Pulling out all the stops.

As soon as I thought of this title for this post, I started doubting myself… do people really say this? Will anyone understand? Thanks to the Internet and idiom checkers, it’s confirmed:

Pulling out all the stops: to do everything you can to make something successful. In this case it included 3 cups of cream, 2 pounds of chocolate, 2 sticks of butter, rum and 7 eggs (not pictured)

I’ve had a hard time with my confidence with expressions from my childhood. On multiple occasions none of my college friends had any idea what I was talking about. I’d say ‘it’s colder than a well-digger’s ass’ in reference to the February weather and get looks like you wouldn’t believe.

Yesterday was a very good friend’s birthday- a birthday that deserved all stops be pulled out. I had recently bought a new springform pan, and so I offered up my cake baking services. Audrey requested a chocolate birthday cake and I found the chocolate cake to end all chocolate cakes in Saveur Magazine. Demel, THE Viennese bakery was highlighted in this issue and included their recipe for Truffeltorte (with an umlaut over the u)- a three-layer chocolate cake soaked in a rum syrup and partitioned with layers of whipped chocolate ganache. This would be my most challenging cake recipe to date.

But before I baked the cake, I had to make a gift. I believe I mentioned in my previous post how I had visited Fabric Depot and had gotten a lot of inspiration… it came mostly from one fabric in particular- a lovely map print of France and its regions. I’m a sucker for maps. Maps are up there on the list of things I love, in between waffles and baby animals. I knew that I needed this fabric, but also knew that if I didn’t have a particular plan for it, it would languish away in a cabinet, perhaps for years, before a suitable project was found to showcase its glory. And so I made a decision, bought supplies and left the fabric store with a bounce in my step and a finished product in the very near future.

I pre-washed and cut the fabric the night I brought it home, and it was finished before I went to bed the next evening. Behold, the Friday Night Apron by Vanilla House Designs. I wanted badly to keep it for myself, but I did the right thing an informed Audrey of the impending gift (vaguely) to ensure I would not try to sabotage her birthday with my selfishness.

Ricrac is my new favorite thing to sew with- it really made the apron pop and was instantly more fun. It makes the finished product more suited to making cupcakes, or a hip cocktail party, rather than making weekday morning gruel.

Happy Birthday, Audrey!
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Filed under Baking, birthday, sewing

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