Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What the Hell Does Oprah Want Now?

I just got my a** handed to me.  Seriously.  This was one crazy season.  And you, my one follower, if you are still even out there, thought I deserted you.  Hell no.  Remember, back in the day when I was all big and said I had 10 cakes in one week?  Oh, I was so young and dumb then.  To say I was naive would be an understatement.  The monkey and I, we were going on 10 a day sometimes this year.  Ha-ha, yeah, 'tis true.  But we made it, my pastry cook and I.  Sans a dishwasher who thought a cup of salt in some cranberry walnut cookies was really not a big deal.  Oh, and one other that believed yes, I was his personal taxi and lunch maker with not a whole lot better to do.  And here we are-many AmEx charges and Starbucks coffees later. So let's look back at some of the highlights of the season, shall we?

We started out with 450 5-item gift tins.  Thank you Mr. Michaels-you rock.  Throw in a couple of wedding cakes and a few hundred cupcakes at the same time and you got yourself an all out fiesta.  p.s. I was definitely crackin' some Coronas.

Let's add in a couple hundred more gift tins and a cake that I glued to the table-by mistake.  And you know it was tall and right before I walked out the door with it. And a monoply board that told the story of the birthday boy's life.  Thank you that our intern was up on the game.  Oh yes, and the baby who had the lactose free cupcakes is still up and running, literally.  Kudos, kudos.  And Parisian macarons by the hundreds this year.  Don't leave out all of the chocolate mousse cakes, buche de noel, and brownies for Snoop.  What?!  And all those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or cake just because-thank you for including us in your special day.  Now, if you can just take the aforementioned, and multiply it by 6.  Can you feel me?

I will continue this craziness because one day I will be sitting on a beach, in the winter, with people who winter on beaches.  And when the phone rings, I can look at it and then toss it aside, wondering what the hell does Oprah want now?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

AT&T You Suck

Oh AT&T I was so delighted
A new small business
Who wouldn't be excited
Two phone lines you said
And the internet too
What you said- 
I said
And now?
And now -
A big f#%& you!
(To me)
It's been a year and a half now
On my third sucky plan
To change anything is impossible
I'd be better off talking through a can
Never any managers
Or history of my calls
Telling me that I have a great plan
You people sure have balls
So maybe you won't talk to me
Passing me around for over an hour
So here's my little present to you
With your great big telephone towers
Every month I write a check to you
With a look of disdain on my face
That's my hard earned money 
You pieces of s$%&!
Do you know how many cookies I have to make?!!
To pay for no customer service
(That one really pisses me off)
And a plan that I hate
But have no way to change 
Because there's never a boss
So thank you AT&T
For all that you've done
This is my way of repaying you
And it sure has been fun

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sugar Monkey-10 months in the life

Ten months have past since my last post.  I feel like a deadbeat dad.  Or like Lindsey Lohan's dad who only shows up when it is convenient for him.  So what can I do but grovel and give you my list of excuses for not showing up.

1.  Why I missed Thanksgiving - Again, I am so sorry you had to buy that pie at Costco.  It won't happen this year, I promise.  I was very busy in November.  The West Palm Greenmarket was in full swing and I had an order for 500 favors along with all of the holiday tarts and cakes.  My favorite was a gingerbread torte with caramel pears and orange confit.
2.  Why you still haven't recieved your Christmas present - A. I really didn't even have time to get you one, but I knew what I wanted to get you!  B.  Gift baskets, gift baskets, gift baskets, and yule logs, and Parisian macarons topped off with a few holiday parties!  Can't wait for the chocolate yule log this year.  I love the little chocolate decorations that adorn them!
3.  No kiss on New Year's?  Don't be jealous.  I was asleep before the new year was even rung in.  I knew I would have one slow week the first week of January to try and catch a little shut-eye before everything hit the fan!  And then lots of individual desserts, cupcakes, and favors out the wazoo!  Loved the tiny blue Parisian macarons filled with chocolate ganache.
4.  Oh, my sweet sweet Valentine - Please tell me there is no explanation needed here!  And a box of the handmade white chocolate mendiants will have you lovin' me all over again.
5.  What the what?  And then it just over the top even busier.  There were more parties and more special occasion cakes and wedding cakes and the magic hat cake with the bunny rabbit coming out the top and favors and Passover and Easter was right around the corner.  Chocolate mousse cake with layers of chocolate biscuit and a little sack of monkey mallows was the perfect treat for Passover.
6.  Why I missed your "Come Celebrate Spring" party - Are you joking me?  At this point I didn't even care about your party. Sorry Spring!  As a matter of fact, if you weren't coming to the Sugar Factory, you weren't seeing me!  
7.  Why I missed your wedding and I told you not to make me the maid of honor anyway - Yeah, that could of been the day that I got yelled at by a bride for ruining her wedding day by not covering her cake with fondant.  Yeah, I might have started drinking right after that phone call!
8.  Woohoo season's over-summer's here - You didn't get the memo, huh?  Yeah, no, June-big month for weddings.  And grooms's cakes-like the set of drums we made to match the ones the groom played!
9.  Why I never showed up for the fireworks or my suprise birthday party - A.  Was making a Louisiana Hot Sauce Bottle cake-over 2 ft. tall!  B.  Magic Hat Wacko.
10.  And again I stood you up!!  I was out of town, I swear!

And there you have it - like I was never even MIA!  Talk to you soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Friend's Bad Day

A friend of mine recently started making cakes out of her home.  I'm a little visa commercial kind of jealous, I'll admit.  Rent on a commercial kitchen-$2000, taxes and fees owed to the state and county and city governments-$1000, electricity-$500 - cost of owning your own business-priceless( or a lot of freakin' cookies)!  And maybe it's legal in Ohio-even if you have two dogs.  Who's to say?! 

But I don't have to deal with some of the little problems she has to.  Take for instance the fact that she has to do everything herself.  She is her own dishwasher, baker, and finisher.  I do all of these myself, too. But I have a HUGE three compartment sink to be my own dishwasher in and all she gets is a little 'mom' automatic dishwasher.

She has to get five 10 lb. bags of sugar at the store.  I can get one 50 lb. bag of sugar and carry it to the bin all in one shot, flour too. 

Since she works out of her house, she also has to be doing the laundry and cleaning at the SAME time she is baking. When I am baking, that's all I have to do.  I get to wait until I get home at night or for my day off to do the laundry and cleaning.

She only gets paid in cash AND she doesn't even have a bank account.  Poor her.  It must be a real nightmare for her come tax time.  With my business account and my financial records, tax time for me is a breeze.  The government knows exactly how much to tax me.

And I have never had a bad day like she had a bad day the other day.  She had to deliver a two tier shower cake about 30 minutes away from her.  She used to work for a very busy bakery.  So even though she works out of her house, she has transported a lot of cakes.  I would be more scared of finding a dog hair in one of her cakes than of her not safely getting a cake to its destination. But this time when she got to the house and opened up the cooler !!!! two pieces of cake laid where there once was one. This has never happened to me.  Only because I am lucky. Like I said about her-dog hair.  What did you do I asked her.  She cried she said.  It was the only thing she could do-the break was so broken.  We all carry repair kits, but for small rips, not pothole size gashes.  You did NOT let the client see you crying I asked.  Annoyed, she answered me that this was no speeding ticket that she was trying to get herself out of or something to make her husband forget the $500 pair of shoes she just got 'on sale.'  No, these were real tears, big crocodile ones that wouldn't stop.  And again I am lucky here because I probably don't have feelings that run that deep.  And then, I asked, trying to keep my phrases limited so as not to annoy.  The client took the cake. They wanted to eat it (nobody is passing up broken cake!) even if looking at the cake was not that pleasant.  My friend offered a refund as there was no time to make another a cake.  The client told her to refund everything except for the cost of the ingredients.  What?  Did I just hear you right I said.  Even though I'm all Visa kind of jealous of my friend I was a little taken aback.  I would rather offer the whole refund than just the cost of the ingredients.  If I go to a restaurant and I get a flaming disaster of an entree they would comp it, right?  They wouldn't tell me I have to pay for 4 oz of chicken, 1/2 of a potato, 6 oz of butter(just checking to see if you were still paying attention), etc...And if I told you the ingredients cost 25% of what I just charged you, would you believe me?  Probably not, so it's best if you just take everything back. I told all of this to my friend.  What happened?  My friend told her how much the ingredients cost and yes, the client said she would pay it but no she couldn't believe that's how much the ingredients were. My friend sent her a check for the whole cake.  It's a win-win for my friend.  She said that way at least when she's telling all of her friends what happened they know she got all of her money back and that my friend uses really good ingredients!  So no matter what kind of jealous I get at her that is why she will always be my friend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Travel Coffee Mugs and Other Things

I do not like travel mugs.  I don't like the way coffee tastes out of them.  It takes on a very uncoffee like flavor that takes away half of the reason for drinking it.  But I really like the way my husband looks at me as I walk out every morning, 3 bags loaded down with far too much crap, a purse, car keys dangling, and a coffee cup filled to the brim covered in saran wrap.

I do not like gummy candy.  I don't like the way it gets all stuck in your teeth.  I just like to watch other people eat it, especially kids.  They're smiling away, whole bears stuck between their teeth.  Oh, to be innocent.

I do not like fake salt or fake cheese or fake people.  Fake meat I can do.  Fake animals are good if you are going on vacation and you don't have anyone to watch them.

I do not like all those quizzes people take on Facebook.  Can't we make just a seperate quiz page for all of the quiz takers?  That way they can discuss amongst themselves the truth to the fact that yes, purple is the exact color they thought they were all along.  Or yes, they always had fashioned themselves a Charlie's Angel even if everyone else was thinking Ninja Turtle.

I do like some things.
I like cake scraps.  Sometimes I make cakes just to eat the scraps.
I like puma sneakers.  They make me feel cool yet comfortable.
I like to barbeque.  I like the way it smells.  It reminds me of families.
I like to watch The Office.  It makes me feel like a way better boss.
I like to make cakes.  They make people happy.
I like to puppysit and babysit and housesit.  It makes me appreciate what I have.
And I like to blog.  It makes people laugh and smile.  But mostly it makes me a little less crazy inside.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If My Fingers Were Cakes....

This was one crazy week.  And seriously, if my fingers were cakes, I would have mousse and buttercream dripping all over my pretty Sunday dress.  Lucky for me it's Monday.  

I made ten cakes this week.  Granted, as I write it now, it doesn't sound like much.  But if you were in my movie...  Saturday of the week previous to my craze, I had only three cakes scheduled.  One wedding cake on Thursday, one crazy Hawaiian themed cake for Saturday, and one baby shower cake for Sunday.  By Saturday evening, I had added three more cakes to my repertoire and by Tuesday, the final four fell into place.  

I delivered my first cake on Wednesday.  It was a  pretty cool cake because it had the face of the person's birthday on it.  Depending on your feelings about your own beauty, this may not work for you.  He was a pretty dapper fellow, though.  And if his looks didn't impress you, his layers of chocolate cake with cream cheese and raspberries would've had you begging for more.

My second cake was the Thursday wedding cake.  Hey, I got married on a Monday afternoon, so I thought it sounded like a brilliant idea.  This cake was for a couple of tattoo artists.  Really cool couple with great business cards and loads of tattoos.  I got to see them on their wedding day.  Her dress was so beautiful and showed off lots of tattoos-super cool.  Anyway, I was totally stressing this cake because of their artistic level.  Seriously, their tattoos are crazy.  I'm not talking tweety bird and mickey mouse here.  And hey, wouldn't it be cool if I got a crazy cake tattoo?  I did ask them that.  They might have left my place and said - 'okay, did we really just give that tool our money?'  But not to worry, the cake made it to the wedding on time, in one piece.  Every chocolate and cream cheese bit of it.  Odd though, I still have not heard from them.  Hope it wasn't anything they ate.  

Now you see what's happening here-I have eight cakes to go and we are already to Friday.  I delivered four chocolate mousse cakes (that sounded breezy, right?) and then moved on to my biggest project for the week.  This was a Hawaiian themed birthday cake.  It would be covered in blue buttercream, surrounded by waves, fishes, palm trees, a lei, have a hula girl and a sandy beach with shells.  I had been making the decorations over the previous weeks for the cake.  This timing always works out better in my head than when I actually execute it of course.  This cake was a pretty big deal for me.  The gentleman who purchased it was a very nice man and trusted my judgement. Yes, I was a little miffed myself!  He was excited about the cake and every time he told someone about the cake, they couldn't believe he had paid me in full, he hadn't tasted the cake, he didn't know me, etc.   Were these 'friends' of mine he was talking to?  And they would offer up suggestions for cake flavors.  We did end up with a quite a tribute to the Aloha state.  The bottom layer was lemon cake with vanilla cream and pineapple confit.  The top layer was chocolate with toasted coconut buttercream and macadamia nuts.  I have since heard from this gentleman and he and all of his friends were quite pleased.  Didn't have to lay a golden egg after all. Although it might have felt better than a whole cake, hmmm.

The last three cakes went by so fast after all the other ones I hope I delivered the right ones to the right places.  Actually, still haven't heard from any of those people either.  So either they did eat cake like the lovely wedding couple.  Or the guy celebrating his 50th was having just a little too much fun to notice a 'lovely baby bump' on top of his pink cake.

You can check out all of these cakes on our facebook fan page. And add your fan photos if you have them!  If you are interested in ordering a cake, contact us now!  

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Neighbors are a dying breed, don't you think?  Yeah, you say, if I live in a neighborhood I have neighbors.  No, that just means you have people living next door to you, around you.  I am talking about people that you actually like, that you don't mind knocking on your door for a cup of sugar, or brandy.  Someone that can see you at 6 pm on a Sunday, in your pajamas, still hungover and not judge you.  And will still have no problem with you watching their kids!  Those are the ones I am talking about.  
Haven't we all lived in apartment buildings where we had no idea what the people living around us looked like?  Unless they knocked on the door and asked us to turn the music down?  In one building, I knew the dog's name, but could never remember the owner's name.  I saw them every day, always together. I was too embarassed to admit I thought the dog of more consequence than his owner.  Or developments where you see the people living next to you and you wave and you say quietly to yourself please don't come and talk to me today.  Although in those same developments I sure could put together stories about those people I wished away. 
But I have to say, I am neighboring in a couple of 'hoods now.  You see in one of them I have made myself an honorary neighbor.  It's okay. It didn't have to go before a board or anything.  You know, I really don't feel it necessary to discuss it with them at all.  I am totally sure they are fine with it.  They're all so cool and there are so many couples hanging out.  They probably don't even know it's not my 'hood.  I think they are all just like who's that, she's so cool, she must be from right down the street.
And then there is my real neighborhood.  Where I thankfully do not get in quite so much trouble!  For once in my life, I have real cup of sugar neighbors.   Wonderful people that are just like family, in a good way!   Who else can I borrow raccoon catching dog food from and catch a opossum instead?  And yeah, they did laugh at me when I told them, but I didn't have the heart to tell them it was their defective food.  And who else's dog will run into our yard to do his business?  Hey, perhaps more than I know, right?  And there was that little incident with the squirrels hiding the peanuts.  Let's just keep that one in court where it belongs.  But they love the treats I make!  And everytime their daughter comes in the house she always says-'what's cooking? It smells great in here.'  And sometimes, there's a knock at the door and waiting on the other side are all of their smiling faces with homemade pasta and sauce, a salad(with dressing on the side!), and bread and butter-and all my worries fade away!  Until of course I hear them calling for the dog again to get out of my yard!