SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 24, 2012

Column: A lesson for the New Year

Standing in line at the supermarket, I flipped through a woman’s magazine. The cupcakes with kitty faces were really cute. They were just the thing to take to the annual Friends of Beverly Animals (FOBA) Christmas party. I committed the image to memory, deciding to recreate them at home. The cupcakes would be a hit, causing everyone to gush, “You are so clever!”

You could say that my expectations exceeded my ability. It also illustrates one of Murphy’s Laws: Things are always harder than they look, especially if it involves baking.

Add my attention deficit disorder: Those with ADD will do anything to avoid reading the fine print, including recipes and instructions. For instance, my 4-year-old car may be showing minor wear, but the driver’s manual is pristine. After all, it’s never been opened.

The morning of the party I made two dozen cupcakes using a box cake mix. They came out of the oven nice and golden . . . and tall. They rose so high they looked like Sno Cones. While they cooled, I mixed up a batch of frosting. As I stirred, the mixture thinned. I added more powdered sugar and when it became too thick, more milk. This went on until my arm became stiff from beating.

Finally, I frosted each naked cupcake and added a sprinkling of coconut. This set the stage for the fun part: making cute kitty faces. I had a vague idea of how they should look, yet hadn’t planned the details. If I, an art school grad, couldn’t create a kitty face, who could?

In the cupboard, I found peanuts for the eyes. I’d considered using M&Ms, like the magazine photo, but feared they’d get eaten before I could use them. Unfortunately, the peanut eyes created a startled deer-in-headlights expression. I searched the refrigerator for something else and found a container of black olives. In the end, I decided to stick with peanuts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium