A few years ago, I was at my parent's house and I decided I'd make an ice cream cake. Yes, I usually avoid the kitchen like the plague, but every once and a while, I get an undeniable urge to bake. I can't remember the circumstances that prompted this particular attempt, or the year, or even who the intended recipient of said ice cream cake was (probably, though, it was me. I love me some ice cream cake). Regardless, I set about following a recipe out of one of my mom's cookbooks.
The recipe called for, naturally, a jelly roll pan, as the cake was going to be baked in a thin layer and then rolled up with a layer of ice cream to make a 'jelly roll' effect. Here's a visual to illustrate for you:
A jelly roll cake- not one made by me, obviously.
I glanced over the recipe to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients and tools. I was a little antsy because I wasn't sure exactly what a jelly roll pan was or if the pan I was planning to use would fit the bill. I skimmed the section detailing what to do after baking the cake portion itself and I caught this line: "Wrap the cake and the trowel together while the cake cools."
Now, I know what a trowel is when it comes to gardening, but in cooking terms I was clueless. Being the resourceful person I am, however, I set about to find a cooking trowel so I could make my delicious ice cream roll cake.
I googled "cooking trowel." I called my mom, who was out of town. I called my dad's secretary for advice (she's always good for those hard-to-answer questions). I couldn't unearth any info to speak of. Undaunted, I headed out to Bed Bath and Beyond. I asked three different sales people to direct me to the cooking trowel section. I was horrified that not one of them had any idea what I was talking about. Surely I wasn't the only person who'd ever attempted to make a jelly roll-style cake?
The last BBB salesperson and I brainstormed on what a cooking trowel would look like, based on the logistics of a jelly roll cake, should it actually exist. We decided that a long wooden rolling pin with slightly tapered edges was the closest to our mental image. So this is what I purchased:
My cooking trowel
I got home, makeshift trowel in hand, ready to finally make this cake. I'd literally put two PLUS hours into hunting down the elusive equipment for this dish. I decided to re-read the recipe to make sure I was set before I got started.
That's when I realized I had misread the recipe by one letter. Where I had seen "trowel," it actually said "towel." Yup. Wrap the cake up in a towel while it cools. Which actually makes sense. Unlike hunting down imaginary garden/cooking tools that don't exist. For two hours. And browbeating sales staff for not knowing what a cooking trowel is.
I still catch crap about that one at home.
And can I just add, now that I've related the story I've remembered that the cake in question was made for my murder mystery New Year's Eve party a couple years ago, which was pretty much the best New Year's party ever, except maybe the year Justin and I rang in the new year at Chris Huff's big cabin in Dogue, VA, which was awesome for an entirely different reason. And all this reminds me that I'm due for another fun New Years. Virginia Beach people: any ideas?