My sweet obsession
Last year, a friend asked if I would make her husband’s 75th birthday cake for a party she was planning for the following June. Bonnie knew how big, the flavor, and the basic idea. I had just about a year to think about it. I went home and searched through some ideas and tucked them away in case she called again, closer to the date.
It was to be a golf theme. She wanted me to re-create the 8th hole of the golf course where they lived. Now, I know absolutely NOTHING about golf. It never appealed to me because it is outdoors in the heat, with bugs, sunburn, and lots of walking – not to mention carrying around those clubs. I’m not lazy by any stretch, but I prefer my free time to be spent in cool air that is insect-free, and usually in a seated position.
Okay, back to the cake. I was so nervous about this design because she was specific about the hole. I’m thinking contours, sand traps, and water – oh my! I asked her if I could visit the course to get a feel for the layout. I met with her and we walked the hole. It was big (at least by my standards) and it had a water feature and several sand traps. It was surrounded by pine trees and had a lot of slopes and contours. I was stumped. I didn’t know how I was going to get everything (to scale) on a cake that was less than 8 feet long! I spent the next few days mulling it all around in my head and decided to focus on the hole itself, not the entire green. Bonnie wanted the name of the golf course, a marker post (inside joke), and a little humor. And I also needed to get his “75” in there somewhere.
To make it obvious that it was a golf hole and to help get in the required elements, I constructed the cart & clubs, a blue heron (the course is Blue Heron Pines), and a gopher (Caddyshack humor). I put “8” on the flag and added the marker. The sand trap locations helped to define the 8th hole. An argyle pattern added tradition to the cake sides and it was finished off with a caricature of the birthday boy and a banner that read “75th Gene McCann Birthday Classic”.
I wasn’t sure if the cake looked too cartoonish or not, but it did hit all of Bonnie’s requests. I delivered it and left before the guests arrived. The best part about creating cakes is how happy they make the recipients. Thankfully, Bonnie and Gene were pleased, and it helped to make their celebration special. I only hope I am half as active and attractive at 75!
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