Nuts to You!


Nuts! There weren’t even any in my chocolate fudge cupcakes, but that didn’t stop someone from sampling them. I suspect this guy in particular:

DSC_0705 (367x519)

Don’t let his “cuteness” distract you. He is a brilliant and conniving international super-villain in the underbelly of the sciurine world…

Red Squirrel

Photo courtesy of http://statici.behindthevoiceactors.com

…and apparently, a lover of chocolate fudge cupcakes!

As noted earlier this week, I am in the process of baking my brains out (or what’s left) for our church community yard sale on Saturday. We are raising money to help the homeless in the city, and I am in charge of a bake table. It would have been a great idea if…

  • I wasn’t “baking-challenged”;
  • My kitchen counter workspace was bigger than a sheet of paper; and
  • We weren’t experiencing a heat wave.

Temperatures were in the 30s (Celsius) yesterday. On the way home from work, I passed a snow plough truck. Only in Canada…but I digress.

I received some distressing news yesterday and started a migraine, so I left work a few minutes early to clear my head…by grocery shopping. Then I went to the chiropractor, the bank, the post office, and home to bake a dozen strawberry cupcakes, 2 dozen chocolate fudge cupcakes, a dozen tea biscuits, and 2 dozen “fiddle diddle” cookies, plus supper. I had to wash bowls and beaters in-between projects.

Needless to say, I was a hot, sweaty mess when Hubby got home (not a sexy kind of hot & sweaty)! But I completed all the cooking and baking in 2 hours, an incredible feat unto itself, and even more incredibly, with NO TEARS! I had worked like a well-oiled machine in my tiny, ugly vintage kitchen, balancing my recipe book on the kitchen sink ledge, stacking plastic containers of cooling cupcakes on the microwave, and laying out ingredients on the cluttered dining table (right over the Game of Life). I even used the back porch to cool chocolate fudge cupcakes while I tossed in home-made biscuits, sautéed vegetables, boiled pasta and stirred cookie dough.

I left the cupcakes outside for less than 10 minutes.

***

I never saw the actual culprit, but his razor-sharp claws and fangs made fast work of those cupcakes – at least 3…in each tray. A little path of crumbs petering out down the steps. I shouted “oh balls”, expecting Hubby to say something pithy like “not balls…cupcakes”.  I think he noted my sagging shoulders and clenched fists, and decided to bite his tongue and retreat from the kitchen, no sudden movements.

I scanned the horizon looking for the perpetrator, feeling his beady little black eyes scan me with a twitch of his whiskers.

***

The rich, moist, dark chocolate fudge cupcakes were binned, along with my motivation and sense of purpose.  I ate my dinner and crawled into bed in the fetal position for a few hours, to console my wounded pride.

***

Tonight, I have to melt chocolate and decorate 48 cake pops (I forgot some in my parents’ freezer – 3 hours away). I still have a migraine, I can’t guarantee there won’t be tears…but I can guarantee this:

Nuts to you, Red Squirrel! I’ve got my eye on you.

You will rue the day you ate my chocolate fudge cupcakes!

Rico

Photo courtesy of http://madagascar.wikia.com/

Wilderness Wednesday: Heavenly Sunshine


I took some beautiful photos this weekend of an array of tulips, crab apple trees in full blossom, and raggedy poppies that looked like tissue paper. But I left my laptop charger at my parents’ house – 3 hours away – and the battery is nearly dead. It means all my photos are trapped on the camera. I’ll put Plan B into action for next week.

It’s Wednesday, but only Monday in my work week, and there’s a lot on my plate to accomplish. So I picked a photo I love from several years ago – one of those happy “accidents” with heavenly sunshine, that makes me smile.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Dark purple tulips

Heavenly sunshine, Heavenly sunshine
Flooding my soul with glory divine.”

George Harrison Cook | Henry J. Zelley
© Words/Music : Public Domain

Oh Balls!


Oh Balls!

Cake balls, that is!

Our church is holding a community yard sale this coming weekend to raise money to support a weekly ministry to the needy and homeless in the downtown core. I offered to organize a bake table.

What was I thinking? Or as Hubby would ask “were you thinking?” Yes, I was thinking that there are probably others out there, like me who go to church bazaars and Farmer’s Markets for the home-baking!

show-me-to-the-chocolate

Unforunately the response of local bakers to help me hawk their wares has been underwhelming, to say the least, and not being one to back down from a challenge, I have been experimenting with new recipes and tucking the “not so disastrous” results in the freezer. I eat the disasters and my bathroom scales reflect my rate of success.

On Saturday, I let myself be talked into trying cake pops! I diligently took notes during the youtube video. I went to 3 different stores, in 2 different towns, to get my supplies – cake mix, icing, chocolate wafers, sticks, sprinkles. How hard could this be?

First, I baked my rainbow chip cake, cooled it, cut off the edges and scalped the top. I enlisted Little Guy to break it up. Then I added the icing. The first bowl was perfect. The second bowl ended up with the baby cereal, or cat vomit (how I’ve come to know this is a long story involving a barn cat, a chicken…it’s a long story)! The more I (wo)man-handled those balls (and I was not gentle), the more moist they became…

I added icing sugar and put it in the fridge to set…now it was cold rainbow chip cat vomit.

cpigst6ukaedozo

So my Mom made a 911 call to her cousin, who is a fabulous baker. While they enjoyed a lovely visit, my Aunt Mary, who was enjoying the show from a safe distance and sharing in the banter, went out and returned  with a store-bought coconut pound cake. I used most of it to firm up my soft balls…

My Grandmother fell and I spent most of Sunday with my Mom at the hospital, so nobody touched my 60 frozen balls.

On Monday, I decided I should play with my frozen balls before trying to get my balls safely home on a 3 hour road trip. I pulled 3 out and let them thaw, while I melted a bowl of red velvet chocolate wafers.

We murdered Little Guy’s first ball in the bowl of congealing blood-red chocolate. I had to pry it out piece by sticky piece. He licked the bowl clean any way.

I managed to stab my first ball and coat it with tacky chocolate, before it slid down the stick before breaking in two. Same with the third ball. By now my heart had sunk and split too.

Finally, I melted some pink chocolate and pulled out two more frozen balls from the freezer. I coated each one using only my fingers, and sprinkled them profusely before the chocolate melted.

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Messy Sucess?

They taste pretty good. But Oh, Balls…cake balls! What to do with the other 55!

Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions. Chocolate understands.

Unacceptable Answer


Last night, I was thankful for the biting cold wind. It was 4 degrees, but it had stopped snowing (and sleeting), the sun had just set and the sky was clearing. My head was clearing too.

I had just had yet another battle with Little Guy over his winter coat. Since the Fall, as the temperature started to dip, we have butted our heads over whether he needed to wear it. And with all the signs of Spring, I had hoped for an end to our battles, or at least an uneasy truce until September.

As we prepared to leave  a friend’s house, I asked him 3 times to put his coat on. The first time he ignored me. The second time he tried to wrap it around his arms like a shawl. The third time he tried to give me a “look” – I threw it right back at him and told him to do as he was told. He did, but “attitude ” oozed from his pores as we walked silently to the car.

He took it off as soon as we got in.

Halfway home, he asked me what topic we should talk about…he didn’t expect me to pick  the coat. I asked him to help me understand by explaining to me why he was so reluctant to wear his coat? Was it that coat? Did someone say something about his coat? Did he feel “cool” when it was cold and he wasn’t wearing? (No pun intended)

Little Guy mumbled something, and then he mumbled “Welcome to the teenage years”.

Unacceptable answer!

First, you’re 10!

Second, there is no magic number that says you can now be surly, sassy or rude. It doesn’t matter if you are 2, 12, 25 or 250, you will treat others with respect. Age or stage are not excuses for bad behaviour. Other parents may  buy into this warped ideology that their precious darlings are entitled to say and do as they see fit, even going so far as to defend bad behaviour rather than letting their kids deal with the consequences of their decisions. I love my children. I think I am an understanding and reasonable parent. I have put up with far more than my parents, who were also loving and reasonable parents.”Teenage-hood”is not an acceptable answer.

Little Guy put his coat when we pulled in the driveway and wore it into the house. I didn’t say anything. And when the next snide comment seeped from his lips, I just cleared my throat, glanced at him, and walked away. I have to pick my battles and I had just won one skirmish. I chalked that comment up to being tired.

Welcome to the teenage years indeed!