The guacamole came out fine. The cake, on the other hand, was an unmitigated disaster, but fortunately I was the only one who knew it, since nobody had ever had “American” cake before. It didn’t rise and was thick and heavy. Maybe my 20 year old baking soda had something to do with it. But people said it was a nice change from sponge. There was much oohing and aahing about the chocolate on top, and many were were surprised that the icing wasn’t as sweet as they had expected. And not one person went into a sugar-induced spastic fit, for which I am very grateful.
People kept asking for my advice, too, like about how the dill pickles should be cut and whether they should be served with ketchup. At first I thought they were just being pestersome, but then I realized they really though I had something intelligent to say.