cup icing sugar; 100ml chilled double cream. Whip these all up and you get what I got...though perhaps for next time I'll try to get it a bit fluffier.
I pulled my chilled cake layers from the freezer and got to work. Turns out, chilling the cake was the way to go: I only had minimal crumb contamination in my frosting, even on the smooshed-together layers. Keeping the frosting at room temperature helped, too: it's easier to spread that way.
|We're getting there...|