So, why am I philosophizing? Let's just say, in a nut shell, I've really been struggling with my desire to want to "cake" lately. It's not that I don't still enjoy the creative process, it's all the other "stuff" that comes up. For example:
"Your cakes are expensive."
"I know I'm late in calling, but I need a cake tomorrow."
"Well, I can go to (insert big box store name here) and get a cake for a third of that price."
"What do you mean you're already booked that day? Can't you squeeze in my order?"
And, the latest and, up to this point, the best:
"You ruined my reception! How can you not be willing to accommodate my order less than a week from my wedding?!"
Mind you, not everyone that I encounter is like any of the above examples. In fact, most of the people I work with are amazing and I LOVE working with them. They understand that the product they get from me has been given personal attention - baked and designed specifically to fit their needs and that it's not something that can be whipped up in mere hours.
But, somewhere along the way, for lack of a better phrase, "the politics" have started to really wear me down. Not to mention that there are some days when I really struggle with helping other people celebrate while I put my life on hold. Caking is often times another full time job, after my regular full time job, for me - sometimes I'm very hard pressed to fit in much of anything that I really WANT to do. It's becoming more and more of battle to choose the cake over the alternative option (i.e. having a personal life and some down-time).
I don't want to give up creating cakes and other goodies, I just need to figure out a way to balance everything and keep the "negative Nellies" from having such an affect on me. My solution, whether temporary or permanent I'm not sure yet, is the following:
- A lighter cake schedule. Yes, this will mean saying "no" more often and will probably cost me a few orders and/or customers, but my happiness is ultimately more important. (Judge if you wish, but first walk a mile, or ten, in my shoes.)
- One weekend each month where I have ABSOLUTELY no cakes or other baking scheduled. See above if you need further explanation. *smile*
- Refraining from accepting orders that would require me to scramble to complete them. This means if someone wants to place an order with less than a week's notice, well, it ain't gonna happen. I do have a "two weeks notice" policy for custom cakes - if an order comes up with more than a week's notice but less than two, then I'll decide at my discretion. What this means for clients - Don't be a procrastinator!
- Kindly telling the "negative Nellies" that I can't accommodate their requests. I do what I do. If you aren't comfortable with it, I'm afraid we wouldn't be a good match for creating a confection together. There are other options available that will possibly be a better fit, no hard feelings, promise.
I tried out three - the original, as a control, the bright green option, and one that was more of a cream cake. The winner? The cream cake option. It had a good crumb, was fairly dense, baked up well, and had the best key lime flavor of them all. Yay!
Winner, winner = front cake in the photo above. The green monster (upper right), which I didn't care for at all, placed last. And my current recipe (upper left), obviously, took the second place spot. And, yes, I realize the edges on my "control" cake are slightly burnt. I may or may not have been watching as closely as required while it was baking...
Oh, by the way, if you were offended by the first part of this post, that wasn't my intention. Hopefully, it won't prevent you from visiting again.
Talk to you soon!