Monday, February 16th, 2009

Cucumber cake

Cucumber cake
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Robert is the finest pastry chef in the city. He is so because he loves his craft. Every ingredient is of the highest quality, his kitchen is pristine, and he spends countless hours working to nurture staff that care as much he does. As a result, his bakery has become well renowned for mouthwatering delights.

Recently, Robert was approached by a wealthy business person named Jonathan who noted that his daughter was to be married, and that he wanted only the finest at this event. Many had suggested Robert and felt that he was the best choice for such an occasion. Jonathan was excited to be in such good hands.

He outlined the general requirements and asked for Robert to plan a cake that was suitable for the event. He explained that budget was of little concern, but that the cake had to be something that people would speak of for years to come. Robert felt this was a little bit high-reaching–this was only a cake after all; nevertheless, he went to work, determined to create something guests would appreciate.

Now, I’m not a pastry chef, so I’m a little scant on details, but as Robert explained it, he relied on a lovely recipe that had worked well for him in the past, and drew-up a sketch for something he felt fitting for the event. It was elegant, simple, and he’d had great success with similar cakes for other large weddings.

Jonathan tasted the first sample. It was rich and moist, but he felt as though it was missing something. He wanted fireworks and explosions upon tasting this cake; more than that, he wanted an “epiphany” to be had by everyone who sampled it.

He brought the samples home and tested them with his closest friends. Over a number of glasses of a nice wine, they created a whole list of ideas for Robert to integrate into his recipe. Marjorie’s was the most exciting though. She remarked, “It’s a spring wedding! Why not start with this?”

When Jonathan presented these ideas, Robert seemed flustered. “Jonathan” he paused, “you came to me for a good cake, and I can provide this for you–perhaps it can even be great. I do worry though that these suggestions won’t make you happy.”

Jonathan was taken aback, “But these are great ideas! What are you talking about? We thought about this for hours, and all of us agreed–your cake lacks pizazz. It’s not that it’s bad, but it could be so much better.” Robert tried to stay calm, but found it difficult to do so, “Jonathan, look at these more closely. You’re asking me to put cucumber in your daughter’s wedding cake. This would be a disaster.”

“No” Jonathan countered, “It’s a spring wedding, and cucumber would be perfect. It will add a crisp, spring-like freshness to it. Really–believe me! This can’t be another boring cake. It has to be different and memorable. Why can’t you understand this?”

They debated and discussed the point for another ten minutes, at which point Jonathan played his trump card, “This cake isn’t for you and it’s not art. I’m paying you well for your services; do what I’m telling you to.”

So Robert did, and the guests at the wedding had cucumber wedding cake.

Later Jonathan was asked about the “unique” cake. He remarked, “We were told that Robert was the best; I don’t know what all the hype is about though. This cake doesn’t taste anything like what my friends told me to expect.”

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