Saved by a Cupcake Recipe

This is huge. I baked with my daughter. I’m still waiting for my mom award. Baking is so not my thing. Big mixers intimidate me, so I don’t own one. I can’t even get Pillsbury cookie dough to come out looking even cookie-ish. Some are too small and crispy, others are uncooked, it’s really unpredictable. Imagine my delight when they invented the pre-cut ones, very convenient if you like the dough way better than the actual baked cookie. Why waste time preheating an oven?

Needless to say my kids have never known the smells of fresh-baked goods coming from our kitchen. It’s not like I don’t understand the importance of the bonding, it’s just I never felt my kids were deprived. They had a phenomenal day care provider who showed them all around flour and a rolling-pin. She is/was amazing and even though my kids don’t go anymore there are times when I still give thanks for all she did and one of those times was this weekend.

The Girl wanted to bake, “From scratch. No boxed stuff.”

I got totally defensive, “I can bake without a box.” Total lie.

She rolled her eyes and choose a red velvet cupcake recipe because she’s twelve and spiteful.

I tried to embrace the idea. The first thing I did was go out and buy a cheap hand mixer because I’d be damned if I was going to whisk until my weak nana arms reminded me of all the body sculpt classes I’ve missed. In the end I’m only hurting my own self esteem, right?

We looked up a cupcake recipe online. This one here, by Paula Dean. It looked simple enough, but that’s the thing with baking, it appears harmless until it kicks your ass and makes you feel like a loser. Baking is bullying. Self bullying. Sort of like cutting, but only with emotional scars.

We tried to commiserate the occasion with photos.

Just forget it…

Can you believe The Girl gave me permission to post these pictures? She’s one secure tween. I did manage one with her eyes open. They’re rare so I thought I would acknowledge it even though she doesn’t approve.

“OMG, Mom, my hair is wet!”

“But, you’re letting me post the ones with your eyes closed?”

Those are funny.”

Don’t ask me why we have a rolling-pin on the counter for a cupcake recipe.

So, we mixed all the dry ingredients as per the recipe. Don’t be jealous of my professional sifter.

Then we mixed the wet ingredients together and stared at the pink batter.

“Why is it pink?”

“Because it’s not baked yet,” I said, crossing my fingers.

We got out the new mixer and tried not to spray the cupboards, then put the cupcakes in the oven. That’s when The Girl went up to her room and left me to clean up. So I did, very passive aggressively until the timer went off. I said a prayer and pulled out the cupcakes with this thought in mind.


They looked about as appetizing as a sponge left out in the sun. Not a red velvet sponge, but a pink sponge. If SpongeBob and Patrick had sextuplets this is what they would look like. It’s hard to see in this picture just how pink they were, but The Girl wanted to call them Candy Floss Cupcakes.

Someone told me it might have something to do with the vinegar? The truth is I don’t really care. I’m not sad about it. I can accept some of my downfalls. I suck at baking and these cupcakes prove it.

“Total fail, Mom.”

“You were apart of this, you know.”

“You can’t bake. You better stick to a box.”

Obviously she’s taking no responsiblity, but on the bright side she’s given me permission to nix the baking which banishes any guilt I might have and leaves us to do our bonding at the mall.

Plus, she ate them anyway so it worked out for everyone.

By the way, I may not be a baker, but I can cook the hell out of a chicken breast, it’s just my kids don’t appreciate it nearly as much.








Spinning Out Of Control

I was late. My heart accelerated the closer I got.

Please let me get there before her.

I pull into the parking lot, park and grab my water bottle, towel and gym membership. I speed walk to the front doors, scan my membership and bolt through the security doors. Out of breath before I even start.

I’m first! Yay me! 

I scored my favourite bike at Spinning class. I had won the race before my butt even had a chance to get chaffed from the seat and it felt awesome.

The same woman and I have been doing the dance with this particular bike for five weeks. She knows it and I know it. There are at least 25 bikes to choose from and the max number of people who have ever attended a class are six. So there is no doubt we have fallen for the same cycle.

Nothing hurts more than walking in to see her sitting pretty on my ride. Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will toward this woman, as far as I know she could be a fabulous human being, a real Mother Teresa, but at that moment only one word comes to mind.


And today, when she rounded the corner smiling at me and began adjusting a less superior bike I knew what was on her mind.

Right back at ya.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I do have bigger things to worry about considering I left my job 3 months ago and money is a little tight. But if you’re thinking that all bikes are the same (like I did in the beginning) then you would be wrong. It’s like sleeping in a strange bed; it’s just not the same. Besides, it’s not just the bike, it’s
where it’s positioned; just slightly off center to the instructor, close enough to hear but far enough away that she can’t tell when I’m not increasing my resistance as much as I should. And most important, it’s right underneath the fan, which is the ultimate bonus.

I know, it’s a little foolish. When I first started, I was stunned at the fanatical relationships people had with particular bikes. The class was clicky. I felt like I was back at school. One man would actually elbow you if you so much as looked at his bike. And if you were a newbie and accidentally saddle up on his baby, he would stare you down until you got so uncomfortable that you would never show your face there again.

They scared me, but luckily now that I’m unemployed (I’m grasping for upsides here) I don’t have to go to that crazy ass class anymore. I can go to a morning class, where people are calmer because the day hasn’t beat the snot out of them yet. We are nice to each other and don’t announce any distain for not getting our favourite bike. We suffer in silence like adults.

A different crazy ass group where our only oddity is the older gentleman who wears his racquetball goggles during class; which I find more eccentric than psychotic given that I’ve never ever seen him with a racquet or a ball.  Maybe he’s been around the block
for a while and wears the goggles for protection in case he mistakenly takes someone else’s ride.

On a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also sports a cup. He’s just that kind of guy.

You know what’s funny? Not getting my bike is more distracting than having
racquetball man beside me conquering his highest mountain for 60 minutes.

Enough said.