I’m invited to Dr. & Mrs. Smith’s dinner party on Thursday evening. He’s heard I’m a good baker so he requested I bring the dessert. I’m substituting at school all week so it has to be something seasonal and easy because time is a factor. I decide on a pumpkin spice cake with a Grand Marnier cream cheese frosting. I can mix, bake, cool and ice it in just the amount of time I have between getting home from work and being at the party by 6:30. I shop during my lunch break and begin the baking process when I get home. The timing is perfect. I take the cake out of the oven and place it on my bistro table to cool while I go to the bathroom for a quick pee.
When I return to the kitchen I am aghast at the scene before me, so much so that it takes a few seconds to register in my brain. Anne is on top the bistro table, gobbling up the cake so fast that crumbs are flying and the other dogs on the floor are catching them in midair. When she sees me she scurries off the table straight into her crate. Holy Shit, it is 6:00 PM and the entire top layer of the cake is demolished – and I’m talking in nanoseconds. Had I been even 10 more seconds in the bathroom the entire thing would have been gone. I am so pissed I can’t even speak, and she knows it that’s why she’s hiding. I slammed the door on her crate without saying a word. What to do now? I have to tell them.
I text Mrs. Smith because it’s easier than calling: “Forget the dessert, Anne ate it. Sorry”. I’m so embarrassed I don’t even want to go. How the hell did she get up there? A bistro table is tall enough to be cocker-proof and I always shove the chairs all the way in to prevent table surfing. I assume she jumped on her crate and leaped three feet across the room and onto the table. With the aroma of pumpkin filling her little nostrils, apparently she just could not resist. Sigh. . .
My cell rings and a man says: “Hi Karen, this is Bob.” I say hi not having a clue who I’m talking to, as I’m still in cake shock.
“You know I used to use the same excuse when I was in medical school and late turning in a paper - the dog ate it.” What? Oh, it’s Dr. Smith.
“Oh Bob, I am so pissed off, sorry about the dessert. And I just sent you a photo to prove it” I say.
“I have a terrible sweet tooth, bring what’s left of the cake and I will eat it.” Of course I think he is just being nice and trying to make me feel better. But no, he insists that I bring the remainder of this gnawed out spice cake. I hang up thinking he can’t be serious. I then get a text from his wife, “he’s such a sweets whore, bring the cake. He will eat it.” Okay, so I take the cake.
Dr. Smith meets me at the door and immediately grabs a bite of the spice cake as I set it down on the counter with the icing container. “Wow, this is really good and it doesn’t even look that bad. Maybe we can fix it?”
Mrs. Smith gets a large glass platter out of the cabinet and we flip the cake out of the bundt pan onto the plate. We begin working with the icing, filling in the sagging areas - a little lopsided, a bit flat but not too bad considering the bottom half has been gutted like a slaughtered animal. A finishing touch is needed to complete the art piece we have created. Something green for the top like a few fern fronds, voila! I must say it doesn’t look that bad, but do we dare serve this dessert?
|After the Repair|
Serve it we did! Even before we finished our salmon entree Dr. Smith had the cake out ready to cut pieces for all of us, making sure the icing filled any obvious holes on the plate. The guests went on and on about how moist the cake was – maybe Anne left some slobbers? When I left the party there was only a sliver left on the platter. No one breathed a word about a cake-eating cocker spaniel named Anne Banane. Who knew? Only the three of us, and the dogs at TBTB - and they aren’t talkin’! Mum was the word.
Sweet-Tooth Anne is now out of the doghouse and I’m wondering when she will strike again - leaping tall tables in a single bound, or bouncing like a ping-pong ball looking for something to grab off the counter and run. She’s an opportunist and when the situation is right for snagging food, she is all over it. It’s the smell of something cooking in the kitchen that drives her. But who can stay mad at a face that looks like this? Anne Banane you are both exasperating and hilarious!