Necessity, the mother of invention…

I don’t know what the statistics are, but I’m wondering if there are more women inventors, than men….probably not, but I wonder.  And I wonder how many women inventors are bakers….or at least started as bakers, well, not even bakers, cake decorators.

I have pictures in my head of walking into a gleaming bright, spotless kitchen filled with shelves and drawers and cabinets and counters……and all the tools that we need to craft a creation made of sugar.  Every drawer would be labeled and every tool would be in its place.  Megan would call out to me from her work station and say, “Mama, isn’t it great that we each have our own workspace and our own set of tools?”…….and then I wake up.

That’s my dining room table, stripped of its brass candlesticks and silk flower centerpiece, and covered with table pads and wax paper.

We started this fondant journey with a normal household kitchen, stocked with normal household kitchen tools.  After being married for 34 years, I thought that I had every kitchen gadget that I could possibly need…and I did, but then I started working with fondant and realized that there was a whole new world of tools that I just had to have.  However, after my husband’s and Megan’s job losses in the last few years, there has been precious little money for anything, let alone buying fondant and gumpaste tools.  It’s pretty amazing, though, what you can come up with when you need to.

For example, most people who work with fondant and gum paste know that you need to have a place for your flowers or figures to dry.  Hmmmmm….it always looks so easy on those cake shows…nice little work stations, with nice little racks for their creations to dry.  Our first encounter with drying gum paste creations was the cake that we made for my husband, Rick’s birthday.  I can only laugh when I think how ambitious we were with that cake.    We sat at the kitchen table and started making the components of a baseball field, complete with each member of our family made from gumpaste.  “Wait, we can’t put these together until they dry a little….wait, where do we put them to dry……hang on a sec……..”  I ran down to the basement and found…..

Tadaaaaa!!!!!  Introducing my styrofoam drying rack…..I scrubbed it and dried it and it quickly became my best friend.

The funniest part of coming up with a new invention is the timing of it all.  Inevitably, it happens when we are covered with gumpaste and powdered sugar.  We start running back and forth between the dining room and kitchen, opening cabinets and drawers.  Then we stop and look at each other with a blank stare born of panic and exhaustion.  You can almost smell smoke as our brains start cooking about what we can do as our gumpaste creation hardens in our hands.  I see now why there are so many reality T.V. shows.  This whole process is probably pretty funny to watch.

Well, I’ll leave you with a picture of my gleaming bright, spotless workspace filled with cabinets, drawers and counters……..

Oh wait….I guess I drifted off again.



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