Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zombie Cupcakes

Tomorrow we become dog owners. 

We are driving down to Longview to meet with the dog provider (and Josh's family at the same time.)   We have bought a kennel / crate for the puppy who will be 9 weeks old.  He has a soft fleece pillow, a few dog toys, some chews, some food-toys and a snuggly comfortable animal toy.  I did not buy the one with the heartbeat or the pet cam although I considered both after reading Cesar Milans' "How to Raise the Perfect Dog."

I kid you not, I have been raising the kids with calm-assertive energy since reading the book.  I am clear and firm and ensure I am the Pack Leader.

The house is a mess and I feel we should clean up, and of course I have to watch Criminal Minds, but I couldn't resist asking whether I showed you the Zombie Cupcakes.  Did I?

Can't remember.

In case I didn't, a few weeks ago I baked Zombie Cupcakes for Josh's birthday.  Did I mention he had a birthday?  He turned 35 but we didn't do anything awfully special, even though it was a half-decade birthday, because Josh prefers to make significant birth-year events out of primes and squares and other numerical oddities (like his 2000th week would be good).  Still, I made zombie cupcakes in honor of all the zombie fervor out there in popular culture (and on our ipad) this year.

And we ate them.

They were from Zombie Cupcakes by Zilly Rosen and I bought frosting supplies from Home Cake Decorating Supply on Roosevelt.

The bloody bitten ones had meringue icing.  It was very buttery and
I found it too fatty and not sweet enough.  Tara loved it so it must be
a matter of taste (cream vs sugar!)

The Zombie hands are made from "half-and-half"white fondant and gum
paste.  They were very easy to make.  They are covered in
crumbled oreo cookies for muddy earth and the white dots are maggots!
After a while I started to innovate and made this chunk of teeth and gum
from my own design.  I ate it but it wasn't tasty.  The cupcakes were red velvet
and more delicious than the topping (IMHO)

And then I took it all a bit far and start to make bento dioramas of blood
and maggots and demon-eyed rats and Wren looked, like, worried.

Because everyone is into Magic the Gathering, we made a birthday
card for Josh from a favorite card and called it "Josh, the Mind Sculptor"
(Its real name is JACE the Mind Sculptor as any MtG player knows)

Anyway, we did the candle thing and all was well.  Wren ate two zombie cupcakes.  I used some fancy real beeswax candles from PCC and we sang.  My next desert event is going to be jelly. 

But that's another post.

If you love Jelly.  Let me know so I put you on the evite.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Boil an Egg for Your Mother

Today we started a new Mothers' Day Tradition.  I get up and lie on the couch wrapped in a gypsy pile of blankets and Frost makes me coffee and breakfast. 

Well kind of.

Actually, this year in the first year of the tradition it went like this:

I get up and lie on the couch wrapped in a gypsy pile of blankets and I shout out instructions to tell Frost how to make me coffee and breakfast.

"Mum, bubbles are coming off the egg.  Is that normal?" he calls in a worried voice.

I tell him that is normal.

"Okay, just checking because I am still figuring things out."

Note, most of the dialogue is shouted between rooms.

A few moments later I hear:  "How do you get the egg out of the water?"

I flounder on this one.  Its all so automatic.  "Ah, use tongs."

"I think you hid the egg tongs because Wren and I were fighting with them."

"No, there are other tongs."

There are some ominous thuddings and mutterings and drawer noises.   Then:

"I can't hold an egg with tongs."

"Well, use a spoon then.  Oh, and Wren wants an egg too so use a spoon to put Wren's in the hot water and boil for 5 minutes not 10."

"But, YOUR egg is in the spoon."

"Well, use a-n-o-t-h-e-r spoon."

BEEP  BEEP  BEEP.  The egg is ready.

"Mum, now I have made toast.  What do you want on it?  Do you want a knife and a fork or just a fork?"
"I would like a plate, with toast on it.  An egg in an egg cup.  A teaspoon.  Some salt and a fork."

I hear him talking to himself in the kitchen as he arranges the plate.

"Mum, I accidentally poured too much salt?"

"Poured the salt where?"   He walks in with my Mothers' Day Breakfast.

"I poured it in a pile on the plate."

There is a large pile of salt on the plate.  About a tablespoon. 

"This is fabulous but I realize I do need a knife to open it."

"But you said you didn't need a knife."

"Well, I usually do it in the kitchen first."

Frost rushes to get a knife.

"How do you you cut an egg?"  asks Wren.

Frost returns with the knife.

"I will show you, you tap it  like this."  I slice open the egg.

Both boys are awed that I hit it with a knife.  There is something fierce and appealing about it, I guess.

Wren tries to eat my egg.  I fight him off, telling him its Mothers' Day so I don't have to share my food.

What is mothers day?  Asks Wren as Frost rushes back to the kitchen for Wren's egg.

"It means being nice to Mum." shouts Frost from the kitchen door.  I am extremely gratified at the way Frost is acting a bit flustered and frantic with all this food service.  Its exactly how I feel most meal-times.

Wren frowns and looks wounded and ferocious.  "It means no being mad at me and no shouting at me and no saying bad words to me and that's about Wren so don't say that to Wren.  That is what Mother's Day is."

I tell him that sounds good.

Frost returns with an egg and a fork for Wren.  I point out that there is no plate.

"Oh, oh. He likes a plate like Mum?"

"Well, you need a plate to eat off.  Otherwise the egg will go all over the couch."

Frost returns with a a plate.  The boys try to open the egg.  


I provide a HINT and Frost succeeds, eventually.

The boys try to open an egg.
(I may not be smarter than a 4th grader but I have secret Ninja egg-opening skills.)

I point out we have no teaspoons.

"I brought a teaspoon!"  Frost gives me a set of measuring spoons and shows me the ONE TEASPOON one.

"I brought a teaspoon!"

"I can't eat off that!"  I point out, concerned about his thinking processes.

"OOOOOH.  I thought you wanted it to measure salt.  I thought... well, I thought you scoop egg with a fork."

You can't be too hard on him with is confusion.  This child does not eat egg.  He runs off and gets teaspoons and I tell him how these spoons are called Egg Spoons in our cutlery set because English people love to eat boiled eggs and these spoons are specially for it.

I eat egg and the boys run off to swing on the hammock, newly reinstalled since the rope broke. 

Mother's Day breakfast went very well, considering.  There were no scalds, my egg was done perfectly and I am still on the couch in my odd assortment of warming devices reading a book with #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR on it.

I am glad I am teaching Frost these skills now.  He will be an expert next year.

Tomorrow, my mother is heading off on another grand African trip to Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa.  I must remember to call her later and wish her a happy boiled egg in bed.


Mothers' Day on the Couch [with egg, laptop and book]