I am a hobby baker who bakes a lot. My kids get special cakes. I volunteer to make cakes for school events, parties, and sometimes I will just bake a cake for a friend. I do this because I love to do it, practice new skills, and just to have fun. That being said, sometimes I just want to bake a "regular" cake.
Now when I go over the top with a design, I often hear comments like the following (jokingly) from my husbands family.
You have waaaaay too much time on your hands!
Oh, it's time for you to get a job.
ect, ect, ect.
Then if I just make a cake for flavor like I did yesterday (snicker bar cake - pound cake layered with chocolate cream, layered with deluche de luche mixed with peanuts, covered in ganache). The cake in itself took a while, so I didn't do any decorations. The comments then follow....
Oh, we don't rate anymore.
This is it?
Didn't have time to finish it?
ect, ect, ect...
Now, I realize that they do enjoy my cakes and do appreciate them. That being said, I wish they wouldn't do this all the time. It's the old adage, your damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Now, I feel better because I got this off my chest. And no I can't say anything, because it's my husbands family
If your feelings are really hurt by their behavior then you need to make them aware of it. The next few times you have family functions bring something besides cake. When someone asks why you can say, "Oh I got tired of all the comments. If I make something nice you give me a hard time. If I don't decorate over the top or make something plain I get a hard time. So I'll be bringing something else from now on." If they say, "Oh you know we're only joking!" You can say "Well, I'm not." Then walk away from the conversation.
After a few times of not getting to enjoy your treats I think you'll find they change their tune.
If you're uncomfortable being direct with your in-laws, tell your husband how you feel about it and let him deal with his family. If it really bothers you he needs to step up and support you...and that means telling his family that what you do for them is out of the kindness of your heart and if they keep up the comments then they need to start paying for their desserts or deal with him directly.
On the other hand if someone says you need to get a job when you present them with a decorated cake say "Funny you should say that... this IS my job now...you owe me $150. I prefer cash."
And if they comment about an undecorated cake say "It IS decorated...in expensive ingredients and a time consuming recipe. I thought you'd appreciate that more."
Only you can determine how you want to be treated.
Thank you both for your ideas!
I think next time, I will just bring brownies or nothing at all. When the comments come (and they will), I will just make a joke back at them about it being someone else turn to bake.
I can't be so direct because it is family, but I think I will still be able to get my point across by getting my husband on the band wagon. He will be able to get away with saying things that I can't.
I want that recipe!! Really could you pm me.
I totally understand! I hate making an issue with any of my in-laws. I'm not really one to be a pushover but I always feel the need to avoid conflict and keep the peace with them. Most of them are super nice, but there are a few of them...if they weren't family I would have told where to go years ago!
My in-laws were much nicer. They were very easy to bake for. They could ask for anything because it was always simple and fun to make. The one that I married had the mouth to tell me that I didn't do a good job...I got a divorce.
I had "friends" who demanded fancy baking without considering that I should even be asked nicely. When I told one of them point-blank that she would NOT be calling me in to rescue her catering project, she went off in a huff and never called me again.
Sorry those comments seem to get to you! I know what you mean about making it for fun and enjoying the process and the finished product, I have a very demanding day job as the head of my company but I need creative outlets . When people tell me that I must have too much free time I usually laugh. First of all many people don't seem to know how to give a compliment - especially when it's family. Also my family jokes about everything and is sarcastic. As a result, after many years on this earth, I know how to deflect a comment - mostly!
I know it's your husband's family but when someone suggests you don't know what to do with your time I am all for saying 'maybe I just know how to prioritize' or 'I've decided to give up sleep'. Or on a really cranky day "then don't eat it!'
But do it if YOU like it and it makes YOU feel good!
BTW, you have some great cakes in your gallery so keep up the good work!!
Silence is golden. The next time a comment is made, say nothing, squint your eyebrows for a second, and walk away. Not sure why people think if you make beautiful and time consuming cakes you need to get a job...
I know that they are family and their snarky remarks can get to you, but I would not let any family try to belittle my work in any way shape or form. Why is it that you want to keep the peace, but they are allowed to hurt you and get away with it. I know they are just jealous, but they can at least give you a straight forward compliment without the snide remarks.
Next time do not give them any bells and whistles, just a plain old cake and when the remarks start up, just say that you felt like being normal and not a superwoman.
I know what you mean! I am also a hobby baker. I offered to make a cake once for an event and my aunt said something to the affect of "Thanks, but I want a cake that tastes good and isn't just pretty." Oooo! I lost it! No one got a cake for a while. And--justice! She made the last party cake for our family and it was horrible! Slid apart and tasted like slime. My other aunt whispered to me that I am to make all the cakes from now on.