Eagerly, Chloe took a seat at the table, followed by June,
then her mother. The pastry chef set out a glass of water for each of them,
along with a napkin and a full place setting. To the side of each plate was a
small silver bucket. It looked just like a spittoon at a wine tasting but Chloe
had no idea what it was for.
“The bucket,” the pastry chef explained, noticing her
confusion, “serves as a receptacle. Many brides choose to take a tiny bite of
cake and discard the remainder.” She handed them each a piece of paper with a
small pencil. “Use this to keep track as you go. If there’s a flavor
combination you like, just give it a tiny star.”
In the chocolate column, there was a lengthy list: milk
chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, German chocolate, black forest and
hazelnut. Below that, the options were angel food cake, butter cake, pound
cake, tres leches and (oddly) wedding cake. The specialty flavors included
carrot, tiramisu and red velvet.
Many of the cupcakes were frosted with buttercream, whipped
cream or raspberry chocolate. The carrot and red velvet cake were, of course,
frosted with cream cheese.
Chloe’s eyes scanned the options eagerly. She hadn’t eaten
any breakfast, in preparation for this little extravaganza. Suddenly, an idea
“Hey, Grandma,” she said, kicking June under the table.
“Want to see who can eat the most without spitting?”
June already had a cupcake halfway to her mouth. Her face
lit up. “I’ll most certainly win.”
“Chloe, we are not at the county fair,” her mother said.
“We are selecting cake for your weddings.”
Chloe waved her fork. “Mom, you can either sign on as a
judge or vacate the premises.”
June’s eyes surveyed the assortment of cupcakes. “I say we
battle for the right to plan the bachelorette party. If I win, Bernice is doing
Even though Chloe’s grandmother was cooler than most, it
didn’t mean her friends knew how to throw a good party. What would they do,
“No way,” Chloe said. “My friends are in charge of that.
Your friends do not know the first thing about throwing a bachelorette party.”
“Then you better win,” June cried.
Dramatically, she reached for a square of dark chocolate cake. The cake was slightly
spongy, with an earthy richness. The whipped cream frosting melted like a
roasted marshmallow in her mouth. “Yum . . .”
June’s sharp eyes considered the cupcake in her hand, and
she consulted with Kristine. “Should I stay away from the rich ones? Until
Chloe sank her teeth into the piece of tiramisu, sighing
happily. “Doesn’t matter what you do, Grandma. I can eat cake for days.” The
powdered cocoa on the tiramisu melded with her tongue like a kiss. It suddenly
struck her that Ben would have enjoyed this tasting, since he liked tiramisu so
much. Too bad they still weren’t really talking or she might have just brought
him a cupcake.
“Pace yourself,” Kristine warned. “Old age and treachery
beats youth and enthusiasm every time.”
June nodded. “That’s a fact.”
Chloe scoffed. “Keep telling yourself that.” She surveyed
the cakes, trying to decide which to try next.
Connect with Cynthia at facebook.com/cynthiaellingsen and twitter.com/CynEllingsen.