Home Business..oh The Mess In The Kitchen..everywhere...!!!

Decorating By sweetcravings Updated 28 Sep 2008 , 3:03pm by mamacc

sweetcravings Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:12pm
post #1 of 18

icon_sad.gif Ok so i have been decorating cakes for many years now on and off for family mostly. I make the monthly birthday cake etc...No stress, just learning and having a pretty good time...THEN..I decided recently to perhaps start selling my cakes to outsiders. I got an order from a friend for 80cream horns, and two identical bday cakes one for this weekend and the other for next. So off to working i went, making fondant bows, numbers, baking cakes, icing over the last week. I'm exhausted!!! I finished filling the 80cream horns by 7:30am and started on the cake, just finished around 2:30pm. The kitchen looks like a disaster zone, my dining room table has been taken over with fondant pieces, piping bags etc...Everything looks soooo messy!!!! Not dirty, just messy! I don't have a home with a basement so my work must be done in my living area.
I'm finding it hard to live in this!! When i wake up the first thing i think of cakes because its in my 'face', then when my 'work' day is done..i get to look at it everywhere again thus keeping my mind at 'work".
I'm starting to rethink if this is a wise decision or if i should just go apply to a bakery or something.
I also spent all this time trying to figuring out costs etc... and still the cake i just completed I think i undercharged (i guess live and learn).
I don't know how others do this and truely make it worth they're time, and how they do multiple cakes at once and still be standing at the end of the day.
I never really experienced this type of feeling when i was doing cakes for family but now since it's a paid cake i'm all worried all the time! Will it look good?Will they like it? What if, what if, what if???? I'm starting to drive my DH crazy.
It has really got me thinking. I dunno if i'm just tired but i honestly feel like i'm at a cross road here...sell cakes? or do something else.

Here is the cake i made for this weekend..I charged 120.00 for it all..8,12" stacked rounds and two 6"smash cakes. Filled with WCMouse. Wicked amount of work on this one definitely didn't charge enough on labor.


And these are the 80cream horns i made...charged 1.90/piece for them.
LL
LL

17 replies
fabfour Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:06pm
post #2 of 18

I know exactly what you mean. I have a small kitchen and almost no counter space. But I manage. I can't view the cake but the cream horns look incredible! How do you make yours???


Missy

costumeczar Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:16pm
post #3 of 18

I work out of my home, too, so I feel your pain. I'm lucky because I have an entire separate room for storage, but it's packed to the gills and usually looks like a bomb went off. My fridge is full of cake stuff Tuesday-Saturday, so my husband is only able to buy beers one at a time, ha! He once came home on a Friday afternoon with about a dozen yogurts and I almost ripped his head off! (Where the @$#$ are you going to put THOSE, there's no room in the fridge for FOOD!!!) icon_lol.gif

Anyway, if you do decide to sell cakes you'll get over feeling nervous about them after a while, but you have to accept that your dining room won't be used for dining for a good portion of the week. If you can't get used to that maybe you should wait to see if you can figure something out. Do you have a garage that you can put a second refrigerator in? One thing that could help would be to get some kind of a stacking shelf system that you can stick in a corner somewhere and use to put trays and things on. I've seen people use an old wardrobe or some other large piece of furniture, adapt it inside with shelves, and use that to store things. That way it blends in with the furniture but you can put cakes or trays or cream horns in it and close the doors! In other words, go up, not spread out. Your stuff will take up less floor square foorage that way, so it won't be as spread out and obvious.

sweetcravings Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:37pm
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabfour

I know exactly what you mean. I have a small kitchen and almost no counter space. But I manage. I can't view the cake but the cream horns look incredible! How do you make yours???


Missy




Hmmm..i dunno why it didn't show for you..did you try right clicking on the photo properties and then press "show picture'.

Thanks for the kind words on the cream horns. I just purchase storebought puff pastry, roll it out, cut it in strips and wrap them around the horn molds. Bake, cool and then fill with white chocolate mousse.
I've had even the pickest eaters devour them..they are yummy!

sweetcravings Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:42pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I work out of my home, too, so I fel your pain. I'm lucky because I have an entire separate room for storage, but it's packed to the gills and usually looks like a bomb went off. My fridge is full of cake stuff Tuesday-Saturday, so my husband is only able to buy beers one at a time, ha! He onvce came home on a Friday afternoon with about a dozen yogurts adn I almost ripped his head off! (Where the @$#$ are you going to put THOSE, there's no room in the fridge for FOOD!!!) icon_lol.gif

Anyway, if you do decide to sell cakes you'll get over feeling nervous about them after a while, but you have to accept that your dining room won't be used for dining for a good portion of the week. If you can't get used to that maybe you should wait to see if you can figure something out. Do you have a garage that you can put a second refrigerator in? One thing that could help would be to get some kind of a stacking shelf system that you can stick in a corner somewhere and use to put trays and things on. I've seen people use an old wardrobe or some other large piece of furniture, adapt it inside with shelves, and use that to store things. That way it blends in with the furniture but you can put cakes or trays or cream horns in it and close the doors! In other words, go up, not spread out. Your stuff will take up less floor square foorage that way, so it won't be as spread out and obvious.




You offer some great suggestion! I do have a second fridge but it is often filled with yup icon_biggrin.gif BEER,h2o etc..very little space for cake stuff. When i ask my DH to clear it out to make room he gets so upset..gotta have cold beer on hand. I guess our husbands think alike icon_biggrin.gif

I really like your suggestions of racks that can be tucked away..that would save me some counter space.
I sure do hope i lighten up on myself with time because if i don't i think i will be unbearable to live with.
I have already checked my completed cake ten times since it was done. Watching, waiting, praying nothing falls or crumbles. It's still sitting there looking good, thank goodness. thumbs_up.gif

sweetcravings Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 11:44pm
post #6 of 18

let me try posting that cake again and see if this works for ya...
LL

pmaucher Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:07am
post #7 of 18

costumeczar,
I loved your comment "Where the @$#$ are you going to put THOSE, there's no room in the fridge for FOOD!!!)" Classic. icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

sweetcravings, I have the same problem. Sometimes I feel I should just clean my kitchen of all normal cooking supplies, and fill it with all cake supplies. I mean really, I could live off my cakes and sweats, my DH could just fend for himself. icon_twisted.gif For extra storage, I went to lowes and purchased two large white shelfing units and put them both in my garage. That way they are easy to get to and out of my kitchen. I also have a 2nd fridge to store the cakes in.

fiddlesticks Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:17am
post #8 of 18

Your Cream horns look delicious and your cake is beautiful ! I agree you should of charged quit a bit more for all of it.But now you know for the next one. My walk in pantry is over full right now I have cleaned it out 3x already this yr and it needs it again. its 90% cake stuff.very little reg food. I dont think it matters how much rm you have you will just end up filling it up anyway. If you had more room you would just think you could buy more things LOL!! At least thats how I am.

cakeschmake Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:18am
post #9 of 18

I know how you feel, sweetcravings. My kitchen looks like you decribed a lot of the time. My husband just makes fun and calls me a mad scientist! I even had someone stop by an hour too early to pick up her cake and the entire kitchen was a mess with cake stuff. I was so embarrassed, but she is my husbands cousin and also has three small kids so I think she understood why it was so crazy around the house. At least I hope icon_rolleyes.gif
I do what others suggested, I keep my stuff in and on top of a kitchen curio cabinet, out of the way, but when its time to bake and decorate, it sure takes over the whole kitchen.. Maybe I'll get more organized someday, but I hope everyone else arrives on schedule to pick up their cakes from now on.

indydebi Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:24am
post #10 of 18

I worked out of my kitchen for a few years and I can totally relate! Add to it catering and food stuff that is in two refrigerators and some coolers that are overpacked with lots of ice!! icon_surprised.gif Hubby was under instruction NOT to go to the grocery without checking my schedule first! icon_lol.gif

In our house, it's "....mom is a caterer, so of course we have NO FOOD in our house!" icon_lol.gif

The worst part IS the big mess. I would cover my counters with 18x26 sheets of parchment paper .... if I didn't have those, then those 12x12 sheets of wax paper from Sam's were good. This helps because when flour and sugar fly all over the place, it's caught on the paper. Throw the paper away and over half your clean up is done. Even now, in my shop kitchen, I lay 12x12 sheets of wax paper next to the mixer .... this is where I lay my crisco coated measuring cups, spatulas, etc. No mess on the counter, just throw the paper away.

Keep a wet washcloth next to you and wipe up after EVERY thing you do. Crack eggs into the mixer ... wipe the egg drippings off the counter. Pour sugar in the mixer.....wipe the sugar dust up. Wipe, Wipe, Wipe all the time.

The parchment/wax paper and the wet cloth are the best things I ever did .... you'll be amazed how much clean up time that will save you.

moxey2000 Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:25am
post #11 of 18

Your cakes look beautiful and your creamhorns make me hungry icon_biggrin.gif !

I totally understand how you feel about your kitchen. I live in military housing and when I finally got a new refrigerator I persuaded the deliver guys to let me keep the old one and put it in my shed icon_lol.gif . Yippee, extra storage space. Not! Now my husband keeps it full of fish and bait icon_twisted.gif . Oh well. My kitchen is really small and there's very little storage space so I just stack things up as best I can. Fortunately my husband and kids are very understanding thumbs_up.gif , and if they want to eat there's always the chowhall icon_lol.gif !!

Peeg Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:38am
post #12 of 18

sweetcravings, could you share with me, what is horn molds and where can I buy them? I want to eat them..yummy...

sweetcravings Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:41am
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I worked out of my kitchen for a few years and I can totally relate! Add to it catering and food stuff that is in two refrigerators and some coolers that are overpacked with lots of ice!! icon_surprised.gif Hubby was under instruction NOT to go to the grocery without checking my schedule first! icon_lol.gif

In our house, it's "....mom is a caterer, so of course we have NO FOOD in our house!" icon_lol.gif

The worst part IS the big mess. I would cover my counters with 18x26 sheets of parchment paper .... if I didn't have those, then those 12x12 sheets of wax paper from Sam's were good. This helps because when flour and sugar fly all over the place, it's caught on the paper. Throw the paper away and over half your clean up is done. Even now, in my shop kitchen, I lay 12x12 sheets of wax paper next to the mixer .... this is where I lay my crisco coated measuring cups, spatulas, etc. No mess on the counter, just throw the paper away.

Keep a wet washcloth next to you and wipe up after EVERY thing you do. Crack eggs into the mixer ... wipe the egg drippings off the counter. Pour sugar in the mixer.....wipe the sugar dust up. Wipe, Wipe, Wipe all the time.

The parchment/wax paper and the wet cloth are the best things I ever did .... you'll be amazed how much clean up time that will save you.




Man Indydebi i can't even begin to imagine how much space your stuff must take up being a caterer and all. That's alot of food and stuff. Especially since you probably do large amounts of it.

You make me laugh when you say you have no food in the house! icon_lol.gif That's like us for the past few days..i've been so busy with cake stuff and things everywhere i just couldn't bear to clean up the mess so that i could prepare dinner. We've eaten out alot this week..not good for the waistline. Breakfast alone is killing me..trying to make enough space to toast bread is a challenge.
I LOVE your ideas of putting down the paper...i will definitely try that. thumbs_up.gif Today i was trying to clean as i went but still it seemed icing was everywhere. My poor hands are so dried out from all the handwashing etc..
I sure hope things get easier. I'm glad i only have one cake this upcoming week and its identical to the one i did today.. I just have a little icing to make, bake the cakes, cut a few stars etc...boy that does seem like alot once i type it out. icon_cry.gif Hopefully i can get some sleep tonight.
I have a facial scheduled for monday morning, so i'm hoping that will give me the boost i'm needing right now.
Thanks for the wonderful tips!

sweetcravings Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:49am
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peeg

sweetcravings, could you share with me, what is horn molds and where can I buy them? I want to eat them..yummy...




Here is a picture of a cream horn mold..They come in this form..tubes or in angled ('horn of plenty' like molds). We have a 'little italy' in our area and I got them from a hardware store there. But i've seen them online too, just search for cream horn molds and you'll see the suppliers. It's basically just a hollow piece of aluminum. They come in different lenghts and widths. HTH
LL
LL

OhMyGanache Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 12:52am
post #15 of 18

I can't imagine having to actually work out of my kitchen. I rent a commercial kitchen, but when I decorate cakes for my kids, dummy cakes or gingerbread houses - I use my own kitchen (which isn't that big *sigh*) and when you look at the photos I take during the process (I love to post photo "tutorials" on my MySpace page) it looks like I never clean my house! When in fact, I'm somewhat of a neat freak. It's really hard to post those pics sometimes because I don't want people to think I really live like that! LOL!!!!

I learned if it's going to be really messy (like doing gingerbread houses - all that royal icing!) I cover my countertops with the industrial size plastic wrap. Sticks right to the counters, and I just rip them off and toss them out when I'm done (similar to Debi's use of parchment - but the plastic wrap doesn't slide around if that matters to you).

KitchenKat Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 1:13am
post #16 of 18

Man I totally know how this feels! No food in the house but fridge full of cake stuff Check. Fondant, cookies, etc covering house up to hallway? Check. My husband even complained that he never brought work home why couldn't I do the same. Meaning I should be finished working by dinnertime.

I followed all the suggestions above: got 2nd fridge, got shelves, cleared out a closet to serve as storage/holding area for equipment and fondant pieces, learned to wipe-wipe-wipe, put wax paper down everywhere. I also learned that if cake making went beyond dinner time, to stop whatever I was doing till everyone went to bed and then pick up where I left off, even if it meant working til 1am. Working in peace and quiet makes up for the late night.

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 1:37pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


The worst part IS the big mess. I would cover my counters with 18x26 sheets of parchment paper .... if I didn't have those, then those 12x12 sheets of wax paper from Sam's were good. This helps because when flour and sugar fly all over the place, it's caught on the paper. Throw the paper away and over half your clean up is done. Even now, in my shop kitchen, I lay 12x12 sheets of wax paper next to the mixer .... this is where I lay my crisco coated measuring cups, spatulas, etc. No mess on the counter, just throw the paper away.




OMG this is one of the best pieces of advice. Thank you!

mamacc Posted 28 Sep 2008 , 3:03pm
post #18 of 18

Wax paper and parchment is a great idea!

When I'm going to carve a cake I saran wrap my whole workspace. Then after carving just roll up the saran wrap and your table is clean! The key here is NOT getting cake crumbs all over the flooricon_smile.gif I also have 2 plates or bowls handy, one for larger scraps and one for the crumbs.

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