Anyway, this was the year that mom decided to try something new, which is never a good idea when company is coming. She had seen a recipe for making the cake icing with sweetened condensed milk – Eagle Brand. Now, I absolutely LOVE Eagle Brand! My baby formula was made with it – so it truly is like mother’s milk to me. But let me just state for the record… not a good idea for making cake icing.
My cake looked beautiful, but after Happy Birthday was sung and my candles had been blown out, it was time to cut my cake. I vividly remember that when my Mom cut into the cake and pulled the knife across the length of it (it was a 9 x 13 pan) the cake icing pulled off the top of the cake right along with the knife. She laughed it off, said that the knife must be sticky, so she went and got a glass of water and dipped the knife into it. Unfortunately, when she made the second cut the exact same thing happened. I was so embarrassed. Funny how small things seem so momentous when we’re younger. The icing never did cling to the cake; it just laid on top as a completely separate layer.
I don’t remember how the cake tasted, or really much else about that party, only the icing incident. As good of a cook as my mom was – she did have some disasters. Like the time she made a delicious apple pie for dessert when we had company over for dinner. It looked beautiful – but she couldn’t cut through the crust, no matter how hard she tried. My dad, in his funny way said – I have an idea! He went out to the garage and came back in with a skill saw! Everyone thought that was pretty funny… except for my Mom. I think we ended up just having the vanilla ice cream for dessert that night.