Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yule Wonder

Thursday, December 24, 2009

If you're like me, you may have seen cakes in your local bwreckery (<- New word! Booya!) that look a lot like logs. Yule logs, to be exact. And if you're like me, you may ask yourself, "Why do I always get the cart with the wonky wheel?" Which is a mystery. But you might also ask yourself, "Self, what is a Yule Log?" To which your Self might answer, "42" - at which point you should make a mental note to adjust any prescription meds you might be taking.

But, I digress.

Where was I?

Right. Yule logs!

Here comes one now:

I promised Jen this wouldn't be a knotty post! Ha! See, Jen? I can pun with the best of 'em.


Look! It's Santa riding a log!
Oh, that sort of sounds suggestive. Uh. Never mind.

Okay. Well how 'bout some other Yuley goodies?

Ahh. Das Yule Boot™.


The Yule Shotgun™©.


The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III.


And finally...The Last One.

'Nuff said.

So there you have it. The Majestic Yule Log. All warm and fuzzy? Good, good.

Thanks to Carrie F., Melissa B., Jenichan, Anna L., Shannon K., and Jessica S., who I'm sure know what the phrase "dropped a log" means, even if Jen doesn't.

Note: Yes, yes, we know what a Yule Log is. It's the First Fruits tree branch that was carved into a Menorah and given to the Baby Jesus at Winter Solstice. And I'm pretty sure there were Pilgrims involved too.

- Related Wreckage:

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It's the last day in our charity countdown! Woohoo! So today, what with it being Christmas Eve and all, we thought we'd end with a charity that helps promote the wonder of the season year-round for kids who need it most: Give Kids the World.

This organization provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families truly magical experiences at the Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre Orlando resort specifically designed for children with special needs. (This place is amazing, too - check out some of the photos!)

Click here to donate your dollar via our First Giving Campaign page.
Hayley said...

I thoroughly enjoy the Hitchhiker's Guide references sprinkled throughout this blog.

Terry Lee said...

john, yule be sure to sleigh many of us today with those puns (ugh. i know.)!

knotty or not, santa and i are aghast at these wrecks. what the what?!

great new word, btw.

Fanboy Wife said...

I think I'm going to skip the Yule log and just eat some Swiss Cake Rolls. Don't worry, I'll make sure to wipe my mouth with my towel.

PeeJay said...

Is that a boob on the Yule Shotgun?

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha! I think I've been waiting all year to see these-- worst idea for a traditional cake, ever!

And if some of these cakes are really supposed to be logs, I hope someone burns them! "Winter" to you, Jen and John! :)

Veronica said...

Them's some saaaad logs.

I started reading CakeWrecks earlier this year, and I'm noticing more and more post scripts at the end of many new posts. Because some irritating readers have no sense of humor, Jen&John have to explain that the previous Wreck is meant to be a joke. It seems so unnecessary, but I guess they have to over-explain so people don't leave dozens of comments explaining what a yule log or croquembouche REALLY is or that their offended by something that is meant to be funny.
I LOVE Cake Wrecks, but those readers need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen and Wreckers -- I'm living in France, home of the buche de Noel -- and just got back from shopping, so I've been looking at Yule logs by the hundreds -- ice cream buches, cake-based buches...of every shape, size and description. What a treasure -- black forest...coffee and cream...hazelnut and chocolate...peach and raspberry. Yep, it's hard to pick one (so I bought two, one for Christmas Eve, and one for Christmas Day!) I usually make one, but this year a nasty case of food poisoning left me with not much time and even less desire to do much cooking.

Anyway...just thought I'd let you know that the first three, especially the first one, are very, very typical of an authentic French buche de Noel. They don't usually have the frosting spirals on the "cut ends", but other than that, they could be in the display case at my local patissier.

I don't know why a country that is capable of creating cakes that are so mind-blowingly gorgeous that you don't want to eat them is also capable of creating such plastificated messes at Christmas, but they do...and they're fun.

Let me know -- I might be persuaded to send you photos of French NON wrecks (trade for a book, mebbe?)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you for choosing Give Kids the World! It is a wonderful organization and provided a much needed break for our family during our son's illness. I can't say enough about what they do to encourage families coping with life threatening illnesses. Thank you so much!

missalg said...

Hurrah for Yule log cakes: back when I was working like a frantic elf at a flower shop, we used to get one every Christmas and get all giggly from the icing and the meringue mushrooms and such. However, they looked a LOT better than these! Someone needs a few lessons in real Yule-loggery from the now (sadly) retired Mr. Zach.

And cheers for the Hitchhikers Guide, too!

missalg

joanne said...

Those are God-awful! do they realize a yule log is supposed to be a log, like part of a tree, and not some kind of muddy landscape for plastic flotsam santa to land on? honestly.

I made a kick ass yule log last year, complete with cocoa dusted marzipan mushrooms, blackberries, some powdered sugar "snow" and some marzipan berries and holly leaves. My mother actually got mad at me. She thought I put dirty mushrooms on the cake. *pats self on back for realistic mushrooms*
And the bark was fork-ribbed chocolate, unlike that weird white monstrosity that is cake #1.

Thank you, wreckerators. I was already proud of that yule log. Now I know I can do better than the wreckerators!

Meanwhile, pastry chefs in France are laughing their butts off at what our wreckerators did to their beautiful traditional logs! Joyeux Noel, amis!

wv: minti--This green icing tastes a little minti!

Leslee Beldotti said...

Am I the only person who immediately started humming a certain Talking Heads song?

Vivian said...

Did anyone else notice the label on the Yule Shotgun says "French Bread?"

deckardcanine said...

Great opening paragraph, John.

andygirl said...

good god what is the last one?!? I don't even want to contemplate it. frightening.

Anonymous said...

I was in the bwreckery yesterday and saw, get this, a YULE LOG DOG! I almost peed my pants, thinking of this site and THAT dog, err log. Thanks for sharing these great examples of what not to put anywhere near a fireplace this season. Merry Christmas!

Tainda said...

"The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III"

I just threw up in my mouth a little hahahaha


Yay for the Hitchhiker's reference! I often anger my coworkers when I answer '42' to any of their questions lol

Anonymous said...

Bha hahahahahaha!

AWESOME post! Thanks so much. I haven't laughed this much in a long time. Hideous cakes. :-)

This is the perfect Christmas present, this hilarity. Thanks Jen and John for all the rejuvenating laughter you bring all year round. :-D Lily

Kimberly Chapman said...

All I could think when reading this post was:

Don't Panic.



PS HHGttG is also making an appearance on my Austin show cake...

Anonymous said...

I love Yule log cakes. This is just a shame. Could there be a Sunday Sweets dedicated to Yule logs done right sometime? Their reputation has been besmirched!

ashlucard said...

You had me in stitches with the first paragraph, but the Yule Shotgun ripped them wide open. Keep up the hijinks and merry Christmas eve!

John said...

That last one looks like something out of a Clive Barker novel.

Jimh. said...

I'm with Hayley, awesome HHG references! And Das Yule Boot...well, full speed ahead and all that! Seasonings Greetings!

Anonymous said...

hitchhikers guide!!! yaaaay

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean Yule Boomstick on number 4?

corianne said...

I've got a big case of the Christmas Blues going on here, but this post made me laugh out loud. Thanks, Jon! That's just what I needed on this Christmas Eve!

I also really appreciate what you're doing with the charities. I'm unemployed, and my budget is stretched to the breaking point, but I was able to give to one or two. I wish I could do more, but that might leave me in need of help from one of the charities I'm supporting :P

Anyway, Merry Christmas, and keep up the good work!

Alex said...

bwahahahahahah!
"The Yule Corn-Nut Turd™©®Esq. MD. III." - I LOVE IT!

I also wonder why they reserve the wonky wheel for me.

I also posted 42 as an answer to a question on my blog, and my mother made a comment arguing that 42 was NOT the answer. sheesh.

Alex said...

uh, @Veronica, that footnote was tongue in cheek, and is not really what a Yule Log is. It's called sarcasm. You just crossed over into the class of readers you are deriding. There is nothing irritating about John's sarcasm. funny. haha. smile and enjoy. I have gotten irritated at the less than helpful readers also. but silly footnotes are for the rest of us who do have a sense of humor.

Merry Christmas to J&J and all you guys. Thanks for gifting us everyday.

Em said...

Ah yes, the atomic number of molybdenum. The angle in degrees for which a rainbow appears.
The time it would take to travel through the Earth, rather than around it. The information one gets at putting 42 into wikiped. The Genius of Douglas Adams. And finally, the reason why I, too, get the shopping cart with the wackado wheels.

I love yule logs. But I'm pagan that way. And in lots of other ways too. 42!

wv: mockded: tooooo easy.

Michele said...

Thank you for reminding us of the true spirit of Christmas! A little late, but all of my dollars are now donated - Merry Christmas! I'm looking forwars to many more wrecks next year!

CookieMonster said...

*snort*

mjm said...

Not really related to todays post but I felt I should share my ineptitude with the masses.
I made a gingerbread house today, tried to write 'Welcome' on the door lintel and managed to put two 'l's in it! *facepalm* I'm so ashamed!!

kat said...

My Yule Log wreck story takes place in San Francisco Airport, where a very famous and fancy-schmancy bakery has an outpost.

In the case was a lovely, non-wreck looking yule log whose tag used the French word for yule log......sort of.

It said "Bouche de Noel."

Now, "log" is "Buche."
"Bouche" is actually "mouth."

They had a "Christmas mouth."

The guy behind the counter refused to see the problem.....My little francophile brain just about exploded.

Katy said...

As Anonymous 10:15, I also live in France. This year, because I make peanuts for a living and also live hyper-expensive Paris, my flatmate and I decided to spring for a buche de Noel that cost all of, um, 1.50 EUR, I believe.

It looked sufficiently log like (and included a tiny plastic saw), but apparently to this patisserie, "arome praline," which SHOULD mean "praline-flavoured," ACTAULLY means "cardboard-flavoured." Because it tasted exactly like the box it came in. I'm assuming so, anyway - it certainly smelt similar.

Nocturnal Sanders said...

42. That made me laugh! Celeste

Kaite said...

I'd just like to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for choosing Give Kids the World as one of your charities! I had the pleasure of taking a trip there a year ago (Jan 1st, 2009) with my goddaughter who is 3 with various illnesses, her mom and my son! The facilities are FANTASTIC and I would be more than happy to share any pics of the facilities if people want to see it! THANK YOU AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

Most of these aren't really that bad in my opinion, but the last one looks like a moldy boot.

Leigh Lyons said...

Uh, Jon, man, that's not what a Yule Log is. It comes from the pagan traditions as Yule (the winter solstice) is a fire holiday and you can't had fire without wood. Read the bible, there is no mention of wood in conjunction with the birth at all.

That being said, should I just be happy that my religion is being sort of recognized or annoyed that they plastered Santa and Jesus all over it....

The cakes are awfully bad though.

Anonymous said...

Yule put your eye out!!

Anonymous said...

It's times like these I'm grateful that Islam prohibits religious imagery, so we can all be spared Eid wrecks.

Anonymous said...

the last one just fell on the ground

Anonymous said...

This is one of the funniest posts in a long time.

And I still have no idea what a yule log actually is and yet, I still don't really care enough to spend 30 seconds with a search engine.

shadow said...

Nobody else laughs when I say "42" to answer questions. This is why I love you guys.

CatLadyDiary.com said...

Bwreckery! brilliant. Thanks for so much joy this past year.

crazycrafter said...

That last one is freaky. . . whatever! I am constantly amazed at the incompetency of bakers! Merry Christmas!
Hannah, age 12
P.S: JESUS is the Reason for the Season! =)

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of your site even though I don't bake (I think my parents had that portion of my brain removed at birth). I just wanted to say I belly-laughed at today's post.

Rock on, CW!

JHill said...

Am I the only one who thinks even a well-made Yule Log cake looks gross? Who wants to eat a rotting dead tree carcass covered in mushrooms and leaves. Weird.

At least, now I know the meaning of life.

Jenn said...

I liked the Hitchhiker's Guide reference :) Some of the ugliest yule logs I've ever seen. Hopefully, though, they're still yummy.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA I ah um kinda tried to make a " you'll" log and it well kinda started to decompose -you know break down.... natural recycling etc. so i did what any smart thinking baker would do....
turn it into TRIFLE yeah yum. So instead of a red velvet with white chocolate cream yule log, we'll have red velvet white chocolate cream trifle!

Happy festivus yule all : 0 )

Jubilee said...

Although 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it is not the answer to "what is a yule log". Sorry, half credit for a good try though!

Anonymous said...

If I squint real hard, the last one is some kind of Cthulhu Log.

wv: tolets. where the Cthulhu log came from ....

Kelly said...

Hooray for the Hitchiker's Guide reference!

Julie said...

Yeesh.. The Last One. I think that's the Yule Waterlog.

Happy Holidays!

betzine said...

Man, I love Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In fact, the amount of geekage sprinkled liberally throughout this blog makes me smile.

Mystery Baker said...

... thank god Christmas is over, is all I can say. Now my bakery can go back to mangaling both spelling and Transformers cakes.

I DO finally have a wrecky story ... kind of a two-fer. Part one happened about a month ago, part two happened today.

I am NOT a cake decorator, first off. Just a baker, who spends half my day doing my job and the other half running for cakes. On Part One's day, I was attempting to make three different kinds of bread at once, and one of the Deli workers (supermarket store, they stick the two departments together. Deli also goes for cakes. Unfortunately the Bakery cannot help with sandwich platters or cut the head cheese for you) came up to me with a cake request for Mrs. X. So, in a hurry, I go to get Mrs. X's cake. On my way out to the Deli counter, I look on the instructions, because I am starving for human contact and I like seeing what people put on their cakes.

It reads "Happy Birthday Dark Chocolate".

I look at the cake. It reads "Happy Birthday Dark Chocolate" amid buttercream lillies and a few sugar flake sparkles.

I, a dedicated Cake Wrecks reader, am in a strange state of anticipation. On the one hand ... this is my bakery and (now) my customer, and I will have to listen to a complaint I cannot do anything about. The cake decorators are gone, nobody else is allowed to touch the icing tubes. On the other hand, I have been waiting a wreck the way some people await the Second Coming. I might just be holding it in my hands. My only wish is that I had a camera. I get the cake to the customer. She is very large ... and also very black. The cake is for her husband, and it is exactly what she wanted. She enthusiastically thanks me, and when I explain that I did not do the lillies, she tells me to pass her praise on to the decorator.

This is how the literal wrecks happen.

Part Two: It is christmas Eve, we go into our department thanking God we do not have to set foot outside the counter until we have to leave. I am almost out. Just have to clean out the gigantic bread mixer with the bowl permanently affixed. Customer waves me over to retreive their cake. As before, while I'm bringing the cake out, I read the order.

It reads "Happy Birthday Jon (young male)"

I look at the cake. On a gold ribbon, in red icing, it reads "Happy Birthday Jon (young male)" complete with parentheses.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will be fixing this cake in two minutes.

I look back at the order, and realize whoever took the order wrote the inscription in the wrong place -- instead of under "Special instructions" they stuck it in the little box where formatting instructions (IE words here, heart here) go. The cake decorators have been well trained by "Dark Chocolate" cakes to write EXACTLY as written in that little box.

I handed the cake to the customer anyway, because it COULD have been another "Dark Chocolate" cake. It was not. The customer starts walking away, reads the cake, and turns around. They don't even have to ask. I cut the "(young male)" bit off the gold ribbon and watched the customers vanish into the general sea of desperation.

Kelcy said...

The Hitchhiker's Guide Reference made my day. :D I'm just reading those again. Love the blog

rose said...

i especially liked the 42 reference:)

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Kat
That would have bothered me, too! Isn't it also pronounced nearly the same?

and funny stories, Mystery Baker!

wv: dente
There's a dente in one of those "logs."

Anonymous said...

aw, several of these even have the little gold axes among the plastic poinsettia. yet i "ax" you--why are there little green evergreen trees on top of the yule log (a log being a cut down tree)? since when do little tiny trees grow on big chopped down dead ones among the mushrooms? these wreckerators have a real issue with scale. goes along with having flotsam santa riding along the bark. speaking of which, shotgun/broom/boob on a guitar log is way too smooth!

and tree rings aren't swirls. they're concentric rings. take a science class, wreckerators!

wv: couslain--Who couslain that poor little puppy on yesterday's first cake?

Crystal said...

I'm so excited you featured GKTW today! It's my favorite charity, and I have the crazy volunteer hours to prove it! Merry Christmas to you, and may the karma of your generosity come back to you tenfold!!

Katie said...

Yule logs... as cakes? No thank you. I like to burn my Yule log. Huzzah! Can't burn cake, that would be blasphemy...

ptoneil said...

IF "wonky wheel shopping carts" equates to "42", does that mean that they are the key to understanding life, the universe and everything? If only I had a babble fish to translate that the squeeky wheel was saying.

Plumblossom said...

As a French person, I have to plead guilty for the log cake. It is a French tradition.
For several centuries, on Christmas Eve, a very large log used to be burned slowly in the fire to ensure a good harvest for the year to come. Then large hearths disappeared and the tradition has continued through cakes.
If you ever come in France around Christmas time, or if you simply google "bûche de Noël", you may get a better opinion of yule log than the opinion created from this piles of...Whatever it is.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël.

feathergirl said...

I am a fan of that Santa riding a log cake.

Miss Amy O said...

The log cake wrecks are a hoot but I loved it that you worked the universal answer, 42, into the post. love it!

Anonymous said...

Did that last wreck start out as a Thomas the Tank Engine cake?

Jillybean said...

"42"

AWESOME!

Mary said...

I have to say I'm a little surprised that the ASPCA wasn't picked as one of the charities.

Anonymous said...

yule logs=life, the universe, and everything

Veronica said...

@ Alex...
I'm aware of the sarcasm this post. However, seeing that particular PS made me think of all the commenters who may see it and be like"THAT'S not what a yule log is!!". I guess commenting on this particular post about over-thinking readers was not the best time to do it. Next time I'll wait til it makes more sense. Ok with you?

Stephanie said...

We had ice cream Yule logs yesterday (they're extremely popular in France), and while they were yummy, they did have a fair amount of flotsam on them. Slightly tacky, though not as wrecky as the ones you posted. Just thought I'd share.

As for the post, well, I think you said it all. And the Hitchhiker's Guide reference made me chuckle. :P

*gemmifer* said...

Loving the HGG reference!

voiceofangel said...

I'm a little worried over why the Yule Shotgun has a sticker that appears to say 'french bread' on it. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the "Ho Ho Ho" one says, "Awe my gosh," instead of oh my gosh. I'm from the country, and am fluent in redneck.

Ann said...

Okay, I actually teared up over the "Yule Corn-Nut Turd"... And I'm still laughing... Perhaps it's just because it's late and I'm tired, but oddly, I don't think so!

Kate said...

The first yule log screams "Polywhirl used hypnosis"

Robyn said...

Thanks so much for highlighting Give Kids the World. I've been out of town for two weeks, so I only just saw it. They are a phenomenal charity. I've volunteered there and as a seasonal Disney World cast member see families on trips with Give Kids the World enjoying themselves and forgetting their worries for at least a little while.