Soddo Special Delivery    From Dr. Mark and Allison Karnes

Cakes cooling on the kitchen cupboard

Steph’s wedding was a lot of fun.  For me it began the weeks before  when  Steph asked if I could make a wedding cake for her.  Of course I said yes , but the perfectionist streak in me began to fret.  I had to have it perfect.  In reality in probably wouldn’t have mattered that much to Steph because she is so easy going.  The wedding cake became a challenge that I had to master.  For one week before the wedding I began to experiment with recipes.  Because we live at an altitude of over 6000 ft. and work with inferior ingredients, it can be quite a trick to get a cake to rise consistently at this altitude.  The cake was stressing me out! I finally wrote my prayer partners that I needed some serious prayers to make this cake.  After three flops, I finally got it right and made 11 layers.

Putting the cake together at Gaucho’s house

Christina and I with the cake

At noon on Saturday Christina G. and I carefully packed her Land Cruiser with flowers, extra cakes that the missionary ladies had made, the icing and knives and cake decorating kit that I would need and blue table cloths.   The cake was on a wooden pedestal that we had purchased in the D.R. Congo and packed into a cardboard box.  Part of the cake was already iced because I needed to make sure I had enough icing when I left my kitchen for the small Ethiopian home that the wedding would take place in. I only needed to add the three layer topper.  I held the cardboard box in my lap and kept my right hand fingers on the edge of the cake to keep it from slipping.  How in the world do professional cake makers carry their masterpieces to weddings?  I had to wonder; surely not over potholes, rocks and dirt roads.  Ever so slowly Christina drove the Land Cruiser to the house where the ceremony would take place. There are very few smooth roads in Soddo so each bump in the road became a test of courage as I carefully shielded the cake from toppling over.  At Gaucho’s house helpers came out to carry our load into the house.  Christina got busy decorating the tables with the beautiful flower arrangements that the missionary ladies had created.  I set up the cake table and began to put the final touches on the cake. At one point I realized that I needed some liquid to smooth out the icing.  What could I do?  Milk was unavailable. If I used the local water it would contaminate the cake and everyone could potentially get sick.  I remembered that they had to have soft drinks at the house for the wedding and asked if by chance they had any Ambo.  Ambo is the local carbonated water drink.  “Yes!” they answered.  I was able to thin down the icing with Ambo and it smoothed out quite nicely. Christina, who has quite an artistic touch, helped me finish the cake.  We set some of Jackie Anderson’s green hydrangeas on top and down the sides of the cake and it looked quite lovely.  For a first try at a wedding cake, it actually turned out pretty nice. 

That afternoon I held my breath as we cut the cake and didn’t relax until I took a bite.  It was great!  The prayers worked and I give glory to God for that cake.

The finished cake

Stephanie and Kebede cutting the cake

One Response to “That Wedding Cake”

  1. Sheila Mogren says:

    Hi Allison,
    The wedding cake was beautiful!!! Would rival a Ryke’s cake!
    Wondering what you added between the layers? Love the ‘dotted’ frosting…You’re a woman of many talents!

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