THE CREATIVE PROCESS-PART ONE

Ah! The ebb and flow of family…

One thing -you cannot control—OTHERS!

I learned that my cousin, Joyce, is pulling up her

Los Angeles, California roots and moving to Texas.

Fun memories shared as kids flash through my mind….

Feelings of loss.

Then, after a while, I realized her move is an excuse to travel and visit!

Ok, I understand completely.

Her loving and DEAR and SO LIKEABLE husband, Phil,

Is from the “Lone Star State” and where his large family lives.

Everyone gets older…. KIDS, GRANDKIDS… you get the picture…Sigh!

Bottom Line-

Wanted to host a cousins’ gathering and create a centerpiece cake

That will express my love for them both!

WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO GET THIS CAKE READY TO DISPLAY

AND ULTIMATELY— EAT?

 

WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF THE (MY)- (AND YOURS TOO!) CREATIVE PROCESS?

This question took a bit of THOUGHT and TIME to answer!

My steps were:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Design
  3. Inventory
  4. Time Schedule
  5. Presentation

The main purpose of this part of the writing is

to share my mind with you as to how I designed JOYCE AND PHIL’S CAKE

STEP ONE: INSPIRATION

According to GOOGLE, inspiration is defined as “the power of moving the intellect or emotion.”

Dear Reader-what inspires you?

The sources of your inspiration could be family, hobbies, artwork, fabric…

In my case–FACT-Joyce creates stained glass art.

Here is an example of her work.

When is see this sample, so many ideas run through my head…

Do you suffer from “creative barrage”?

Me too!

Then I think…

I also want to include Phil and his Texas in the design…SOMEHOW.

My mind goes to Johnny Cash singing “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

Research!

NOPE!

Find out that the yellow rose is not state flower of Texas…

Texas state flower is the BLUEBONNET

So, now I am thinking of colors, stained glass, flowers…

I LOVE FLOWERS…SO

I eliminate the term” Lone Star State” and stars from the neurons in my brain.

Why? Too many elements!

More Research!

Looking at stained glass history, Tiffany lamps, cake images, books, videos—

This process for me takes TIME!

You NEED TIME to digest possibilities and

You NEED TIME to formulate a design.

 

2.) DESIGN (CONCEPT)

A design (concept) takes into consideration the “underlying logic,
thinking, and reasoning that will lead to choices such as color, size” of cake,
presentation….

I MUST ADMIT…  the research is the EASY part.

For me, TURNING INSPIRATION INTO MY OWN UNIQUE CAKE DESIGN is

the most difficult step of the

PROCESS of getting a cake ready to ultimately serve and eat!

DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT MY MIND HAS TO GO ALL OVER

THE PLACE BEFORE I SETTLE DOWN!

This IS part of the creative process. I know, I know. “Be kind to myself”  my mind purrs!

After some deliberating in my head off and on for

HOURS, and quietly talking to myself…(Do you do this too?),

I decide the following:

I want:

  • a tiered cake even though there will only be ten guests.
  • the cake to be high enough to be the table centerpiece.
  • to include the Texas Bluebonnet and stained-glass motifs.
  • to prepare my Banana Cake with Butterscotch Praline Filling because
    it is different than chocolate.
  • to use fondant because I need to make the cake ready the day before
    because I am also making the main courses for dinner.
  • to use fondant and will need the cake out overnight
    BECAUSE I WANT TO PAINT THE CAKE, I need to ganache the cake
    before I cover the cake with fondant.
  • to make THE LEAVES FROM GUM PASTE because gum paste floral work
    takes MORE TIME THAN ROYAL ICING
    to dry and construct (for me),
    to make THE FLOWER out of ROYAL ICING WITH WIRES
    because more steps though shorter drying time…
  • To display the tall and upright shape of the HANDMADE TEXAS
    BLUEBONNET, I decide to create three tiers.
  • the two top tiers to be dummy cakes topping off the bottom real cake.
  • to use scrap fondant to test color combinations…
  • to use Joyce’s artwork shown above and the color wheel as guides
  • to select blues, oranges, and bluebonnet shades (bold color contrast)
    and shades of green for the stained-glass impressions.

  • to select greens to enhance the leaves and because green is neutral
    foundation for the flower.
  • to use a glass pedestal for displaying the cake to create more height for the
    centerpiece cake.

WHEW! Lots of decisions and now time to take

3.) INVENTORY OF NEEDED SUPPLIES AND INGREDIENTS
Here are the questions that I ask myself about the time that is left before
the gathering….

  • Do I have time to make the fondant rather than purchase?
  • Do I have the wire and meringue powder to make the flowers?
  • Do I have enough handmade gum paste in the frig…
  • Do I have enough ingredients for the cake and filling?
  • Do I have praline in the freezer or do I have to make it?

Dear reader…you get the idea!

AND FOR ME, THE NEXT STEP ALLEIVIATED MUCH STRESS…I CREATED a

  1. WRITTEN TIME SCHEDULE

Here’s what I included in my schedule questions to myself:

  • Remember that I am hosting the gathering, so I must create the table,
  • prepare the main courses-

(other cousins are bringing hors d’ oeuvres, sides, games….)

  • I write this out by hand with a column for each day of the week
  • And list times and/or goals needed to be completed for each day…
  • The party day schedule gets re-written in larger notes so as
    to time food in and out of the oven for serving and
  • whatever else needs doing…such as making the caramel ice cream!

The final step is fun because part of my time schedule includes a sketch of the table:

5.) PRESENTATION

  • Set the buffet table with neutral linens to emphasize the cake colors and
    the desserts.
  • Use natural greens as “florals” so as not to compete
    with the cake floral.
  • Have beverage station ready as well.
  • Remember to take pictures or have someone assigned (I forgot to put this
    on my list!)

          RELAX AND HAVE SOME SANGRIA!

My cousin and her husband were very touched and appreciative of my
cake efforts and shared pictures on Facebook with family…

Everyone loved the cake…!

Even the cousin who does not eat CARBS had two pieces!

THE PARTY WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!

I rested for a whole day after!

COMING SOON-

                                   HOW TO EAT A CAKE-PART TWO

How I changed (using math) my Banana Cake Formula

to figure out how to have just enough batter for four- seven- inch cakes!

Warm regards,

Chef Susan

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