Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake...Balls

If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.
~ Emma Donaghue, Room

I have written much about food before.  I am obsessed, and read cookbooks cover to cover.  I get inspiration from many places, and yet I am a lost cause when it comes to following them, or worse, when it comes to conveying something I've invented.  When someone happens to try something I've made, and asks for the recipe, I can't provide it in finite terms.

I fell in love with this particular cake some months ago, and have relied on it for every occasion calling for a dessert.  Recently, after having excitedly made it for a gathering, I ended up with several pieces on hand.  Admittedly, I'm not much of a sweets person...and neither is Merrill...but I thought I'd try to make the cake fun for her....and easier to eat.  Fun for her, less mess for me.  Enter the cake balls.

This is so damn simple, especially with cake that is a few days old and has ample frosting (which ALL of mine do).  Simply mash the cake in a bowl and then roll it into ball shape.  With these, I added a topping of melted chocolate on top...but they genuinely don't need the additional sweetness, with the frosting and cake mixed together.  Bite sized pieces of cake and frosting...what more could you want?  This works with any type of cake...I've done red velvet rolled in pink sprinkles (perfect for Valentine's Day), vanilla with chocolate frosting (kind of a marble effect), confetti cake for birthdays, etc...they are so versatile and SO damn easy.  Additionally, if you don't have a premade cake, simply bake the cake, let it cool ever so slightly and crumble it, and then stir frosting into crumbled cake before rolling it into balls.  You can also put them onto wooden popsicle sticks to make a cake lollipop. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Believe....I Think?

Believing takes practice.
~ Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

When I was pregnant, and we decided that we would see how long we could make the single income thing work so I could stay home with the baby, I was woefully unprepared for the influx of emotional ranges I would experience as time went on.  In the beginning, I felt an acute sense of fear when I tried to navigate the subtleties of a life outside the professional one I'd come to associate myself with.  There were certainly days filled with quiet yearning for the person I was leaving behind, while knowing all the while that this was also the most meaningful, dynamic, extreme and intensely powerful role I would ever play.  It was a risky gamble in those early days, as I discovered the fine line between apprehension and fear...fear that I may have reached the totality of what I would be outside the roles of wife and mother, and that there may be nothing else to beckon after this.

The notion of being a stay at home mom once posessed a sort of provocative charm.  That notion has now become a permanent hiatus in my career, skewing wildly against the imagined and predicted future I once held within myself.  There have been compromises and reconciliations with what I thought to be my future...and a precise awareness that those truths with which I once defined myself are peculiar at best.  I often find myself maintaining the resolve of my obligations and allegiances towards the path I've chosen, feeling at times as though I have no choice but to remain fiercely loyal in my commitment.

While I had reached a point in my career that there was never a time of feeling truly in love with that work, and it felt more like an expected role to be played, it was nevertheless the definition for a time...and one that seems to be slipping further and further away.  The acute fear has lessened, and in its place is a sort of ache, a throbbing annoyance much like that of a sore limb.  At times it feels as though I'm operating in a ballet of sorts, one in which I have learned when to pirouette away and when to spin in again.  In those times, I can imagine myself on that stage, trying to locate a familiar face in the crowd and finding only the darkness caused by a blinding spotlight.

It is dramatically daunting, at best, to try to categorize myself in such a way that the question of "what do you do?" does not paralyze me with trepidation and an inability to form a cognitive response.  While I'm fully aware that the role I'm currently filling is likely the most important one I'll ever find, and that the benefits not only for myself but for my family far outweigh any selfish or intrinsic need to be "more", there are just times that it's hard to believe that to be true.  The belief that one day this will all make sense, will all fall into place and become neatly compartmentalized, eludes me at times...and yet I know in order to maintain some semblance of sanity, I have to continue to believe it.  Because if not for that belief, what else is there?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I don't have pet peeves.  I have major psychotic fucking hatreds.
~ George Carlin

There are just some things in this world that royally piss me off.  Hiccups, for instance, make me irrationally angry.  Imagine my reaction when I was pregnant and Merrill would get the hiccups in the middle of the night.  When it is hot outside, most people sweat and feel discomfort.  I get borderline violent.

I am, when it comes to certain pet peeves, my own worst enemy and a hypocrite at best.  I loathe anal people, yet I am one of the most anal people I know.  I live in a world where the adorable pencil cup on my desk sits empty because the tiny person in my house loves pens, markers, pencils, etc, and thinks they are free reign.  Every time I see that empty pencil cup, I know I should remove it from the desk, as it makes no sense to sit uninhabited...but I can't...because that is where it belongs. 

In no particular order, these are some of the major annoyances that will set me off:
  • Rudeness...on all tiers
  • Women without bras in public
  • Football announcers that neglect to comment on bad calls or blatant no-calls
  • Passive aggressive behavior
  • People that talk on the phone while in a checkout line
  • Perms
  • Being tickled
  • Touchdown dances in the NFL
  • People that are rude to servers 
  • Hoop earrings so large they can double as bracelets
  • The 500+ page novel with a three page conclusion
  • People that change their God-given name...for no real reason
  • Poor eye contact
  • Indecisiveness (again, ME!)
  • Baby talk...unless you're a baby
  • People that pronounce "frustrated" as "fustrated" (actually, there are a lot of mispronunciations that piss me off, so that should be its own)
  • Bad grammar & spelling in well educated adults (I will let it slide when it's a child, because that can actually be kind of cute sometimes.  Sometimes.)

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