Much to my poor husband’s chagrin, the last couple of dummies from the Wolverine cake have been waiting forever to get cleaned off. In particular, the largest one has been taking up valuable counter space all these months. I soaked the slightly smaller base one in the bathtub several months ago since it didn’t fit into any of our sinks or plastic tubs, and that was a major pain of a mess to clean up.
I heard Kerry Vincent say in an interview on CakeFu that she lets Oklahoma rainstorms clean her dummies in her backyard for her. Genius! However, this is Austin: we’ve had hardly any rain here, and none at all at our house since I heard Vincent’s interview. Oh sure, it poured like crazypants for the ten minutes I was trying to load my car after Day of Sharing on July 10, but that was in Round Rock; down here in South Austin there was nary a drop.
I’ve also heard that one can dishwasher them, but this one a) doesn’t fit in the dishwasher and b) has a ragged bottom from where I cut it off of its wooden board, and while I enjoy experimentation, finding out just how many wee balls of styrofoam my dishwasher can handle before choking is not amongst the things I wish to test.
This big base dummy has holes in it from Wolvie’s legs and from the side cake support structure, so all along it’s been destined for reuse not as a whole unit, but as spare styrofoam. Well, I need some spare styrofoam so I can make little mini “cakes” that students at my gummy class can wrap with gummy sheets on Sunday. I can’t wait for these 30% rain chance forecasts to continually turn into 100% drought days any more!
So I’ve caved and put it out in the backyard and turned on the hose. I’ll periodically wet it through the day until the heat and the water render that fondant removable. The grass and the bugs will have a party, I’m sure.
Update: Hrm. It’s so hot and dry that the water is evaporating before it can properly melt the fondant for me. Also, not a bug in sight. Austin ants must be lazy; Las Vegas ants found a toddler-dropped cookie crumb in minutes. In fact, I think I can hear the stampede of a zillion Nevadan ants storming their way over to Austin to eat this backyard fondant buffet. My apologies to Arizona and New Mexico, especially the first since I’m pretty sure the ants don’t have documentation.
Update 2: I see the skies are darkening. They are teasing me, no doubt. However, if it actually rains, I demand credit for putting my rain-attracting cake out there!
Update 3: Now I’ve got others involved in my nefarious plans:
Update 4: I give. Slow and steady isn’t working.
I hit it with a few 2-cup-measures’ full of hot water and that helped dent it a bit. Apparently Kerry Vincent gets a lot of hot rain in Oklahoma or something. Once it was dented, I pried small chunks up with my fingernails, then hit it with the power hose to blast off more chunks. So much for reusing the styrofoam in an effort to be eco-friendly! Oh well. I cleared off the top well enough and since I’m hacking it up tomorrow, I don’t care about the sides so much.
It is interesting how, whenever I clean a dummy, anything with overlaid bits ends up looking embossed after when the overlays are gone but there’s still thicker remnants underneath. Surely this has to be a useful technique in actual decorating, minus the bit where it sits in a sink or on a lawn, of course.
It is also interesting how hard some of the quilling bits are holding on, given how fragile they were when it counted. Grrr.