Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Cheating - for the first time ever

(42 Posts)
pooohbear2811 Sat 18-Nov-17 09:17:11

We have a lot of birthdays this month, DD3 was the 16th, DGD1 is 15 today, and the twins will be four on Tuesday to name but a few.
Part and parcel of birthdays in our family is a birthday cake. When my children were young shop bought cakes were very expensive based on my income and so I have always made them. Their friends use to think it was amazing as their parents bought their cakes and they all loved the different home made ones my children had for their birthdays. Have to say between about 10 and 14 they were often embarrassed by the cakes and wanted shop bought, but that just did not happen.
Anyway last Saturday I attended out of hours doctor with what was diagnosed as a frozen shoulder, been a week of little sleep. mega amounts of strong pain killers, I normally do paracetomol and nothing else, and me being spaced out unable to function.
So got hubby to drive me to the shop the other day to buy stuff to make cakes with. But took the decision to buy a plainish sponge for them all and just going to decorate the shop bought plain.
Not sure any of them will particularity notice, and I am sure the fact they get a cake will be all that matters to them but have to say do feel slightly guilty that I am cheating. But better a cheating cake than no cake I suppose as I am not sure how they will turn out as the brain is struggling to put one foot in front of the other let along weigh correctly and cook.
Wonder what I will get for my birthday at the end of the month, shop bought or home made.....

Humbertbear Sat 18-Nov-17 09:20:01

It’s not cheating - it’s being sensible. I’m sure they will be perfectly happy with your offerings and I wish you better

suzied Sat 18-Nov-17 09:33:07

I can’t imagine anyone will object. Maybe one of your adult children could step up to the baking plate? My kids are much better at baking than me and I’m happy to pass on the task, or if not, to Mr Waitrose.

hildajenniJ Sat 18-Nov-17 09:45:02

It was my DS's birthday last week. Neither of us is very fond of cake so he wasn't disappointed when I didn't make him one. Youngest grandson, on the other hand, did not think his Uncle had a very good birthday. When asked if Uncle M had a good day GS3 said no, there was no cake, no candles or sparklers, and Uncle M didn't get a cape. (On his birthday the previous week, he got a Spiderman cape!) On his birthday of course, he turned 5.

vampirequeen Sat 18-Nov-17 09:56:56

I don't think it's cheating. It's cost effective and time saving.

Bathsheba Sat 18-Nov-17 10:08:08

No it's not cheating - heavens above, you're in pain, but you're still going to decorate the cakes! Guilty? I don't think so smile. I rarely make birthday cakes these days, except for a special birthday. Sainsbury's, M&S and many others do great celebration cakes grin

Smithy Sat 18-Nov-17 11:10:24

A friend of mine feels the need to make birthday cakes for all and sundry (family members that is), and ice them. Then when it's her birthday, no one bothers but still she keeps on making them.
This year I thought I'd surprise her with her own cake so bought a lovely little fruit on at M and S. Well I'm not good at cake making, and she was delighted.

Bathsheba Sat 18-Nov-17 11:20:54

What a kind thing to do Smithy. I hope her family were suitably chastened.

shysal Sat 18-Nov-17 14:49:38

I make all the cakes for one side of my family. On the odd time when I have been too lazy busy to go to a lot of trouble I have used a betty Crocker cake mix and bought an icing cake topper from Ebay for only a couple of pounds. You can submit your own photo or find a ready printed one in any subject you can think of and they will add a greeting. If you cover the cake in plain fondant and edge with a tube of ready-made piping icing the job is done within minutes. I will add some examples of mine. Good luck!
www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=personalozed+cake+topper&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xpersonalozed+icing+cake+topper.TRS0&_nkw=personalozed+icing+cake+topper&_sacat=0

NanaMacGeek Sat 18-Nov-17 18:48:09

Over the years I have made Christmas cakes, puddings and mince pies from scratch and provided meals over the Cristmas period (up to a week at a time) for up to 20 family and friends. I have cooked hundreds of Sunday dinners and home-made puddings for an expanding, shrinking and expanding family again and baked and decorated countless themed birthday cakes. There is always fresh cake in the tin. Or there was.

I haven't been very well on and off for the last couple of years and I’m worrying about this Christmas because the family have asked to come to us. So I’m cheating. I already have Christmas dinner (which I bought) in the freezer. I will probably buy a baked ham too. I will pace myself and make a few mince pies and Christmas puds from family recipes that shop bought goods really can’t match. I’m going to buy the Christmas cake from a market stall that makes it as well as I do, if not better. There will be pasta bakes and pie bases in the freezer, some bought, some home-made, and some simple puddings for those lingering on after the festivities.

This year, I plan to spend more time relaxing with family than cooking. If I’m not well over the holiday, anyone can read the instructions on the packets and put things in the oven. It’s either this or tell my lot I don’t think I can manage this year. I don’t think of this as cheating though, I see it as being pragmatic.

Greyduster Sat 18-Nov-17 20:02:21

I don’t blame you a bit for wanting to save some effort. I make my GS’s birthday cake each year and it gets more and more daunting. After this year’s Minecraft cake, which caused me to wail and gnash my teeth more than usual, I determined that I would let DD choose a cake for him and give her a cheque to cover the cost!

Jalima1108 Sat 18-Nov-17 20:26:42

Maybe one of your adult children could step up to the baking plate?
I was just wondering the same. DD1 makes much more elaborate cakes than I ever did!

Applegran Sun 19-Nov-17 10:03:24

It isn't cheating! It's cheating maybe if you say you made the cake, but no need to do that, and if you decorate it , you've done the creative bit. You aren't cheating on your husband or the bank! Those would indeed be things to be concerned about, but you might as well just enjoy decorating the cake and sharing it .

Blinko Sun 19-Nov-17 10:33:18

Shysal WOW!

W11girl Sun 19-Nov-17 10:34:26

Don't fret, I had a frozen shoulder twice for 2 years at a time (takes ages to go away...and then one day just disappears all by itself). The only excuse I have for not baking my own cakes, is the fact that nobody likes eating cardboard! I attempted to bake my sons favourite coconut sponge only the other week, he was really looking forward to it....of course it was a disaster....so I give up!! Shop bought sponges for me everytime with a little bit of customising work just as well!!

valeriej43 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:50:19

Frozen shoulder,ooh very painful, I have had it twice,ask your Dr for a steroid injection, it really helps
You are allowed 3 in a year I think
Good luck with the cake,

Linbrikat Sun 19-Nov-17 11:01:36

I seem to remember I tried making a cake once, many years ago and it was a complete disaster. I've never bothered again! For goodness sake OP why would you feel guilty about getting a shop bought cake even if you didn't have a frozen shoulder? Why do we women always feel guilty about these things - men never do!

meandashy Sun 19-Nov-17 11:20:16

If you are not able on this occasion then an alternative is very sensible! It's not the end of the world and you are still putting thought into it. Well done for even getting to the shops if you're taking strong painkillers!
I love baking, my cakes are great (I don't usually blow my own trumpet!). But decorating them really let's me down. I'm not very imaginative and I draw like a 2 year old 😩. I don't let it stop though.....

adaunas Sun 19-Nov-17 11:22:59

Not cheating. I like making cakes, but it’s meant to be fun not painful. The only downside to you not having done this before is you have no idea which ones will taste good and which won’t. Re your frozen shoulder, I am having physio for that at present because the doc doesn’t like doing steroid injections because they risk doing more harm than good as you get older. (I had one ages ago and it was effective really quickly so I wasn’t best pleased.) The Physio, as she takes me through the exercises and assesses progress of mobility assures me that, even without treatment it will be gone within 2 years!😱

pollyperkins Sun 19-Nov-17 11:26:28

Hildajen 😂 Love it!

Lindylou57 Sun 19-Nov-17 12:15:23

If God had wanted us to spend time cooking and baking he wouldn't have invented Aunt Bessies and Mr Kipling!

pooohbear2811 Sun 19-Nov-17 12:16:24

thank you all for the lovely supportive comments. adaunas yes it is the 2 years that worries me.
Yes I suppose there comes a time where we have to hand down the reigns to the younger generation, just not sure I am ready to do that yet.
Made a cat and she loved it.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 19-Nov-17 13:01:20

You're not cheating, you are being sensible. The older we get the more difficult things get, so work out where you feel comfortable cutting corners and stick to making things from scratch if you really either would miss doing so dreadfully, or feel that the home made version is much better than the bought one.

For me Christmas would not be Christmas if I did not bake two different kinds of biscuits using my great-great grandmother's recipe for the one kind and my grandmother's for the other, or if I didn't buy a tree and decorate it, but I can survive without spring-cleaning the house in the course of December, writing dozens of cards (I send e-mails instead), putting up decorations everywhere ( I only do the sitting room now).

Love the cat, Poohbear, must remember it!

basketlady Sun 19-Nov-17 13:44:22

When I first read the title of this thread I was expecting something a great deal saucier !!

Caro1954 Sun 19-Nov-17 14:04:02

Thankyou Shysal!