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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cupcake Wars

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So….not only am I the domestic UNgoddess, but I’m the worst blogger ever. Truly. My sincere apologies for having been so derelict in my blogging duties!!!!!

On both the professional and domestic fronts, life has been a bit hectic (though not in a bad way) so I haven’t had the energy and dedication that this really demands.

But on the up side, I’m back! And on the down side, so are my rather repugnant domestic habits. My kitchen looks (and is starting to smell….yikes!) like a really nasty bomb went off in it. I just haven’t had the chance to give it a thorough scrub. I had it pretty clean before leaving for the weekend, but then hubs took it over….and then Tuesday night, my dad came over (unexpectedly…) for dinner and didn’t leave until almost midnight. Last night I didn’t get home until after 11. Tonight will be the same. And so the mess and ick shall remain until tomorrow night….at which time I will attempt to resurrect some semblance of domestic normalcy. Oy.

Also, I haven’t done laundry in weeks….thank goodness for a lovely husband whose threshold for piles of laundry is so much lower than my own (or perhaps I just have too many clothes…I have a rather expensive habit of just buying more clothing when what I have isn’t fit to wear…).

But I haven’t been entirely unproductive. This past weekend I traveled across the province to help semi-host a bridal shower and bachelorette party for a good friend of mine. It all came off very well, except for the fact that there was food enough for at least 30 people and we only had 13 (the number was expected, but I had nothing to do with actually buying the food, so I had no influence on volume….seriously, who buys blue cheese at COSTCO for 13 people? Yuck.) So there were a lot of leftovers.

My contribution to the occasion was nice fluffy, tasty cupcakes. Except no one ate them. And I’m actually super pissed off about this. So I spent a night last week absolutely slaving away to make four dozen cupcakes. And I transported the blasted things across the province, icing gun in tow…decorated them, plated them and they look awesome. And then some shower guest WENCH brought a whole crapload of PURCHASED desserts (not home-made!) and set them out. And so people at the cheap, crappy, trans-fat laden purchased desserts and left my lovely cupcakes. GRRRR. Moral of the story – bridal showers are NOT potluck. Odds are, someone has put a lot of thought and effort into the menu. Do not taint the table with your purchased nastiness and definitely call before offering to bring anything. And I was even more pissed because I had to be polite to this stoopid woman who obviously thought she was being so helpful.

So we have lessons to learn from this:
- if you are invited to a party that does not state potluck, you are not expected to bring anything
- if you feel compelled to bring something, please call first and ask
- if the host declines, you definitely don’t need to bring anything
- if the host accepts, please don’t forget to bring the thing you said you would bring or a reasonable substitute
- if you are so rude as to just bring something without asking….at least make sure it’s homemade. If we had wanted to host a shower with purchased crap, we would have purchased it ourselves!

Bitter much, eh?

This brings me to my second frustration….pot lucks. I actually hold a special place in my heart for such occasions…reminiscent of wonderful special salads and secret family recipes. But there will always be those who will insist on bringing something that is so completely and utterly lame that it should never be marketed as potluck-worthy. I remember our Christmas pot luck at work. Most people made something tasty and home-made – chicken curry, beef curry (yay me!), meatballs, chili, salads, etc. If you don’t have the talent to bring something tasty and homemade, bring something tasty and purchased (preferably purchased at a fine foods store and not some gross grocery store salad or bag of chips). But this one person brought brown rice. Now, when I saw that on the list, I figured that the person was probably bringing something else as well (I mean…meat curry probably costs about $15 to make, and a dish of brown rice is practically free) or perhaps making a tasty and creative pilaf. But nope….come the day of the party, it was a sad, solitary Tupperware of plain brown rice. And the woman was basking in her brown rice glory all afternoon. Meh.

Tonight should be fun….my SIL is working on a project and I have offered to help. The unfortunate thing is that this project is in an area in which I have zero skill….will post updates and perhaps pictures tomorrow for your amusement and perusal. You shall all laugh at my expense. I’m looking forward to this weekend though – hubs’ birthday was last week, and mine is early next week….so we’re going out for a fab-u-lous dinner. I love fancy dinners. I also have a date with the weeds in my garden….I planted plants and they are doing great (only because it hasn’t stopped raining), but sadly, the weeds are also flourishing so I have to do something about them. Does anyone know what I can use along cracks and crevasses to kill weeds? I don’t do scary poisonous chemicals….is there something natural?

Thanks for reading! Here’s a cupcake picture to tempt your senses. I’m going to make more cupcakes next week and bring to work for my birthday. :) I’m going to make the famous Cinnamon-scented Devils Food cupcakes from epicurious.com – they look sooooo tasty. The two types of cupcake below are angel food with raspberry swirl filling (from www.foodandwine.com) and pineapple-coconut whole wheat cupcakes (based on the papaya coconut cupcakes from the chockylit cupcake blog)

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can understand you'd be pissed that no one ate your cupcakes, but to call this woman stupid when she was just trying to be helpful and nice? That's something else. I'm sure you're upset because of all the work you went to,(and that's totally understandable) but your reaction to this lady's thoughtful gesture is extreme. And, for all you know, no one would have ate your cupcakes even if there wasn't another choice!

You usually seem to be fairly rational, but I think your bitterness has clouded your judgment a wee bit, so you're coming off as a bit unfair and harsh.

mrbunsrocks said...

I admit to bitterness. :) But...I'm guessing that you're probably someone who doesn't do a lot of 'culinary' entertaining (for lack of a better word). As someone who puts a lot of effort into cooking and entertaining, it can be frustrating when it's undermined. I know the lady was trying to be thoughtful...but it's kind of insulting to bring a whole bunch of store-bought snacks to a party...it's like you didn't think the hosts would be competent enough to provide for you (exceptions of course when there are serious health-related food issues and you have a super restricted diet).

I would feel totally different had it been homemade....but it was those two-bite brownies and mini tarts with jam filling. On the upside, the bride's father did a great job of cleaning up the table. :)

HumanUnit said...

Oy, I totally feel your pain. Since when did people start thinking it was acceptable or even EXPECTED to bring food to a hosted/non-potluck party? I would have been pissed off too.

At a party a while back I asked the host if I could bring anything and she said no. Then on the day of the party she bitched to me about the people who came and didn't bring anything...literally her words were "Who comes to a party and doesn't bring something?" Ye gods.

Anonymous said...

RBM thanks for updating your blog! Yeah!! your cupcakes look amazing and are making me hungry! Can you bring some over to my bridal shower! I think they would be very much appreciated :-)

Adina

Anonymous said...

Your cupcakes look amazing--I envy your baking skills; my culinary skills only lend to the savoury side of things.
I'm shocked no one ate them--it's also a reflection on society that people go for the commercial, store bought desserts.
Yes, your cupcakes almost look too good to eat, but c'mon--CUPCAKES! They're not something one eats everyday--Yum-O!
Kudos to you in making them; bummer for you that people didn't appreciate them.
I'm also with you on "culinary" entertaining--some people just don't "know".

Cheers,
Charlene (WB=ckmaki)

Anonymous said...

yay! glad to see you back...missed reading your blog. Your cupcakes look delish! Boo to the ladies for not eating them!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I missed reading your blog :) I check back every so often (in a non stalker way LOL).
I so feel your pain about the cupcakes, I would be pissed too. Although a thoughtful gesture it so wasn't needed. I remember at my wedding we had a buffet style meal which was totally not pot luck- just buffet. A certain hateful distant aunt showed up with microwave lasangna and not good stuff at that. The stuff that is in a cardboard container and is 2 layers thick and totally gross. And then kept acting like she single handedly saved our dinner with her contribution (which we never even put out). Arrg I'm still bitter :) Anyways glad to see that your back!

clover_the_jenny said...

Ahhh yes, the dreaded store-bought contributions! I know that story well.

I don't consider myself an avid cook, yet even I will slave over the stove for potlucks! There's something to be said for homemade food. Even better when you bring something and everyone wants the recipe!

The cupcakes look yummy, and I like the fact that they aren't the typical “run-of-the-mill” variety. I may even try those recipes out!

I too have been in the situation where someone brought the same thing to a party. Very annoying! After hours of kneading dough to and getting high off buttermilk fumes, you just want to see the damn stuff disappear at the party! Seriously, how do 2 different people bring Irish soda bread to a party? lol.

Mine was gobbled up though :)

End of rant. Nice job on the CCs! Hungry now….

Anonymous said...

If you boil the kettle and pour the hot water on the cracks, it's supposed to kill the weeds. If you add salt to the water, so much the better. I've also heard of people using a tablespoon of bleach in the water.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree about the potluck thing. I am not a "culinary" sort per say, but I am huge on presentation. I like things to look pretty and taste great. I hate it when people show up with tacky plastic or cardboard containers. I do think the lady was ignorant, but not likely stupid.

Anonymous said...

Hey I completely and totally know what you mean about the cupcakes. I would have had the exact same reaction (and yes, I'll admit to bitterness too).

It annoys me when I put so much effort into homemade goodness and then it doesn't even get eaten - especially when mine is chemical-free and trans-fat-free and STILL tastier than storebought!

On kitchen cleanliness...I'm about to go out of town for ten days, leaving hubby at home (boo!)...what is my kitchen (house?) going to look like upon my return!?

~Melissa
(WB=mstgt91)

Sarah said...

This has nothing to with cupcakes but I just wanted to let you know I made your stuffed peppers tonight and they were awesome!

Can't wait to try some of the modified versions.

You are a certifiable domestic goddess indeed.

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