My dad was 80 years old when he retired this January!  He had practicing medicine in Titusville, Florida for 35 years but had practiced in Egypt before he came here in 1971.  Anyway, we had a great party and a huge turnout but this cake was almost the death of me but not for the reasons you might think…

I thought I had planned pretty well for the size — I bought large cake pans, cake boards and even a large cooling rack and cookie sheet to move the cake layers.  I measure my freezer drawers to make sure the cakes would fit if I made them ahead of time.  They were large enough. But when it came time to wrap the cakes and put them in the freezer I realized there were these metal hook things in the middle of my freezer drawer for the ice box and the cakes would not fit with them in there!  DH, help!  He took his pliers and bent one back.  They fit!  Phew, one obstacle overcome! Good things to plan for when you’re thinking about making oversized cake and you’re just a hobby baker!

The biggest obstacle of all came the night before the party when I had planned to cover the cakes with fondant after the kids went to bed.  Up to then, I had been using Wilton’s MMF recipe.  The problem was that this recipe is not that soft or pliable to begin with AND I had accidentally used only half as much water as I needed so that fondant was a bear to knead (since then I have been using Jessica Harris’ version of Rhonda’s Ultimate MMF and its just lovely).  I needed about 5.5 lbs to cover the bottom tier and I had to take small pieces at a time and work them out with a lot of shortening to get them to roll out properly in one big piece. But that wasn’t the big catastrophe.  Right about that time my son who was about 15 months started screaming.  He ALWAYS sleeps through the night. ALWAYS.  But this particular night he seemed to have some gas/stomachache and he was pretty much screaming ALL NIGHT LONG.  I couldn’t help my husband with him until I could at least get the fondant on the cake tiers which took a while (because it was so tough) and my husband was getting a little miffed with me.  DH rarely gets miffed with me.  Anyway, I got the fondant on by the hair of my chinny chin chin and took shifts with my husband for the rest of the night soothing my son.  Of course, my son was fine the next morning.

I finished the decorations on the cake in a sleep deprived fog the next morning and then put that massive thing on no-skid shelf liners in the trunk of my car and drove an hour to the venue.  It never moved.

Anyway, cake was beautiful (not perfect) and everyone loved it.  My daughter, Sophia, was very proud because she got to decorate the necktie and write my dad’s name on the pocket with edible food marker.

By the way, I have a great template for a lab coat that I made myself for that top 10″ square tier.  I will be sure to add it here at some point.

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