Swapping: A Good Idea Gone Bad

Bartering:  The act of swapping goods or services.

That’s my definition.  I’m having a kitchen crisis and couldn’t take the time to consult Miriam Webster, but I could take the time to write an entire blog post of who knows how many words to document my disaster.

Do you ever barter?

We do all the time.  Although we never set out to trade goods or services, we somehow find ourselves swapping things all the time.  It must be rubbing off on my kids too.  The other day my daughter came home with a handful of new microscopic toys, the kind you step on in the middle of night, traded for a La La Loopsy pencil topper.

Anyhow, I’ve traded venison for beef (I totally got the better end of that deal), toothpaste for soap (don’t even think about asking), and vanilla extract for makeup.  I generally stick to swapping goods.

My husband swaps electrical services.  He fixes electrical problems while a mechanic fixes our car, etc.  I think the most surprising swap was when my husband brought home a couple of dozen eggs and fresh turkey after going out on an electrical call, but hey, it worked.  I felt all Ma Ingalls when I was frying up those eggs, but since I didn’t own a bonnet or cabin, there was something not quite right about the feeling.

The point is I swap.

Once I was even contacted to participate in the wife swap show on TV.  Needless to say we didn’t do it.  FringeMan had a mini hearty-tack at the thought and we graciously declined.

So considering my trading past (Our trading past I should say, because swapping didn’t start with me.  I’ll just blame the Pilgrims and Indians for today’s disaster.), I wasn’t surprised when my daughter’s piano teacher brought up the subject of bartering.

She wants one of my almost world famous cakes (I use the term world-famous very loosly) in exchange for a piano lesson for my daughter.  Baking for piano lessons.  I thought it was a good deal, until this morning.

You see, paino lessons are this afternoon and I’ve already royally screwed up one three layer lemon cake with strawberry filling and strawberry butter cream icing.  It looks like a mound of slop layered on top of each other.

If I start dancing around my kitchen and singing Help Me Rhonda, do you think it will make everything better?

Because, I need all the help I can get right about now!

I’ve got a second set of cakes in the oven, but there’s no guarantee the second cake will turn out right.  They say the third time is a charm and I don’t have enough butter for a third time, not to mention I can’t have three globs of cake and sugary good icing hanging out in my kitchen for the next two weeks.  I’m on a diet and it’s taken all the willpower I can muster not to lick the bowl.  And, yes there’s and an AND.  The first messed up cake is in my only cake carrier.  I glued it to the base with frosting.  I know.  Could this mess get any wonkier?

Now I have no way of transporting the cake except to let my daughter hold it on a plate in the car.  We can guess how that will turn out.

Who ever thought bartering was a good idea?

FringeMan said it would be easier to pay for the piano lesson.  Wait till he comes home tonight and I’m serving ugly cake for dinner.  I can already hear the laughter at my diet’s expense.

I think I’ve learned my lesson.  Never, ever barter cooking.  I’m not trustworthy in the kitchen.

So, who wants to trade some mouthwash, I have three extra bottles?


10 thoughts on “Swapping: A Good Idea Gone Bad

  1. ladyofthemanse

    I would even try swapping cake for a music lesson–but a decorated one? I’m not sure about that.

    As far as I know, I’ve never swapped anything, but I think it is a great idea!

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  3. Mary

    Sounds good to me. We used to have a chiropractor who traded adjustments for just about anything…homemade cloth napkins, a pie, you-name-it.

    I have been wanting a screen door for my back door, and guess what, I met a screen door guy at the home/garden show who wants his fireplace and dryer vent cleaned, so guess what kind of swap we are getting ready to do! I am sooooo excited!

  4. kerrycooks

    Ruh-oh! I often think that baking will always go great when its just for you, but then add the pressure of it being for someone else and BAM – disaster!

  5. Namira

    I love swapping, and it’s such a convenient way to save money too! Try barterquest.com and see what they might have for you. I always find the craziest things there.

  6. Missindeedy

    Ooh, I like Jenn’s suggestion. I barter kids. Not as in “give em away”, but as in “I’ll take yours for 3 hours and then you take mine for 3 hours.” It’s a really good thing. I’ve never bartered services, though. Or goods. Unless you consider kids to be “goods”.


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