Be the boss!


Zoe and Jacquie Cain

Zoe and Jacquie Cain

As the votes were read aloud and counted, one by one, it became clear who would win. Nearing the end of the voting, the losing contestant said with some tone, “I going to be vice!” I didn’t really hear what she said, so I asked her to repeat it, “I said, I’m going to be vice!” I asked my seven-year-old little girl what she meant. She said, “I’m going to be Vice Cake Boss!”

During the holidays, both little girls decided they wanted to make a cake. Not any ordinary cake, but a special cake of their own creation. Not with any run-of-the mill ingredients, but instead their own custom ingredients. The winner, I decided, would be selected by voting on the best tasting cake. We would travel with both cakes through our neighborhood until both were eaten. At each stop, the surprise judges would vote for their favorite cake by secret ballot. The winner would be proclaimed the Cake Boss! And, apparently, my oldest daughter assumed that second place was Vice Cake Boss.

Each contestant would, of course, require some assistance. I agreed to help each with a grocery list, the shopping and the cooking. Each would-be Cake Boss had three hours in the kitchen to make their vision come to life. The competing cakes included a Pancake Cake and, the eventual winner, a Candy Cain Cake. The Pancake Cake was made with nine pancakes from scratch each held in place by a layer of chocolate and fresh whipped cream. This little gem was topped with more whipped cream and fruit. The Candy Cain Cake started with the messy business of breaking 20 candy canes with a hammer. The result was like eating a peppermint with a bit of cake – the creator truly was the Cake Boss.

Things that have never been done before might just be things that haven’t been tried. The willingness to experiment, explore and take some calculated risks are necessary ingredients of success. Being the boss of anything requires imagination and innovation.