Minerva's Breakdown 

Advice for those on the verge

Dear Minerva,
What will people think if I take a store-bought cake to my friend's birthday party?
Marie Can'toinette

Dear Marie Can'toinette,
Have you lost your head? If your friend is fond of shortening-frosting and chemical cakes, by all means, indulge their preference. It's their day. If your friend doesn't care for that kind of cake (and I am guessing they don't), put in a little more effort. No one wants a crummy cake. If the cake is also the gift, you have no excuse for cutting corners. Nothing says "love" like a delicious homemade cake, moist and rich as it slips off the fork into your waiting mouth. Bake your friend their favorite cake just how they like it. Too busy to bake? Do your baking skills fall flat? Then enlist the help of a local bakery devoted to delicious, professional confections. It may cost a bit more, but they'll work with you on creating a cake worth the extra money as well as the intake of extra sugar, carbs and calories. If you have no choice but to pick one up at your grocery, at least do something special with the presentation. We all know it's the "thought that counts," but that's only true if you actually put some thought into it. Bon appetit!

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