Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Old Dogs

I am currently surveying the disaster that is my kitchen. In less than 12 hours I need to be walking through the doors of C's preschool with 16 cupcakes or other such treat in hand to celebrate his birthday. So far, I'm 0 for 2 in the baking department today. And quickly running out of ingredients to try again.

I fully admit that baking is not my forte. I can whip up many, many other courses without blinking an eye, but hand me a mixer and a cupcake pan and I freeze like a deer in headlights. So the household baking is left to M, who adores it and has a fair amount of culinary talent in the area. But as M has jetted off to Las Vegas on business, I am stuck dealing with the need to provide celebratory substance to a class full of three and four year olds on my own.

One would think I would have learned my lesson after last year's holiday debacles. I should have just headed downtown this afternoon and picked something up at the local bakery. But I've always thought that birthdays should involve homemade cakes and goodies, and therefore felt obligated to bake. So I took both kids to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients needed to make cupcakes and frosting. Or at least the ingredients I thought one needed to make such things.

Upon returning home and actually LOOKING at the recipes, I realized that, duh, butter cream frosting requires, get this, butter. And in an effort to improve M's horrific cholesterol numbers, we don't actually keep such things in our house anymore. Thank god for good friends, as instead of shlepping both kids back to the store I was able to drive twice as far and raid Rebecca's fridge.

Once the kids were in bed, I began to bake. And I had illusions of baking grander, as instead of just pouring batter into little paper wrappers, I decided to get all creative and bake them into ice cream cones. Ice cream cones, paper wrappers, what's the difference, right?

Wrong. Apparently batter takes much longer to cook in ice cream cones than it does in paper wrappers. And thank god I was unable to resist biting into one of the finished products, or else I would have been serving raw cupcake batter to a squadron of children who would not have hesitated to make the icky face and spit out the goo. And you KNOW I would have forever been known to C's friends as "the one who served us raw cupcakes."

I am now awaiting the second set of cupcakes to emerge from the oven, and if they are a dismal failure as well I am seriously contemplating calling C in sick. What else can I do? I can't possibly show up for his birthday party with no goodies in hand.

Next year I swear I am delegating this to the bakery. Someone remind me, please????