Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Recipe For Disaster

I enjoy anything baked. Bread, cake, pie, muffins, cookies, croissants, I love it all. I'm not exaggerating when I say love either; it's almost an unnatural thing. At my local grocery store there's a distinct path worn into the flooring leading from the front door to the bakery section. I don't think they'd have any trouble matching the footprints that made it to the tread of my sneakers. If I was a baker, the bakery would be empty and I'd be the world's fattest baker. I'm nowhere nearly jolly enough for that so I ruled that out as a career path long ago.

With that in mind, it's no surprise my kids enjoy baked goodies too. That's why I figured we'd have fun if we made some cupcakes together. It'd be like arts and crafts except you get to eat it at the end. So I planned ahead and got it all set up. I put the bowl on the floor so all three of us could help and to minimize the risk of spills. Anything falls on the floor and it's easily swept up. I handed my older girl the cake mix packet and she poured it in without incident. You didn't think I was going to make it from scratch, did you? I love all thing baked but I'm not Martha friggin' Stewart. Next came the water with minimal spillage. I got her to help me count as we poured four half spoonfuls of cooking oil in. (Fun and educational, that's just good parenting there.) She even helped crack the eggs without getting shells in the batter. I've got to get her to show me how to do that.

Then the bowl went back up to the counter for the electric mixer to do its job. Kids a safe distance away, so far so good. Once it was mixed I brought it back to the floor so we could scoop the batter into the muffin tray, cupcake tray in this case I guess. Everyone got their spoon and we started to fill up the cups. A little bit messy but that was expected. Everything is under control. "Why is there a paintbrush in the batter?" Apparently, the spoon wasn't good enough for the little one so she decided to use one of her little paintbrushes. She also didn't agree with our idea of putting the batter in the tray and proceeded to paint on the floor. No big deal. I'm pretty sure wikipedia said the early French Impressionists worked with cake batter, or it will say that when I'm done with it. Ok, cupcakes ready to bake with about the level of mess I'd expected, other than the painting of course. If you look at it just right it looks like a sailboat though.

Fast forward half an hour and it's time to put the frosting on. Everyone is assembled happily at the kitchen table, plastic knife in hand. Can of frosting is opened, stirred (I already told you, I'm not Martha) and ready to go. I expected a tornado of frosting but it actually went pretty well. So well in fact that I decided we should add sprinkles. That would be the first big mistake. I got the nice four chambered plastic container full of pink, purple, blue, and yellow sprinkles. The got to pick colours and together we spread them over the cupcakes. All going well until I got a call from nature and went to answer it. Big mistake number two. I can't prove it but I believe they slipped something into my water to make me have to go. With me out of the way, they could launch their evil plan.

I was gone for maybe three minutes. One hundred and eighty seconds. That's how long it takes for two youngsters to completely pop the top off a sprinkle container and empty it. I walked back into the kitchen to the sound of laughing and was greeted with "I'm sorry." Took me a second to realise what she was sorry for and then I saw it. A beautiful rainbow of sprinkles over the table, the chairs, and the floor.

"Oh no, not again."

To make things better I was given the explanation that it was a sprinkle ocean. I was less than impressed but I couldn't exactly argue with that one. After all, it could have been worse. They could have taken advantage of the frosting and iced each other. That would have been fun to explain to their mom. I know how I'd do it though. I'd wait until I was just about to leave for work and then tell her as I was halfway out the door.

"Oh, by the way, the kids got together and ate a big tub of frosting this afternoon. Have fun with bedtime. Love you, bye."

Follow that up with the sound of tires squealing as I made a Fast and Furious getaway. So as bad as it was, at least it didn't come to that.

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