Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things I learned, aka We survived! (final part three)

After lunch the kids took a nap and we started on the chocolate cupcakes. We quickly fell into our routine that we got started in the morning. By 6 pm all the chocolate cakes were out of the oven.

I started on the frosting. Shortly after 7 I realized that it was going to be impractical to finish up and drive to Athens when the cakes were done. I hadn't packed a thing. We decided it would be more beneficial for the kids to get in their own beds for a relatively early night rather than have to face the trip. Olivia's fever was staying down for around 6 hours at a time and she had no other symptoms like coughing or ear ache. That way we would get up early and I would leave with the kids around 7 to arrive in Athens in time for my hair appointment. The cupcakes would go straight to the venue with Alex and Pappous. It proved to be the right thing to do.

At around 7.30 pm we had finished all the cupcakes and they were all packed in their boxes ready to go in the morning. I can't describe the sense of satisfaction I felt. That, and the sense of aching legs and shoulders!!!

We all took a break, tidied around the kitchen a little, snacked on whatever we could find in the fridge and, after the kids went to bed, I packed our things. Clothes for the wedding and other things we would need for the week-end.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early. Olivia had slept very well and her fever had not come up again at all during the night. She still appeared a little tired but I can only conclude that the fever was caused by exhaustion. We had been out for meals and ice-cream three nights in a row with our guests (forcing them to endure the tour of Nafplio by little train... not exactly the most exciting thing for adults...)

We didn't stay out too late, but I usually have the munchkins in bed early on school nights and I think the excitement and those few less hours of sleep must have been what did it.

I left with the kids for Athens leaving the boxes of cakes behind. My sense of satisfaction at having got them all done was only second to the sense of satisfaction I felt at hearing they had been delivered safely and had all travelled intact to the venue. The drive to Athens at that time of the morning was incredible. The sun was coming up and casting light patches on the mountains and leaving patches of shade where it hadn't risen quite enough yet. As the road rose and fell we could see the morning mist surrounding the ships along the coast and in valleys. Magical. Perhaps I found it even more enchanting because of the happiness I felt at managing to pull off the cake-making and for being able to give a gift that our family would treasure and remember? Who knows?

The rest is history... The wedding went exactly the way it was planned. The happy couple just came back from a romantic honeymoon week-end in Paris. All that remains is for me to tell you what I learned.

1. I tweeted about this one... Attending a wedding where you are a member of the family is much more tiring than making over 700 cupcakes for it!

2. Exterminating all flies from the confines of the house before work and during the day requires one person wholly devoted to the job! The joys of country living!

3. Happy helpers are extremely useful at times like this. My feet and back are especially grateful.

4. Having a professional kitchen and a larger oven would have made this job take a lot less time and been a lot easier. It is difficult when you have to pick something up in order to put something down!

5. My recipe worked just fine. It doesn't fail to impress. It's basic but can be altered in any amount of ways. I'll post it soon.

PS. My guests very very kindly did the remaining tidying and cleaning while we were away in Athens. Jens and Lone, thanks so much again! I promise that I won't make you work if you dare to come on vacation again!


  1. Your children are so cute Liz and it's great to see you in the picture as well.
    I am looking forward to your recipe.

  2. Hi Ivy, That's not me but my friend Lone from Denmark. It's funny that you should mistake us, because during their stay someone else asked if we were sisters!

  3. Well, I'm so glad that everything went smoothly. I think it's fantastic that you were finished with the baking by 7:30pm, although you were probably exhausted.

    The flies...oh the flies. It's quite a task keeping them out, especially in the country!

    Finally, well done Liz.

  4. It was fun being a part of the "CupCake Factory". You know who to contact when big contracts in the future are to be hounored. Looking forward to see you all soon again.

    Happy Helpers - Jens & Lone