It was my job to make the cake. A noble job, as no celebration of epic proportions is complete without the cake. And the best way to make a cake for 50 without buying out the aisle of Wilton cake pans? Cupcakes. Four batches of twelve cakes, each mixed with love, each batch bedecked in its very own festive color.
Then the frosting – a carefully-perfected cream cheese frosting tinted ever so gently with light green food coloring. Topping it off, a kiss of pink sugar crystals. Now, to transport them to the event, they must be packed carefully. In the one legitimate cupcake-holder tupperware that I did have, twenty-four snuggled together with just the right amount of get-to-know-your-neighbor intimacy to keep them from sloshing around. No small feat, mind you; all this commingling must not damage the delicate frosting tops. Lacking a second legitimate cupcake tupperware, I put on my Hat of Resourcefulness, made with love by my Mom, and with a flick of my wand, produced a roasting pan with a cargo hold for precisely 24 cupcakes. Ah, culinary magic. Snuggle in, little sweeties, we’ve a journey to make.
Around this time, the hushed enchantment of the afternoon’s undertaking was punctuated by the chipper greeting of a girl freshly awake from her nap. “Good MORNING Momma!” is how I’m greeted after every nap, bursting with so much sweetness that I’m obliged to forgo the lesson of morning time versus afternoon. Kisses and hugs were doled out with great gusto and then I showed her my work, before putting the lid on the roasting-pan-cum-cupcake-transporter and whisked the treasure to the front porch for safekeeping. It was the safest place I could think of, short of putting it in the car, as that car was still en route from work.
Because I’m no idiot. The magic of the cupcakes was so enchanting that I could barely resist devouring them, much less an-almost-three-year-old girl. Much less two dogs who are happy to eat paper towels and garbage, if given the chance. The porch was definitely the safest spot for them, with child and dogs safely indoors.
But you know how this turns out, don’t you? It’s a classic sitcom plot, if such shows could be said to actually have a plot. A half dozen distractions later, a chorus of not-so-melodic guineas overpowered the gentle chatter of the house and we all ran outside to see them enter the yard for the first time. (they’d not yet ventured so far from the coop) All eleven of them, in a sea of pearled feathers and high-pitched squawking were taking the yard by force. Then the phone rang, bringing me in the house, where I chatted rather boastfully about the culinary feats I’d accomplished over the past THREE HOURS. It was the crashing of the roasting pan lid which brought me to the inevitable part of this story, the part where twenty-four cupcakes met their demise at the hands of this guy:
In my fury and despair and recognition of the inevitable, I screamed, thrashed about, and may have, in anger, hurled a cupcake near the vicinity of the Sea of Guinea.