When my sister woke me up one morning urging me to get downstairs and check on an in-progress cake in the fridge, I was petrified. Did our brother come home from the bar last night and eat the cake that had to be delivered today? Sadly, that was the first conclusion I had jumped to (Sorry, Rick……). I ran out of bed, into the kitchen, and saw my dad’s face full of apprehension and concern. Reaching for the refrigerator, my dad told me to just “take a whiff.”
Onions. The smell of freaking raw onions was burning my nostrils, and seemingly permeating my delicious, flambéed banana-filled cakes with their noxious odor.
While I was sleeping, a friend, who was then living at our house while his was being rebuilt after Sandy, decided to make some chicken kabobs for his lifeguard barbecue and leave them in our fridge until noon. Fortunately for me (and, to be truthful, my friend’s livelihood), the buttercream-iced cakes did not take on the taste or smell of raw onions. He got a warning and a free pass for that one. That, and the fact that he’s basically the best houseguest/lifeguard captain a person could ask for, as long as he never cuts an onion whilst in my vicinity ever again (I mean it Matt… NEVER again).
Unfortunately, onions were the least of my worries that morning…
Anyone who has spent any amount of time on the East Coast during the summer months knows that stepping outside feels like the human body should have been equipped with gills. The amount of moisture in the air is on par with that of a steam room, and the heat is like being punched in the chest by a flaming Socker Bopper filled with molten lava. Summers in the Jersey humidity are about as comfortable as your brother’s obsession with perfecting the Socker Bopper knock out punch…. as in not at all. However, there is blessedly a way to escape the heat and humidity in the form of the modern technology known as air conditioning. That is, if your father (who resides in sunny Miami) decided to get air conditioning in the house… unlike mine. We do, however, have some room units that my sister keeps blasted to allow our furbabies some relief from the heat, until my dad comes home and opens all the windows to let in the wind due to his hatred for this modern convenience. All in all, my house is an air conditioning stand-off in which no one truly wins.
Because this was Father’s Day weekend, we decided to honor my dad by keeping the windows open to bring in the wind, smell of salt air, and, inevitably, the humidity. Well, after I got over the onion-induced anxiety attack, I moseyed on over to the cute, golf-themed decorations I had meticulously molded the previous night expecting to find dry, solid golf clubs, flags, balls, and bag only to find a moist, goo-like coating on my semi-melted decorations. No bueño. Cue anxiety attack numero dos for the day.
Example: this little guy was just a bit of late night shenanigans, and because I was decorating this cake for a friend, I deemed it necessary that he make it onto the cake. But that moist sheen on him is the result of some the soupy-humidity of the Jersey Shore.
Thankfully, my sister realized that there was a “dry” setting on the air conditioner in our kitchen window. My dad, recognizing the dire situation and sweat dripping down my face from the heat, humidity, and wet-fondant-onion-stink-induced meltdown, took pity on my poor soul and granted me control of the air conditioning. A few hours later, I had myself some mostly-dry golf clubs, flags, and bag to adorn my friend’s cake.