Fran Westin: Would you like butter cream or whipped cream frosting on that?
Rory Gilmore: Can you do both?
Fran Westin: That’s a lot of frosting.
Rory Gilmore: I know. But it’s my mom’s favorite part. Once we tried to make a cake entirely out of frosting, which turned out to be better in theory than in actual execution.
For years one of my plans, were I ever to go on “Survivor,” was to as non-obviously as possible throw later-on individual reward challenges. They can breed resentment, and separate you from the rest of the tribe during a time in the game when it is most crucial to stay connected to the majority.
IMO Tom Westman said it best in “Survivor: Palau,” to his alliance partner Ian. They’d lost a reward challenge and I’m going by memory because Google’s stressing me out as usz, but Tom said something along the lines of, it was a good thing they came for the cake and not the icing. The fancy luxury award was the icing, and icing is awesome, but doesn’t really compare to the cake of winning the game and a million dollars.
That always stuck with me. I love icing, or frosting; I’m sure there’s a culinary difference between the two, but I don’t know what it is, and point is, I love the sweet sticky stuff that goes on top of the cake. When I eat a cupcake, I like to eat the bottom first so what is left is the gooey deliciousness of the top part.
But like Rory said, a cake made entirely out of frosting doesn’t actually work. You need the cake to hold it all together, or it’s just a big old mess. And while frosting straight from the can is tasty, it’s not the same.
However, the wisdom I’ve gained from reality television and “Gilmore Girls” hasn’t stopped me from time and time again, prizing the icing over the cake in everyday situations. I can say if I went on “Survivor” that I’d throw reward (Redemption Island twist notwithstanding), but while that’s all fine and good, if I can’t do it in real life, it’s just empty talk.
So it’s time, I think, to get in the kitchen and start beating some eggs and creaming some butter and sugar, and focusing on the best cake I can possibly create. Maybe if I’m lucky, it will be one of those cakes that comes out so moist and delicious that it doesn’t even need icing. At the very least, there will be a foundation. So that when and if the icing comes, it will be a glorious, delicious bonus. Something to smooth right over the cake, once it’s been mixed, baked, and cooled. When that day comes, I won’t be living in fear of the mess, because there will be a foundation I can rely on. A foundation I can be proud to have taken the time to create, and respect.
Because really, there are worse things in life than cake, icing or not. Cake in and of itself is still pretty damn sweet.