Seven years ago on this day, I gave birth to a son. This means, of course, that I must celebrate the event by baking cupcakes and delivering them to his school.
I'm not a cake mix kind of girl. I like to bake from scratch, using cookbooks handed down to me from my grandmother. This can present a problem since kitchen equipment is just not what it used to be.
In the "American Home" cook book printed in 1966 there's a recipe for "Busy Day Cake." That's for me, I thought. I sifted the ingredients into the bowl, added shortening and milk, then got out my electric mixer. "Mix by electric mixer for two minutes, or 300 strokes by hand," said the directions.
The batter was THICK. After about 30 seconds, I could smell the motor in my electric mixer burning. When I stopped it, tendrils of smoke wafted into the air. I resorted to hand-mixing, counting out loud to 300 while my three-year-old laughed at me.
I filled the paper liners in the cupcake pans about half-full. Then I put them in the oven. Ten minutes later I went back to check and the cupcakes runneth over. Yea, verily, they looked like little shitake mushroom caps spreading on top of the cupcake pans.
After the cupcakes were baked and cooled I cut off the crispy edges and eased them out of the pans. They were a funny shape, but frosting covers a multitude of sins. With blue frosting and green sprinkles, they still look pretty enough to eat.