wild iwonderbee weekend

Last week, I was functioning on pure adrenaline and very little food, and even less sleep.
Today, the adrenaline has left my system and I.am.tired.

Oh but it was all worth it. 🙂

We’ve come to call these kinds of weekends the iwonderbee weekends. Typified by an insanity streak to do the largest amount of tasks in the shortest amount of time, setting oneself the greatest amount possible of challenges and working within the craziest amount of constraints. It isn’t that I purposely set out to do it, but I seem to find myself in these situations where an idea grows bigger, bigger and bigger and because I get so pleased with the concept mushrooming in my head, the determination to execute it becomes more and more entrenched till it will bug me to no end until I finish the project.

Anyway…the story…about the wildest iwonderbee weekend we’ve ever had. 🙂

*****

Saturday March 5 – DD’s birthday party was scheduled for Sunday March 13. She’d asked for a chocolate horse cake, and to the best of our abilities, we were going to make that for her. Since we started experimenting with making the kids’ birthday cakes a couple of years ago, we’ve never looked back. In itself, the planning, conceptualizing and making of is fun.

The only challenge was, as you remember, we’d moved house. We had no kitchen.

I called up the carpenter and begged, pleaded, negotiated in very broken (and probably highly amusing) Mandarin to have the oven installed ASAP. Broadly, he said there was no way it could be ready, and then somehow through the tangled mixed Mandarin and English, he said “Your countertop won’t be ready for another week or so.”

I pounced immediately on that last statement.

“Did you say countertop? Just the countertop? Oh la la, I don’t need a countertop! I just need the oven installed! Can I have the oven, just the oven?”

He must have thought I was out of my mind, but maybe that made him take pity enough to agree. Good enough for me! I lost count of the number of times I repeated the date, March 10 and made him promise and promise and promise over again that it would be done. 😉

*****

Tuesday March 8 – It is a loooooong day at work but I rush home as fast as the public bus will take me (which is not fast enough!!!).

Anticipation built to a crescendo, I jump off the bus steps, brace a 100m dash home in high heels, fly into the lift counting the floors impatiently, rummage for my keys and scratch hurriedly at the door lock, before falling into the kitchen and exclaiming, “Oooooh! My oven! My oven! My oven is here! Yippee! Hurray! Thank God!”

But…where is the plug point?

*****

Friday March 11 – It’s taken three days to get the electrician but the plug point is installed. Finally. The oven works. Hallelujah!

But here comes the next spanner in the works. DH and I have been shifting boxes about till 2:30am every night to locate the box with my baking tools. It’s tiring work and it’s been unfruitful because the box just can’t be found.
We’re both exhausted from lack of sleep. And I am sad.

Two hours later at 10:30am, I pull up my socks. I need to make a chocolate horse cake for my daughter. And I shan’t give up without a fight.

I sms two of DH’s aunts and one kindly offers to pop by in the evening with her electric mixer, mixing bowl, measuring spoons and a square baking tin. I ring DH and we plan to make a stop at a baking supplies store a couple of train stops away from home, after work.

At 6:35pm, I walk in to the baking supplies store and start checking off all the things I need to buy, while waiting for DH to arrive.

It bothers me to a fair degree that I will have duplicate tools after we finally unpack and locate the box. I don’t like spending extra money, but it is what it is.

The store owner is friendly and helpful, and the light-hearted conversation helps diffuse some of the stress I’ve been bearing. He listens sympathetically to our story and patiently points us to all the things we’ll need.

After handing over $69.05 for an assortment of tools and ingredients, we sink into the car and drive home to pick up the parents and children to get dinner.

*****

Saturday March 12
8:30am – Bright and early start! The first cake does not rise. It comes out as flat as a pizza delivery box, and that is probably a good description of the state of my heart. Aiyaa…

So, round 2. Whirr up a second cake. In total I’ll need two 8-inch squares so I’ve got my work cut out for me this morning. When the mix is ready, I realize I forgot to buy a spatula. Oh well, I reach for the rice cooker scoop. It’s white. It’s plastic. Which is all the resemblance it has to a spatula.

Hm. It’ll have to do.

It doesn’t do very well. Gah.

I also realise I forgot to get skewers to test if the cake is done. We decide to make the best of a bad job and use a fork instead.

11:45am – The cakes are cooled. I put them in the fridge to cool and we head out to get some lunch. We still have a full day ahead of chopping, cutting and mincing for the rest of the menu. 

10:30pm – The kids are asleep and I start sifting the icing sugar for the cake frosting. Because I couldn’t find my recipe book, I downloaded a recipe off the internet. I hope it works.

12:30am – It doesn’t work. At this kind of consistency, that ain’t no frosting, that be pancake batter. Drat.

DH, bless him, zips out of the kitchen, saying that he’s going to try opening up more boxes to find my recipe book. Fifteen minutes later, he appears at the kitchen door, waving the book triumphantly.

It was in the first box he opened! Praise God! But it’s really late and we’re both too tired.

There is a Chinese proverb that goes “Tomorrow will be better”.

Yes. Tomorrow will be better.

It’s time to wash up and sleep .We have to be up early for church tomorrow.

*****

Sunday March 13
9:00am – I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about the many things that have to be done, but for what it’s worth, I have learnt through many experiences with my Lord to know that if I put Him first, He will take care of everything for me. So I will worship, and I will listen to His word.  The sermon message befits the situation – our pastor calls us to be still, and look to God.

11:30am – We head to a nearby hawker centre for lunch. It’s cheap and fast and easy to find parking. Lunch is done by 12:45pm and we’re off home for the marathon ahead. I’m raring to go. 🙂

4:15pm – The alarm on my phone rings, and we’re only part way done.

DH, my mum and I feel like contestants on a hybrid of Food Network Challenge and Amazing Race! All of this is complicated by the fact that we don’t have complete sets of utensils and only an electric multi cooker to conjure up our menu with. 

And hmm…at 4:30pm, we realise no one thought about what we were going to serve the food in. Oops…heheh. More scrabbling around in boxes to find crockery! 😀

The good news though – kids have napped, DH’s done a fantastic job of frosting the cake, party favours are packed, games resources are prepped, two dishes are done, one is midway and the fourth is on its way to starting (once we mince the garlic). Whoo hoo!  We’re on the home stretch!!!

5:30pm – All the guests have arrived.

The kids are playing. DH has their collective attention on the game at hand.

I arrange the table while mum puts the finishing touches to the last dish.

It is finished. Happy iwonderbee.  🙂

The cake!

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5 responses to “wild iwonderbee weekend”

  1. The Brother says :

    Nice cake. You could always use sharpened disposable chopsticks to make skewers. That’s what we do. And duplicate tools aren’t too bad a thing. We’ve got pretty much two of everything – whisks, spatulas, measuring spoons, icing implements. It’s the sign of a baker…your DH certainly does more than me though. I only eat.

    • iwonderbee says :

      Thanks 🙂
      That’s a good tip. But how would you sharpen it, and to what level of fineness…like, wouldn’t you get splinters from the disposable chopsticks? I didn’t mention the full gory details on the blog post because it would have made for a couple chapters but amongst the other limitations we were working within were that we couldn’t locate our one solitary available knife for half a day. Used table knives to do our cutting….don’t think that would have made the cut (pun accidental).
      Anyway, to date we’re still unsuccessful in locating that box. Have been thinking I might as well invest in my own proper electric mixer since my currently missing one was a hand me down. You guys got any suggestions for what’s a good one but reasonably priced?

  2. The Brother says :

    I used a kitchen knife to sharpen the chopstick. It should be all right and have no splinters. Alternatively, you could use toothpicks, which is the same thing really.
    You may as well invest in a good stand mixer rather than a hand mixer, as they’re better for baking – two free hands rather than just one. They don’t come cheap though and a Kenwood would be a good investment. Kitchenaids are too expensive and just pretty things doing the same job.

    • iwonderbee says :

      Toothpicks too short lah…oven is so hot, I don’t have iron hands 🙂 Yeah, have been thinking of getting a Kenwood…pricey pricey though!

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