No One Paddles Alone

In the beginning there was an idea, and the idea took planning and materials, lots and lots of materials.

As they say on Good Eats, here is the software:

As mentioned previously, there were 39 boxes of cake mix, 39 boxes of pudding,18 bags of powdered sugar, 6 bags of marshmallows, 2+ gallons of oil, 13 dozen eggs, 3 bags of brown sugar and two XL containers of cinnamon. In addition to that there were 6 pounds of M&Ms and 9 pounds of fondant.

And here is the hardware:

My dear husband was kind enough to cut out each of the boat-shaped boards and all of the dowels I needed for support.

I knew this project was just too big for me to take on alone, so I enlisted the help of Kiley Skor who was gracious enough to help with the baking and with the assembly. So after two weeks of baking, we had a mountain of cake that was barely contained on my dining room table:

We stacked and frosted and frosted and stacked:

Then it was time to carve the cake. This is definitely one of the scariest points of making a shaped cake. It is easy to cut pieces off, but terribly difficult (if not impossible) to put them back on if you make a wrong cut. But this is also one of the more exciting points as the weeks of hard work finally take shape:

Then we come to my favorite part, the decorating. In an effort to try to avoid creating a large, brown blob, I decided to try marbling the fondant to get a bit of a wood grain effect. So Kiley rolled and cut the "planks" and I assembled them on the cake.

Voila! A covered cake!

Then Kiley had to leave and I was left to finish the project and bring my vision to fruition. A few more hours and a few more details later and it was finally starting to come together. I love the way the nail heads really brought the planks to life.

I initially tried a new technique involving piping the logo and freezing it and then transferring it to the cake, but after that failed miserably, I ended up having to re-do the River Church logo late on Saturday night. But I actually like the way it turned out much better than it would have had the previous technique actually worked!

Finally it was time to deliver the cake. I mentioned previously that one of the scariest moments was carving the cake, well that was nothing compared to having to actually move it. I had visions of the entire side falling off or having to stop so fast that the cake slid off and smashed into the seat (which really wouldn't happen because of the structure inside the cake). You really never know what can go wrong when trying to transport a cake. So again, with the help of friends we were able to lift the cake into the back of the van and off I went.

I was so excited to see the final cake come together with all the pieces. It was almost exactly what I had envisioned all those weeks ago when I first had the idea!

Happy Birthday to the River Church! I love doing life with all of you and it was my honor and privilege to offer this small token of my love and appreciation.

It is true that we are not meant to go it alone, and this was no exception. Thanks to God for giving me the talents and abilities. Thanks to Kiley for all her help... it would have taken me days to accomplish what she helped me do in just a few hours. And thanks to my wonderful husband who patiently allowed me to tackle (and pay for) this project.

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Sacramento, California, United States
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