Best rule of thumb in every area of your life: know your audience. Having a dinner party? Serving Veal Prince Orlov to your vegan friends won’t be appreciated. Giving a speech to a bunch of 6 year olds? You’ll get a lot further is you wear a clown suit over a business suit. But try that same facepaint and oversized shoes with your work colleagues and you’ll get laughs for all the wrong reasons!
I learned this lesson recently when I baked a sweet, somewhat girly looking White Cake with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream. This is one of my favorite spring recipes when the first little strawberries appear in the garden. I usually make cupcakes and top them with one sweet succulent little berry.
This go around, I went for sheet cake for a couple of reasons: less time decorating and easier to transport to a party.
The problem? The party was at a little private social club; think speakeasy with more beards and less jazz.
A some-would-say-illegal gathering of fellow travelers for drinking and dancing is no place for such an innocent little delicacy. For the most part, she was ignored. I had to act like one of those bossy stage moms to even get her noticed. A few kind souls indulged at my insistence, and my dear friend Anne even sought me out to say how much she enjoyed her slice, but for the most part Pink Berry just sat there looking pretty.
So, I packed up the half eaten cake and hauled her out to orchestra practice for Music Matters Live at a rehearsal space in Bellevue.
I set the cake on one of the producer’s tables, with limited utensils and no napkins and then walked outside to enjoy some sunshine. By the time I walked back in 15 minutes later, Pink Berry had been devoured. All the Section Leaders licked their fingers, raved about the flavor and texture and then said, “We’re band geeks! We love treats!”.
I always have tons of fun at The Speakeasy, but I think my pink cake had more fun with the band geeks. And I did learn an invaluable lesson: next time I go to the home of Genuine American Riffraff, I’ll try something soaked in bourbon. Or better yet, just bring the bourbon.