Monday, November 8, 2010
Coping with Cupcakes
Saturday Amanda and I hosted a potluck. I get so excited to cook food for people that I'm usually planning out my entree weeks ahead of time. This time for whatever reason I wasn't inspired by anything except the week-old frosting taking up half the top shelf in the fridge. So I started on almond cupcakes but a few hours before the party. And let me tell you, things were touch and go for a while there. Instead of using room-temperature butter, I used three blocks of rock-hard butter straight from the fridge. The butter and sugar don't "cream" well that way. The nine-horsepower KitchenAid mixer worked that butter so hard that the bowl got lodged pretty firmly in the mixer. Amanda's boyfriend had to remove it. And the batter was so thick that incorporating the frothy egg whites into it without breaking them was nigh impossible, yet somehow, the batter came together creamy and rich. While the cupcakes baked, I worked some magic on the frosting, which had seemed like enough to cover 24 cupcakes when I glanced in the bowl when grabbing the orange juice every morning. Either way, I conquered the cupcakes, all frosted and topped with almonds by 6:55 p.m. I even had time to vacuum the spider webs out of the back porch.
Somehow, just like I always do, I pulled it together enough to sit down for a moment and enough a moist almond-flavored cupcake before the fun started. And I think: I can't possibly be the only one out there who barely pulls it together enough to appear presentable. No, I'm not. I use cake to cope. I use cake and friends and Friends (the TV show) and family and faith. Sometimes, though usually not all at the same time, they fail me. And sometimes they come together at 6:55.