So I decided to organize and clean out my cake decorating toolbox today. Yes, I said toolbox (I try to embrace my masculinity where I can!). This decision came as I was putting a few piping tips away that I used on a food shoot.
Lots of cheesecake was styled on this particular shoot, as it was for The Cheesecake Factory! Hundreds of rosettes were piped out in a counter clockwise fashion. Once piped, the hero’s (The most perfect rosettes) were chosen to top an assortment of cheesecake confections. As I carefully washed and dried each piping tip I realized that my toolbox (kit) needed a little sprucing up. Actually whom am I kidding, I organize and clean the kit every time I open it up. It’s my nature, what can I say? All joking aside, it becomes a disorderly mess with any movement, as there are no compartments to keep tools (tips) in place.
The toolbox was started when I was in grade school. My brother and I both received a toolbox as a Christmas gift from my parents. However my tools never made it into my toolbox and instead they found home in a rubbermaid container. This is still the scenario today!
Cleaning the base/ bottom bin compartment of the toolbox is always the most important, as sugar debris always seems to make its way into the corners. But before getting to the corners all my pastry tools and gadgets have to come out. Clown heads make up this collection. Red, yellow and blue clown heads!
The clown heads moved into my toolbox when I was twelve years old. I had my mother sign me up for a Wilton Cake Decorating class at JC Penny’s. Every week she would drive me to JC Penny’s at 7pm to sit with a group of grown woman to learn cake-decorating techniques. I had a blast and I must say that at twelve years old I was a much better piper then the “grown ups”!
During one class we concentrated on making clowns. Why this was an important technique to learn, I yet to understand. Frankly I’m not really sure that it really is a technique. But I can say that I know how to pipe out a dam good clown! On the upside I used to love the clowns that topped the Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes when I was a kid! However, my impressions soon changed after learning how to make these festive decorations.
Clown class turned into a wild bachelorette party and I was the innocent twelve year old trying to learn how to pipe a clown. As I sat there squeezing out my icing, my “lady” classmates were piping out inappropriate poses on their clowns. The laugher in the room was unstoppable. The teacher tried to shield me but it was hard to not laugh. She gave into the laughter. I gave into the laughter.
I haven’t used the clown heads since and they probably will never be used again. They serve as a memory and symbolize an outlet I that fueled my love and interest for food as a child. They do give me a good laugh every time I decide to organize and clean my toolbox. The rosette tips graduated from clown making and have helped me produce many beautiful confections over the years. Who knew that the same tip that piped the clown would be piping rosettes for The Cheesecake Factory?