I just got out of the 2nd class for my Wilton I course and feel like all the other people think I am a b*tch!
Now, everyone in my class are very nice, very friendly and are eager to learn--there is nothing bad to say about them or the instructor.
With that said, everyone is brand new to cake decorating and have never made their own BC or mixed colors before. Most of them had problems with making runny BC or too thick BC.
I am in no way an expert, but have made my fair share of icing & cakes for my brave family and friends over the last 1 1/2 years.
We were decorating a cake that needed green BC just for the stem of some flowers. One student made up a bag w/green and shared her personal icing bag with the rest of the class. Very nice of her, but I said no thanks. That happened again with another student who wanted to trade her bag of personal pink BC for my purple. I said no thanks to her but offered her my purple.
Well, the room got completly quiet and all eyes were glaring at me!!
I don't know about their hygene or cleanliness of their house and if I'm making a cake to eat, I want my icing that I know what ingredients went itno it, not some unknown icing.
So, was I being a snob?
ummmmmmmmm, while I totally agrree with the hygeine issue, for the sake of commaradiere (sp?) and probly not going to see these people after the class is over, I probly would have swallowed hard and done it. Its like when you get bad customer service, you tell everyone about it and they probly will. Is there another class where you can make up for it or maybe bring a cake that does not mean quite so much????
I have never taken a wilton class, but I don't think you are being a snob. If you don't know the person, I wouldn't have used their icing either. Like you said, you don't know the environment that the icing was made in.
korensmommy-I would have done the same thing. If you are a snob, then I am too! I would have let her use mine, but I won't use anyone else's either-unless I know them and am comfortable doing so.
I agree with you about the comradarie and that's what I debated with myself in the span of about 5 seconds.
But, I guess not wanting to eat or have my friends/family eat runny BC that the instructor tried to doctor up with someone else's BC won out!
Oh my gosh, the same kind of thing happened in one of my classes. There is a lady in there that is very funny & friendly; I really like her.
BUT...I actually SAW her lick her fingers then wipe the tip on her bag, then lick her fingers again. THEN she offered her bag to the rest of the class. I just passed it on to the next lady. I wasn't going to use her bag that she basically licked the tip on & use it on my cake. ewww
oohh this is a toughy.....
im a germ-a-phobe so i understand.... what i would have done was use a bit of their icing on a corner, or on TOP of a flower that i could scrape off later at home when no one could see me do it...
but under the split second decision time you had, i would have done the same thing...and said what...i dont want any pink, im tired of pink!
I think it's your choice to take or reject the icing...I don't think the group should makea big deal of it. Unless you went about the room ranting and raving about not knowing about the cleanliness of her home (I hope not), then I don't think you owe any explanation or justification about not wanting to use her icing. I can see that she was just trying to be friendly, but I don't think it's rude as long as you rejected her icing tactfully.
My lame (but true) excuse is that I am using parchment bags for the 1st time and need to practice with them. BTW, I love them~~cheap and easy to use, no more cleaning bags or spending $$ on diposables!
And, of course, I did this all very tactfully because I really did appreciate the offer but just wanted to use my own
korensmommy, if you want to consider yourself a "cake snob" go ahead! at least you got good reason to..and i agree with that reason, so Im a cake snob too!!!
We can be the baking sisterhood of the cake snobs!
jamhays...that is really gross...LOL on mondays class i am gonna start looking around for "tip lickers and passers" ewwwww
When I first contemplated working with sugar, I signed up for a college course. The women were okay to talk to and some of them were a good laugh but a lot of them were smokers and they would leave the room to have a cigarette and I never saw any of them wash their hands when they returned. That put me off for one thing but the worst thing to put me completely off was when one lady's royal icing dried up inside the tip and she lifted the icing bag to her mouth and began to suck on it until the icing ran free!!!! Nobody batted an eyelid...except me!
I originally signed up for the course which was advertised as a novelty cake making course and when I got there the tutor said he didn't teach novelty as it was a waste of time and there was no money in it. I lasted 3 evening classes and never went back.
I wonder if he's ever seen my website??
Thanks sinderella! I think that would be a sisterhood I would be proud to join~~the germ-a-phob, overly clean cake decorators!
I'm not going to post my thoughts you guys would ban together and beat me up
Thanks for your post & I just saw your website. All I can say is *amazing*! Your attention to detail is outstanding! My favorite is the morning after the 21st b-day cake, the magazine on the nightstand is the best!
that is exactly why I posted my question--I wanted to hear both sides so maybe I will make a different choice next time this happens.
I promise not to come by & beat you up!!!
I have a question, do you really have to take this class ?
If it was me, i would not say no, but I would not eat what I got from them either.
I am self taught and wanted to start out by unlearning my bad habits and getting a good understanding of the basics before I move on to the next class or more difficult cakes. I didn't know what steps I was missing (or could leave out!) by just teaching myself. Not to say anything negative about self-taught people, I am not that good to teach myself everything!! And, I figured the practice would be good for me!
I can understand if you watched someone lick their finger then use that finger to wipe their bag... that would bother most people - however - if your going under the premiss that you should only eat what you have made - no one would buy our cakes and we shouldn't eat out. I guess I would just judge each request/offer to share based on my knowledge of that person. korensmommy - you say you've been doing this for a 1 1/2 yrs - for some in the class this may have been their first try. If you noticed their bc was not quite right - help them out by giving them your insite not your disapproval. That's just my opinion as a newbee.
You make a good point with eating out & people buying our cakes.
This was the 1st try at making BC and icing a cake for most of the class. I also agree with you about offering insight, I did offer a few hints/suggestions to people (which were well received) but I don't want to be that 'know-it-all' in class that no one can stand! I enjoy decorating and sharing what I've learned (99% from this wonderful site!) but am tring to find a good balance between helping and being a pain in the butt!
Also, I don't think my refusal came off so much as dissaproval of their skills and that is completely not what it was meant to be!
I cringed(sp?) as I read your post! UGH!!! I just can't imagine!
I guess I'm lucky because I have a built in excuse. I have no way of knowing if their ingredients are kosher!
But thankfully this hasn't come up in my class, although I did see people licking their tips and bags last night. I had to restrain myself from making a face, it was so gross. I kept thinking how they need a class on hygiene. Most of these people were making cakes for family or even their workplace. I have always been a "little" (huge understatement LOL) obsessive about keeping things clean, but I don't want to eat something someone else licked. I wouldn't even eat something my family has licked! It's just gross!!!
Ok, here goes, I'm very sensetive and cry easily so don't be too harsh with me.
Most of you know my daughter is OCD when it comes to germs. Rather than using a clean washcloth for her baby it has to be a disposable wipe???
She is even making me think of things I have never thought of before.
I think it's the generation. All of a sudden we have germ phobics and what I call the disposable generation. It drive me nuts how everything is throw away.
What happen? When did the germ thing become such a problem. I am by no means dirty but I don't have germs on my mind 24/7. I would lose my mind if I thought of those things.
When I think about what I did as a kid and I'm alive to tell about it.
If you saw what I have working in a resturant, meat packing house and chip factory you would never eat anything you didn't grow. When you go to bed at night do you know how many insect you sleep with.
When I read your thread I thought how odd, what do you think could be in the frosting. Life is far to short to worry about such things.
And, I believe the media has caused all this. They are scaring people half to death with their stories. That's how they get viewers.
Germs were here long before us and they will be here long after us it's just the big bad germs you need to worry about, not the everyday germs we have lived with for years.
Katlik, I didn't even think about someone licking their tips. Why would they do that. I keep a damp cloth handy for that.
Thanks for that post. You just brought to my attention that I may be a hypocrite (sp?). I have a 3 year old and 1 on the way and I was never one of those moms who was freaky over germs. I keep my son clean, but he is a rough-n-tough boy and probably is made mostly of dirt & germs. He once licked the window of a Boston subway and is still alive to talk about it!
I will think it over next time they offer.
I agree COMPLETELY about the germ thing being beyond overblown. They are ACTUALLY discoverign that reason asthma, pserosis (Sp?), Krohn's and other auto-immune system diseases are increasing is because we are living toooooooo germ free!!! Our bodies were designed to be constantly attacking germs, but we are knocking so many of them out - in the water, our food, our home, etc, that instead of attacking germs, they are turning on the body and attackign the body instead. Some of th radical (or so it seemed) treatments were to GIVE the body somethign to fight, and guess what, instead of attackign the body, the immune system started concentrating on the foreign invader...
While, I think it is totally uncool that they are licking their fingers and such, it's also not the end of the world...
I guess I'm immune to these things as I never even paid attention to what people were doing with their bags and we switched them around the room all over the place... and how many of us can say we never scraped the bowl with our finger? Dipped a finger in to taste a bit? Grabbed a snitch of coookie dough? When it's for my family, I do that stuff all the time and so do they... but for customers, I'm extra careful and don't do that stuff, but that's more because I know other people would freak about it and it's not the most professional behavior! LOL
As a Wilton Instructor I have seen people do some things that I couldn't always believe. Because of some of the things I do have a class rule about it on the sheet of rules I hand out at the beginning of class.
The rule is: DO NOT lick your fingers, spatula, or any other cake decorating tools. DO NOT suck icing from the decorating tips. We will learn and practice with good, clean habits. Remember, others will be eating your cakes.
When my students read this I usually hear some laughs or comments, but I always tell them that I have that rule for a reason and because I have seen people do it in class. I'm not ugly about it and usually tell them that I'm human too and sometimes when at home if I get icing on my finger I may lick it off. But I also remind them that the difference is that at home I can wash my hands before touching anything else in class we just have baby wipes to clean our hands.
Every so often I will have a student that forgets and do it. And you should see their eyes light up when they realise what they do. I never comment on it, but it lets me know that some people are more aware after that.
As far as what happened, I would not stress about it. Chances are most won't even think about it next week. And if they do, don't worry about it. If you keep taking the classes you will see them for a few more months then unless you make friends with them you probably won't see them agian.
If you don't make a big deal about, they probably won't either. Don't feel the need to explain yourself. A simple "no thanks I don't need any pink" should have been enough.
I appreciate everyone's comments on this topic, it gave me some new prospective. I know I thought much more about this than anyone did in class, I bet they didn't even think twice about it after I said no thanks and I am just overreacting!
Like I said, everyone is very nice and I am having fun. I am trying to squeeze in as many classes as I can before baby #2 comes along.
Do not forget, as someone else here said, you will most probably never see these people again. That said, don't you have food allergies? (wink wink).
You simply casually mention next class that you make your own icing because you have (or someone in your family has) a food allergy and you have to be extremely careful! Simple, harmless little excuse that no one will question and keep feelings from being hurt.
You could also state that you or a family member is vegetarian or vegan or whatever else - you get the idea. No one has a right to question you on this, but this may help you save face. Enjoy the rest of your class and don't fret about not using someone else's icing.
What a great topic!
I agree that we have all become germphobic, but licking the tips!!! That is too much.
I love how everyone in this thread has been so civil to one another. No one's feelings are hurt, just a heathy discussion/debate.
I am a total germophobe and especially so since my baby was born.
My mother comes from a different generation where germs where not such an issue as they are today. She doesn't say anything to me but I know she smirks a little when I whip out the anti-bacterial wipe to wipe down the shopping cart handle or use the infant seat cover on the highchair at applebees.
They say a little dirt is good for you. OK, fine. But, there is nothing wrong with a little awareness of how germs are transfered to keep the flu and that nasty norwalk virus away from our loved ones. (or away from us especially when we have a cake due
I guess its more of a control thing. Most germophobes are control freaks to some degree.
But, I digress... In my opinion, the whole 'licking the icing tip' thing is just gross. But, unless they have a cold, or the flu or some other illness, its not going to make you sick. Its just plain gross.
just my 2 cents. great thread by the way.
I remember when I took my class 26 yrs ago, (Not Wilton class) the teacher tactfully told everyone that to keep from licking fingers and sucking the tips, keep a toothpick in their mouth. She used the excuse that if you don't eat the icing, you would not gain as much weight from the sugar. She had seen this problem over and over again. To this day, I decorate my cakes with a toothpick to remind me not to put any icingin my mouth. It also helps with the stress. LOL She also did not allow icing to be passed around. She said if you did not learn how to mix your own icing correctly, you would never be happy with your cake.