I made a huuuuge mistake.
It was 10.30pm, and I realised in horrified silence that I’d just spent two hours making a TRIPLE BATCH of red velvet cupcakes that no human being could eat. Ever.
Baking POWDER, Sam, baking POWDER, not flipping bicarbonate of soda I said, aghast, to myself. If you ever thought these two baking substances were interchangeable because they looked the same – well, you were wrong.
Sure, they’re both white powder, but hey, so is cocaine and washing powder and neither of those things should go in cupcakes either.
Thirty-six inedible cupcakes.
I even tried the cupcakes out on my flat mates. The first bite is fine – a bit odd, and they’re not very fluffy, but sweetish and fine. The second mouthful is where the bicarb klaps you with an aftertaste so bitter you screw your face up and think that a bite from a bar of soap might be more delectable.
I couldn’t believe it.
It just wasn’t fair – my day had already taken a remarkably crap turn when my car broke down a few hours ago in the rather grumpily nicknamed ‘dustbowl’ parking lot near my office.
I have a rather intense emotional relationship with my car. Little Babooshka, the ever-loyal Peugot 206. Oh, Babooshka! We’ve had good times, and we’ve had expensive times.
Babooshka is my first and only vehicle. I can drive up the Bo-Kaap’s gravity defying roads with her: never rolling an inch. I parallel park so perfectly my back-seat-gasper mother (she gasps constantly while I drive but doesn’t technically back-seat drive) was audibly impressed.
I’d driven to work because of these bloody cupcakes; I needed to get buttermilk and what not. So it was a rather unpleasant surprise to realise, when trying to leave the parking lot, that Babooshka had epilepsy, or something equally unpleasant. She juddered and shook and died when I tried to reverse.
When automatically reaching for my phone I saw, with a growing sense of dread, that it too had died. Like a bucket of cold water over my head the words ‘Now what?’ washed over me.
Luckily a near-by car guard saw my distress (and my awkwardly jerking car: as if Babooshka was possessed) and said I could make a call on his phone. His phone with a mere R11 airtime. I had close to R400 on my useless gadget. I owe a lot to this car guard: with this one call I was able to reach my mother who, all the way from Pretoria, saved me (not the first time she’s done this).
And now, several hours later, I’d just spent hours carefully mixing and baking cupcakes I could not, in good conscience, give to anyone. Well, feeling kak and victimized wasn’t going to get me anywhere. With a sigh, I started measuring out the flour again. And fished the blue food colouring out of the cupboard… I’d just finished the red.
As Gob (from Arrested Development) would say, COME ON!
But basically, with the car-tastrophe, cell-phone disaster and baking emergency, if I was to boil my day down to it’s essentials and pass this wisdom on to you, my reader, there is one clear, unavoidable lesson to be taken away:
As per special request in the comments section, I have included a picture of me with a blue velvet cupcake. However, this is one I baked with my friends last year and are BLUE. The ones I baked for my office were greenish because I ran out of food colouring.