For a lot of people, the arrival of March means spring cleaning, indoors or out. For others it might mean getting Easter decorations ready. For me, it means thinking of an idea for our annual Cub Scout cake auction.
The first time I heard of a cake auction, when my son was a Tiger (the first level in Cub Scouts, for first graders), I thought it sounded rather silly. Why would people want to bid extravagant sums for a cake? I’m a very practical person, and if I want a cake I make one, or buy one at the store if I’m in a hurry or want fancy features. Some of these cakes do get fancy, but they’re also very obviously made by amateurs.
I do like being creative, however, and welcomed this as an outlet for my creative ideas. There are just so many things you can do with a cake, a knife, a can of frosting, some food coloring, and an assortment of candies in various shapes and colors. My imagination always exceeds my ability to actually put my ideas into an elegant and edible form, but I enjoy the process. And I hope to raise a decent sum for the pack as people bid on my creation.
Here is this year’s effort, a Dragon Cake.
I would have liked to figure out a way to represent fire or smoke coming from its nostrils, but short of inserting birthday candles and lighting them, I couldn’t think of a way to do it that didn’t remind me of a toddler trying to shove a Cheeto up his nose. I also thought of suggesting we place some decapitated bunnies near its head (there being lots of bunnies in the stores right now), to give an indication of its appetites, but thought better of it.
I learned that:
- Cake is easier to cut when it is frozen – but the hand holding the cake while you cut gets really cold.
- Rice Krispie treats can be molded into interesting shapes, but you have to wait until it is partly set. Then you’d better hurry before it’s set too much and no longer very moldable.
- It’s hard to make a Rice- Krispie-treat-head hold its mouth open. Fortunately the teeth, made from the white end of candy corn and stuck on with extra frosting, propped it open just enough to see the teeth.
- Chocolate-covered graham crackers make great decorations. The ones that break the wrong way make delicious snacks.
- It’s hard to find fruit snacks that look like jewels. (I used Fruit Gushers.)
- It’s even harder to find those gold-foil-covered chocolate coins if you didn’t save any from the holiday season. I finally ended up using plastic play money. (These and the “jewels” are the dragon’s treasure.)
People look at things like this and tell me how creative I am. I found myself wondering, this evening, how being creative fits with being an ISTJ, a personality type that never seems to have the word “creative” in its description, except when accompanied by words like “not” or “dislikes.” My ISTJ nature comes out much clearly in my desire to pay no more than I have to for a cake, but feeling also the responsibility to support the pack by bidding more than I would like (I was high bidder on a basket of brownies and a brownie-mix-in-a-jar).
Next project: come up with creative ideas for this year’s Cub Scout day camp…