"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

How not to cut a birthday cake

by Julie Tilsner on July 15, 2008

in Sugar and Spite

There they sat, three kitchen muses, lounging on my couch and watching me with mirth in their eyes.

I glowered back at them. “Come on,” I said. “You can’t be serious. Of everyone in this room, and I’m counting the children, I am the least capable of cutting this birthday cake.”

“But you’re the birthday mom,” said Audge. “You have to cut the cake. It’s the law.”

I looked around the room. “Lynne? Surely you’d like to cut the cake for me. Consider it a teachable moment.”

Lynne shook her head slowly and smiled. “Nope.”


“I really think you should do it.”

“Luke?!” I stared at the father of my children, who stood in the back, enjoying this mightily. “Back me up here, for God’s sake…”

“Sorry. But I’ll take pictures..”

So in the end, dear readers, thus abandoned by those who know better, there was nothing for me to do but dive in and hope for the best.

The ice-cream cake was a tidy little strawberry number from Baskin-Robbins (you think I’d make a cake for my kid’s eighth birthday? I ain’t Pru, you know..). I felt I was ahead of the game by remembering to take it out of the freezer 15 minutes before cutting it, and by having in my possession a cake-cutter once owned by my step-mother Barbara, who could cut a cake to make Martha jealous.

And I assumed that at least one of my skilled Mom-posse would step up to the plate and do the dirty work for me.

I was left to my own devices. Probably for the best there are no photos of the hack-job remains of the cake

At least kids don’t care what form their cake comes in, as long as all the bits are there. Plus a good amount of frosting. And I don’t think Barbara would mind too much that I bent her cake-cutter beyond repair making the first cut. She and Julia Childs are having a great laugh at my expense, I can feel it.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Prudence July 16, 2008 at 12:34 pm

TOO funny!! Lol!! Love your blog!


Kristen July 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm

I am horrid at cutting… can’t cut wrapping paper straight, can’t cut cakes, can’t cut anything and have it turn out pretty. Glad I’m not the only one 🙂


JulieR July 20, 2008 at 6:10 am

Yep, I hear you!
What is it about cutting cakes (or wrapping paper, I suck at that too but it doesn’t seem to hold quite the same significance) that seems to reveal the utter truth that I don’t really know anything about being a mom or a woman for that matter – yikes, scary, hate it! But now I know I am not alone!


kelli July 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Serrated knives…a posse of them will be your BSFF – best slicing friend forever. Oh and maybe a tall glass of hot water! I say this having performed some legendary hack jobs myself. But anyway, no one cares what the cake looks like as long as you’ve got a plate of it, right?! Love ya – see ya soon!


Jenny February 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

haha so right, im the same! great post. http://smokinfiles.com


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