Like I said... Friday dawned. I was pretty calm and not too worried; even though I had hardly slept, I was feeling good and raring to go. I had everything organized in my head. I had made rough calculations as to how long it would take. I'd start when the kids got off to school at just after 8 and whenever we got finished (I estimated by about 7 or 8pm) we would pack up the cars and head to my in-laws' in Faliro to spend the night. Saturday morning the cakes would go with Alex to the venue and I would relax and spend the day getting my hair done and fixing my nails and playing around with Olivia's hair to make it look very sweet for the wedding. All this with a lovely sense of satisfaction that the cakes were done and were all ready and in their place!
At least, that was the plan.
We sat down for breakfast at the table and while we were munching on our cereal, Olivia started saying her head was hurting. Actually, at first she said it was itchy so I didn't take too much notice. It was probably one of her elaborate reasons as to why she would like me to spoon feed her or not to eat breakfast at all, which she does from time to time. As the rest of us finished our cereal and she was still lagging behind I noticed that she was rubbing her head quite a lot and her eyes were a bit dull. Usually they are bright and sparkly not to mention cheeky. I touched her forehead and it felt just a little warm. Trying to be optimistic I thought that she was just warm because of getting out of bed. In the back of my mind I was thinking it could not be possible for her to get ill today of all days. Neither of the kids have caught anything at all for months and months.
As time for leaving for school approached it became apparent that she wasn't just a little warm from the bed covers. I went to the medicine cabinet to retrieve the not recently used thermometer to see what we were dealing with. Nearly 38! Oh dear. No school for Olivia.
For the first time I started to get concerned. It was 8 am. Not a cake baked and a child with a fever who is clingy at the best of times but really really needs cuddles when she isn't well. The only thing we could do was administer Depon and for me to hand her over to the capable hands of Pappous (Grandad). We spent the next half an hour or so trying to persuade her to drink her medicine by herself. We failed. We used other medicine which I won't go into on a blog about cupcakes.
Having Pappous here saved the day. Thank goodness he had decided to come the night before, or goodness knows how many hours we would have lost. Hours we didn't have! Pappous offered plenty of distraction and nice warm arms to cuddle into. We noticed that the fever stayed down for around 6 hours at a time and since Olivia didn't seem to have other symptoms, was eating and drinking well, we decided to just keep observing her. I made a mental list of persons who might be able to babysit for us the night of the wedding, should she be not well enough to attend.
I finally got the oven switched on shortly before 9.
I had decided the night before that I was just going to use my hand mixer since I didn't have time to really get to know the stand mixer and didn't want to lose more time, even if that meant I would arrive at the wedding with one arm more muscular than the other!
We started on the lemon cakes. We soon got a little production line going. With one of my happy helpers, breaking 6 eggs at a time into a bowl, grating the rind off the lemons, measuring flour and sugar. Another happy helper was lining the muffin trays with the paper cases and then transferring the warm cakes to the cooling racks and filling them up again. Even though we were baking 36 cakes at a time and they only needed about 15-17 minutes to cook, we soon found we were getting ahead of the oven and we managed to sit down here and there to give our feet a break.
Shortly before noon we had completed almost all of the 30 batches of lemon cakes. I started piping the frosting which I had made the night before. One happy helper added the sugar flowers and the other placed them carefully into the little pink cups and into the boxes. All the time keeping count. My other happy helpers, Alex and my Father in Law, had their own assignments.
Pappous volunteered to go to pick up Fin from school and together they went in search of food. By the time they returned we had switched off the oven. Half the cakes baked and quite a few of them frosted.
We took a much needed break for lunch...