Baking and Skating

The day before yesterday I went ice skating at Bryant Park with Ferdinand and my friend and her daughter, and Ferdinand is crazy about her daughter. Crazy in love so much so that to be without her for a minute while she is here is enough to set his heart to breaking and he would do anything to impress her. We got on the ice and he insisted on not holding onto anyone’s hand or to the rail. He has been skating once before for about a minute, but was trying like mad to skate at top speed, leap, and do a few camels on his own.  He fell over and over again, cussing the ice and his mother who brought him there, but still refusing to admit that he needed help and was devastated that his feet wouldn’t do what he wished them to.
I would like to say that I don’t know where he gets that from, except that I do. I remember my first wedding cake that I was hired to do and I had only made one before (an architectural disaster), but I was sure that I could take on the job because I wished it, (effective but dangerous) and so after cooking for days for the wedding, I opened up a book the night before the wedding that had a fair picture of a wedding cake in the middle of it, expecting through osmosis in the presence of the picture to soak in all the knowledge I would need to have the thing stand straight and stay together.

There was a cake the next day that was a sight to be seen, but it wasn’t without tears or years taken off my life and a last minute massive dependence on my friends working with me to make it presentable. And Ferdinand was skating at the end (with the help of at least one hand) and I don’t know if it’s wrong after all to expect miracles in the kitchen or on the ice but practice is a fabulous elf as a means to the end, as long as perfection doesn’t get in the way of moving from practice to opening night.

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