Monday, October 18, 2010

Day #4 in Honduras -- the cake decorating!

When I left Trish's house on Friday evening, we had not yet decided how to best transport the cakes from their house down to the place where the wedding and reception would be held (the Mount Horeb Ecotourism Center). I thought (and worried) about it most of the evening. When Allan came to pick me up on Saturday morning, though, I was informed that the cakes had already been moved to the reception site without me!! Yikes!!! Fortunately, all my worry was unnecessary -- Trish and family had safely moved the many layers of cake (4 round layers, 2 half-round layers, and four sheet cakes) to the reception site, and everything arrived intact -- yay!!

I can honestly say this was the most unusual place I've ever decorated a cake -- an outdoor pavilion! Here are a few shots of our set-up/work area.

We were even provided with "gringo-friendly" bottled water for the icing.  No point in getting any of the Americans sick from the wedding cake!!

After getting the first batch of icing mixed, the frosting of the cake layers began.

One by one, the layers were iced.

They don't look like much at first.....

But as you start to get the icing smoothed and the layers assembled, it begins to look much better!

Three layers high and counting!

When the trim is added (or at least begun), the cake finally starts to get that finished, "pulled-together" look.

One of the local girls wanted to supervise!  I'm not sure she quite knew what to make of all us of "gringos" fussing around with all this cake and icing!

Even the bugs wanted to try some of the cake and icing.

Then the local "cake inspectors" arrived!!! Just kidding -- my sister Trish and her daughter Kirstin arrived to check on the progress AND to bring us lunch -- YAY!!! We needed a break and some good food.

Rachel, Kirstin and Trish

The local ladies worked on the food steadily throughout the day and kept a watchful eye on our progress.

They cleaned, washed, and chopped an enormous amount of vegetables throughout the day -- they were extremely busy.

Here you can see a bit more of the decorations.  The cake is finally starting to look like an actual wedding cake!

And when the flowers are added, it starts to look complete.

A close-up view of the finished bottom layers.

Bottom and upper layers nearly completed.

The cake topper was placed on the cake so we could see how it would look. We decided it would need a bit more decorating the next day after the cake was fully assembled.

My neice, Rachel, was a huge help.  She's really good with all sorts of domestic things, and learning how to ice and decorate cakes was right up her alley!

I showed her how to smooth the icing on the cake; she caught on super-quickly and was able to really help speed up this task.

Here she is, working on the upper layers, while the local girl is still checking out our progress!

Later in the day, I showed Rachel a few basics in cake decorating, and after she practiced a bit on a spare cake pan, she was ready to try it on a real cake.  She took on the task of decorating the sheet cakes!

This is really good for a first try!

I gave her some extra pre-made flowers I'd brought along, as well as some edible glitter, and she went to town with the decorating!

Here's some of her results!  They look really nice!

The scenery from the location was spectacular.  It's amazing I got anything accomplished at all, as I kept wanting to look at the view of the surrounding mountains, the sky, and all the plants around the pavilion.

There were a good number of chickens, geese and turkeys that wandered around the facility (and occasionally THROUGH the pavilion while we were working on the cake!).

The enclosed pavilion where the wedding service would be held.  Later that evening, it would be decorated with curtains in the windows and flowers galore!

These are dormitory-style rooms for groups that stay at the center

Another view across the fields and up to the mountains.

The pavilion where we worked all day.

A close-up view of the flowers around the pavilion.

So pretty and so unusual looking.

After finishing the cake, I was driven back to town by the brother of the bride.  It was a very interesting drive, as the number of English words he could speak and understand was approximately equal to my limited number of Spanish words!  We were able to discuss the "bee-oo-tee-full" mountains and the fact that he plays guitar and likes to sing, and that I play the piano and my daughter plays violin!  Another fun "discussion" was the condition of Honduran roads --  Me: "Roads bumpy; BAAAAAD!"  Him:  (laugh) "In America?" Me: "Roads flat" (with hand gestures to show smooth roads).  Him:  (laugh) "Go VERY fast??"  Much of this was communicated through gestures, so it was pretty silly!!

Later in the evening, I had dinner in the hotel restaurant with my parents.  There was a small convention going on in the hotel, so the restaurant was actually fairly busy, and it rather overwhelmed the staff.  It took quite a while for our dinner to arrive, so the staff brought us this appetizer to eat while we waited.  I can't remember what it was called.  It looked pretty strange, but it tasted VERY good!  There were beans and onions baked into a rather soft, almost chewy, bread or dough, and then there was a dip (possibly sour cream) to dip them into.  Delicious!

And this funny dessert??  They called it "tiramisu", but it definitely didn't look like any tiramisu I'd ever seen!  However, again, it was quite yummy! 

And then it was time for bed.  It had been a long day, and we were planning to leave the hotel the next morning around 8:30 or 9:00 to get ready for the wedding!  Time for a shower and some sleep!

Next post -- THE WEDDING!!


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