July 3rd, 2020


friday five: cake

From f.riday5.com...

What’s your favorite cake?
Chocolate, obviously. Josie and I realized we disagree on the importance of chocolate, if you can believe that. Easter came around and the kids got chocolate bunnies, reeces cups, m&ms, hershey kisses, kit kats. They asked why they didn't get "normal candy". Huh? Why would you want smarties when there's chocolate? Apparently they always looked forward to all the other egg hunts we'd crawl to because that candy balanced out my selections. This year there weren't other egg hunts. Go figure.

Anyway same story with cake. When there's chocolate available as a flavor, why go anywhere else? But my kids disagree.

When did you last have pancakes?
Been a while! Josie used to make them a lot but stopped. I'm not the hugest fan of pancakes, they're pure empty calories. But they are tasty with blueberries, maple syrup, whipped cream, a scrambled egg on the side that mixes in a little bit with the syrup.

When did you last bake a cake or a cake-like thing?
We just got through with our spread of may-june birthdays and I made all the cakes from scratch, so I'm becoming quite a baker. The birthdays were:

Olive turning 7 - strawberry cake with purple frosting, although the purple came out kind of gray because my red/blue food coloring mix wasn't great I guess

Josie turning 10 - yellow cake, two round layers with three colors of frosting striped across like a flag. Purple, blue and green.

Spacefem turning 40 - chocolate mini cupcakes with green frosting

All with buttercream frosting. Butter, powered sugar, vanilla, milk. I made these cakes from scratch, even getting cake flour from a friend. This is part because I want to make things from scratch, part because I figured it'd be easier to make half a cake. With no birthday parties happening, our family did not need to eat a 9x13 pan of cake by ourselves. But to be honest, my from-scratch cakes aren't that amazing. They're too dense, still. I think I might go back to using cake mix and just use half at a time. I can do that! But I will always make frosting from scratch. That's tasty, easy, and fun.

Oh... last year Olive asked for a grape cake for her birthday. I got a white cake mix and used grape jello. She thought it was great. All of us adults agreed it was awful. Basically a waste of cake. But it's her birthday. This is why I'm glad my birthday is sandwiched right between the kids... I can do my own thing to balance out whatever terribleness I've had to make for them.

What part of your job is a piece of cake?
When someone calls the helpline and asks a total slam-dunk question that I just know, it's a great feeling to be the expert hero. It happens at least once a day. 90% of the time though, I do not know, just have more resources to dig.

Where have you had a really good cupcake?
Last couple years at our annual SWE banquet someone has made amazing cupcakes. But this year there was no SWE banquet. The cupcakes I made for my birthday were decent. Probably the best from-scratch cake I made. Well of course... they were chocolate. But really fancy cupcakes have a bit of fruit on them that really sets things off. Maybe I'll do that next year... or maybe if my strawberries get to strawberry-ing, I'll make some more chocolate cupcakes to go with those?