My family and I talked a lot over Christmas about Daddy’s fruit cakes. His yearly project meant we would hear many times just how he was going to make it, we would have to admire the ingredients as he laid them out on the counter, and when his edible work of art was complete we would have to sample it. And we did.
But Daddy was not the only cake baker in that house. Mama’s pound cakes are well-known to family and friends. Because of recent health issues she hasn’t made one in a while but she will and we’re waiting. Mama never needed a holiday to prompt her to make a pound cake, although production ramped up during special occasions. There always seemed to be a half eaten cake on the counter and another in the freezer, usually heavily wrapped and labeled “okra” to keep us from getting into it.
A few years ago I asked Mama for her pound cake recipe. I love those cakes and thought it might be a good idea to learn to make them. Mama gave me the recipe and admirably hid her shock that I would attempt to make a cake of all things. Just scrambling an egg presents me with a challenge.
“Follow the recipe and you can’t go wrong.” Mama said.
Daddy asked, “You never made a cake before?”
“No.” I said, “But I’ve eaten enough to consider myself a professional.”
“I bet a dog won’t eat that thing when you’re done!” Daddy laughed.
I listened to Mama’s baking advice, bought all necessary ingredients, went home, and began to follow the recipe.
No I didn’t.
I can’t remember exactly how I altered the recipe and I didn’t plan to, but those tiny details became so tedious. My first mistake was to say I even wanted to bake a cake at all. More mistakes followed.
I thought if a little sugar was good then a little more was better. Butter is nice so extra butter should be nicer. The notion of needing to add the eggs “one at a time” (which the recipe noted and which Mama stressed) just seemed silly. In they all went together. I don’t recall how long the cake was to bake but I thought if I increased the temperature by just a little bit then it should cut down on the cooking time. Finally, I learned that there is a difference between baking powder and baking soda after all.
When the cake was done, or so I assumed, I took it out of the oven and realized immediately that it didn’t look just like Mama’s. I was sure it would still be delicious.
The few parts that didn’t stick to the pan slid onto the plate rather nicely. I eagerly tasted a piece of my first pound cake.
Once I stopped choking, I called Mama. Daddy answered the phone and I described my results.
“I told you that thing wouldn’t be fit for a dog to eat!” He laughed again.
“Did you follow the recipe?” Mama asked when she got on the phone. I could hear Daddy still laughing in the background.
“Mostly.” I lied.
“Well bring it over here and let me look at it.” Mama said.
I pieced the cake back together in the pan to make it “pretty”. When I got to Mama’s, she and Daddy were sitting in the yard. I walked up to Mama and held the pan full of butchered cake out in front of her.
“Here it is.” I said in a tone that I hoped would make her believe I had faithfully followed the recipe and was still baffled by the finished product. “What could I have done wrong?”
Mama looked at the cake, made a horrible face, and asked, “Do you want a list?”
Daddy, in very colorful language, gave his opinion of my cake and laughed as he added, “I told you a dog wouldn’t eat that thing when you were done with it!”
Mama decided she didn’t want to taste it because it “didn’t look right”. Daddy, once again in very colorful language, told me just why he didn’t care to taste it either.
In spite of the mess in the now ruined cake pan we all had a good laugh. I walked to the end of their yard and threw the cake out into the garden where I assumed birds, if desperate, might eat it. As I walked back to where they sat, Mama and Daddy were joking about whether or not birds might soon die by the flock.
“I told him even a dog wouldn’t eat that mess.” Daddy said to Mama as I sat down with them.
As we talked about anything other than cakes, my aunt Noody walked from her house next door to join us. On the way, she stopped to let her dog Maggie out for an evening run. As the four of us talked, I noticed Maggie making her way to the edge of the garden where I had dumped the cake.
“Well Daddy.” I said smugly. “Maggie is about to prove you wrong.” I pointed to the dog as she approached the cake pile and gave it a sniff. I bet a dog would eat my cake. I awaited my minor victory.
They all turned to watch the dog. Maggie approached the cake pile and sniffed. She raised her head and paused, adding to the mounting tension. She lowered her head to sniff the cake again. That’s when it happened.
Maggie lowered her front end, leaned slightly to the side, and dropped to roll in the cake. Not just a light roll, but a full grinding-the-cake-into-the-shoulder roll. She stood, sniffed the cake again, and rolled on her other side. Adding insult to injury, she walked away from the cake pile, stopping just long enough to kick grass over it with her hind legs. She then trotted away never having taken a bite.
The wheezing sound I heard next was Daddy laughing. “You do know what dogs generally roll in, don’t you?” he asked through the laughter.
Mama made the horrible face again and looked at Noody. “You’ll never be able to get that smell off that dog.”
I laughed too and stood up to walk towards Maggie and the cake pile. I wasn’t going to let Daddy win this one!
“Come here Maggie!” I called as I picked through the cake pile to find a piece I thought she might find edible. It wasn’t easy.
Seeing something in my hand, Maggie came running. I leaned down and handed her the piece of cake as Daddy, Mama, and Noody watched from the other end of the yard. Maggie took it from my hand! I was about to declare a victory when Maggie backed up, raised her head slightly as if to sneeze, then threw her head forward spitting the cake onto the ground. She stared at it.
So did I. She still hadn’t eaten any of it.
Maggie looked at me, wagged her tail, and barked at the piece of cake.
I gave up and walked back to where the others were sitting. They were laughing and appeared to be looking past me. I turned around just in time to see Maggie getting back to her feet after a second roll in the cake.
Daddy was right. Even a dog wouldn’t eat that cake. But she certainly enjoyed it just the same.
Stuart M. Perkins
103 responses to “A Dog Wouldn’t Eat It”
Your post made me laugh and think of the time I made a pound cake…it wasn’t pretty, nor was it edible 🙂 I have been scarred by that time and have never attempted to make a pound cake again!
Don’t you just hate it when your parents are right from the get-go?
Thanks for the laugh 🙂
Brilliant story. Loved it.
I do believe that dogs are more discerning than we are. Trust a dog’s judgement..
Great story! I’ve been down similar roads in my own cooking adventures and a sense of humor is essential. Also, thanks for stopping by the Brass Rag. Come back and see us again soon.
A laugh out loud story. Have you tried a pound cake since?
I’ve never attempted another although my mother has asked me to. She said she needs a good laugh…!
Thanks for the chuckle . . . I truly enjoyed it. And thank you for stopping by my blog. Hope to visit again. Bless you.
That was so funny! I loved it. 🙂
I love this post! You made me feel as if I was part of the family standing around laughing my butt off!! I hope that you have since made one that made your Mom proud…and your Dad eat….well…CAKE!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Lorrie
Laughed out loud! Thanks for your visit and the like on my blog post!
Hey Stuart, dig the blog. Always wanted to bake a cake lol. thanks for the like. If you want to see more of our comedy short films subscribe to http://www.youtube.com/goldendeucefilms
A delightful read. Thank you for making me laugh.
We have a story in our family about the infamous ‘bird cake’. Some guests brought it to a party and, after the usual entreaties to be sure and take whatever you brought back home with you, graciously left it behind for the hosts (my parents) to enjoy. Being so busy with hosting duties, they hadn’t had a chance to sample it until the party was over and all the guests went home. If you have ever hosted a big event, you know what a relief it is to close the door behind that last guest, take off your shoes, and pour an adult beverage. If tasty treats have been left behind for you to sample in private, all the better. All this big buildup for an appetizing-looking chocolate cake, and it was dreadful. They crumbled it up for the birds in the back yard. Yep, you guessed it – untouched. This story is classified top secret for fear it will get back to the guests who brought the cake. Not sure if it was a recipe failure or intentional, but at least the mystery is solved as to why they would so easily abandon it.
My cousin and I made some pancakes one time and they were so bad that even the farm dogs wouldn’t eat them when we threw them outside! Honest!!!
Thanks for sharing this inedible story!
Reblogged this on writingwingsforyou and commented:
I loved this story! Very vivid descriptions of not only your experience, but your relationship with your parents. Funny too! I think you’re brave to make yourself so vulnerable in this experience in the first place as far as bringing your cake over. However, I do know this for sure…if you keep cooking, eventually your creativity and tweaks will make something masterful. Great writing!
It’s good to laugh at ourselves isn’t it. I’m about as successful at cooking at you were at this cake. I leave it to the professionals or at least the proficient.
Enjoyed your story. My aunt once buried a batch of bread dough that hadn’t worked out. Her husband came in the next day, laughting. The yeast had continued to rise and it resurrected itself by rising from it’s grave–it lay on top of the soil looking like a giant mushroom. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Judy
LOL! That is so funny.
Enjoyed your story about your Pound cake.
My friend, I feel your pain! I come from a family of good cooks and this sounds similar to my first attempt at making tomato sauce from scratch! I finally learned it isn’t as easy as it looks! The dog kicking his hind legs over the pile is the best!
Among the reasons dogs are man’s best friend is that they are totally honest.They can tell shit from cake. 🙂
Ha Ha Ha! That is hilarious, and very well written; dogs are awesome levellers, and comedians to boot. Brilliant.
Hahahaha! I laughed so hard. Dogs are a lot smarter than people give them credit. That was a hysterical story. Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.
I’m grateful my dogs eat everything I make lol. The other day I tossed them a leftover tortilla wrap that had avocado in it, then realised avocado was meant to be poisonous to all animals except humans. I quickly Googled that, all the while thinking of the huge vet’s bill(s) for inducing vomiting etc…but thankfully Google confirmed that canines CAN eat avocado in small doses, and Scruffy and Shelagh were just fine. Phew!
Hello Thank you for liking a pic of mine . I like your stories they are funny..:) Have a nice day…..
Oh she did have a roll! *laughing*
Maggie seems to have high tastes; she rolls in cake now while her mates roll in mud…that should make you really proud Stuart…*smiling*
I enjoyed this.
hello stuart its dennis the vizsla dog hay i wil eet it!!! send it over heer!!! ok bye
I laughed so hard that I was crying when I read this. I can just picture it!
I vividly remembered my first attempt at a snack, not something as exotic as a cake, with similar results.
Rolling in the cake and barking at it- that is hilarious!!
Your story about your first try at baking that cake made me laugh, and what you went through reminded me of some of the ridiculous things I’ve done while baking–a little more sugar might be just the ticket–more butter? Why not?! I thought your story was wonderful, and I’m so glad I found your blog because you liked something about mine–so, thank you! 🙂
Thanks! You wouldn’t have laughed if you’d tasted it… no one else even smiled! Haha! Thanks again.
Thanks, dear Stuart, for the story. I should be doing our tax return but could not help reading just one more, and just one more of your stories … Who says cakes are just for eating. You have a super creative creature in Maggie. Envy envy. Our Doggie would just sniff and leave. Great story! Love the other ones too. Zillion Thanks. Now I can go happily back to my mountains. FM 😉
Thanks! But tax returns? Noooo! Keep reading instead! Haha…thanks for the fun comment!
Yes, tax return. Is that how they are called? (Unfortunately) we are managing a project which involves goodies to eat and drink, among others. So we need to be a company limited. And to accountants and auditors we have to submit our books. Fortunately we are in the red, so they have extension till end of the year. I am no real business person, so I keep reading and writing instead. 😉 Thanks for writing. Really enjoy your stories. Itches me to want to share mine. FM 🙂
Oh yes, that’s what they are called! I was just sorry you had to do that! I appreciate your comments and I’ll always keep writing. You should share yours too! Thanks again.
Thanks for feeling sorry for me. But I actually love working with figures. Though I failed in Maths in the public exam. I was the second best in class. I failed because I kept my promise. If we should ALL fail, the teacher we all hated would surely be thrown out. So we hooked our small fingers. But only I remembered. 😉
RE: I’ll always keep writing. You should share yours too!
Remember what you said. Just shared one. 😉
Just read this while my first ever lemon meringue pie is in the oven – so funny! I can only laugh for the next 14 minutes and then will have to face my own catastrophe – but what can you do these days? Thanks for sharing the joy, Jewels
Haha! Thanks! And how was the pie???
It will be on my blog later this week – oooh the suspense. But YOU are on it tomorrow Sunday!! Thanks J
Ha! I love it and thanks for that!
Pingback: Sunday 17 May Blog #58 – Imagine ….