I purchased a cake mix this past week thinking I would bake it in honor of Easter, and also for our family to enjoy over the long weekend. I had some leftover chocolate icing in the freezer that I had made a few weeks ago so all I needed to do was mix up the cake and bake it.
I decided to use my bundt pan because it always makes a cake look pretty. Here’s where the story gets interesting: I reached for my Misto (a spray bottle filled with oil) to grease the pan. Why I didn’t listen to the niggling thought in the back of my head, which warned me that this might not be enough of a coating for the pan, I don’t know. I even used a paper towel to spread the oil evenly around the pan. Then I poured in my batter and baked my cake.
After the appropriate cooling time, I gently used my spatula to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Sufficiently satisfied that I had properly loosened the cake, I tipped the cake onto my plate only to have half of the cake release from the pan, and the other half stay firmly in the pan. Interested in all the muttering and exclaiming coming from the kitchen, both Brad and Jacob arrived on the scene to find me trying to piece together the various parts of the cake to resemble a bundt cake. After the laughter subsided (I wasn’t laughing), I confessed that I had used the Misto to coat my pan. I knew the answer even before Brad said it, which was, “You don’t use the Misto to coat a cake pan! You use Crisco and flour!”
This is a lesson about using the right tool for the job. How many times have I tried to cut corners and ended up disappointed and frustrated? If I am honest with myself, I often use the wrong tool for a job because I am in a rush and I don’t want to take the time to go find the right tool or figure out what the right tool is. I just want to get whatever it is—done. I am also prone to thinking that once I find the right gadget this newfound tool will work in every situation. Just for the record, a Misto is great for coating a skillet or a baking pan for roasting chicken or vegetables, but it does not work for coating a cake pan!
Although the cake tastes great (I ended up making a lemon powdered sugar glaze to drizzle over it), it looks nothing like it was supposed to. I have a feeling this story will be told more than a few times at family gatherings going forward, and hopefully by that time I will be able to laugh along with everyone else. I don’t want to live my life in a rush or make do with whatever. Yes, there are times to be flexible and adapt appropriately, but when I am able I want to choose the right tool for the job.