Smurfy Mess

Husband and I made such a mess last night, and laughed so much.  I wanted to make a new dessert for Thanksgivukkah (Thanksgiving and Chanukkah) this year.  I usually make a sheet cake that I cut into a dreidel and frost.  This year, since this won’t happen again for 77,000 years, I wanted to do something different.  So I found a recipe for blue velvet cupcakes that are blue frosted and have dreidles on top.

This isn’t my first time making a red velvet cake.  For Little One’s last birthday she wanted a red velvet cake.  I found out too late I was out of red food coloring, so I made it purple, which is one of her favorite colors, and colored the cream cheese frosting two different shades of purple, and she loved it.  So I felt confident going into this I would be fine with the new recipe.  Ha!

First wrong move was Husband asking me to triple it, not just double it.  Now, I did think the amounts were bigger than I’d used last time, but this batter was supposed to be thicker than normal, and I went with it saying it made 12 cupcakes.  That was wrong, it made 24, and I tripled it.  We couldn’t use our stand mixer, because there was so much.  We ended up transferring the batter to our biggest metal bowl and I used the hand mixer.  We could have bathed the dogs in a blue bath there was so much.

Then we did the color.  You add the color to the coco, so you really can’t see the color until you add that to the main batter.  I thought it looked too green, but Husband thought it was a nice blue.  But he’s color blind, and he admitted he had no idea what color it was, just that it looked nice.  So I added some pink and some green and came up with a really pretty blue.  Smurf blue.  That looked like it came out of a Smurf.  You can imagine it from there.

As Husband said during clean up, it looked we had has slaughtered thousands of Smurfs.  The island table and counters were blue.  Our fingers and hands were blue.  Eventually our tongues and lips were blue.  It was everywhere, and just kept multiplying.

No problem, because yummy cupcakes overcome Smurf blue everywhere, right?  Except these weren’t good.  Husband said they tasted like pancakes, and Oldest said it was like a sweet cornbread.  So not cupcake!  Oldest one’s friend said it was kind of cornbread like as he quietly tried to shove it down the sink.  Huge failure, but Husband and Oldest said they’d eat them as is.  Little One wasn’t home, but I can imagine she wouldn’t want to try them.

But the night wasn’t the dismal failure it seemed.  Husband and I had so much fun doing this, especially after we figured out we had made way too much, and it wasn’t working.  The Smurf jokes just didn’t end.  My face hurt from laughing.  When Oldest one got home she joined in, and I actually got to bed really late for me because I was enjoying the joking and laughter so much.   Who knew a bad cupcake recipe could be so much fun?

We Love the Orange

I just read an article about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The Mom who wrote it is talking about how several varieties are not going to be orange anymore, and how since most parents who want their kids to be healthy don’t serve this very often so maybe it’s okay to leave the color. Or something along those lines. Which immediately made me feel guilty, and like a bad Mom.

We ALWAYS have the blue box(es) in our cabinet. It’s easy to whip out and make, and can bridge the girls between cheer practices, or be a late dinner, or a weekend lunch, or just because. It’s easy, and the girls love the taste. I love the taste, and Husband always grabs some. I’d love to make super healthy meals, and buy all organic, and be the person all these article writers seem to be. But I’m not.

Last November Husband did go on a healthy kick, and it was awesome. He’s a great cook, and can do amazing and tasty things with kale. The girls didn’t always enjoy the meals, but hey, we had the blue box to fall back on. Husband lost a lot of weight, I lost some weight, and we were on our way. Until reality intruded, and we had out-of-state cheer competitions, a Bat Mitzvah, and all the end-of-school-and-cheer-year activities. Now we are back to getting chicken at the grocery store and on a good night microwaving some vegetables to go with it.

I truly admire those Moms who work all day, cook amazing organic meals, keep a super clean house, have terrific kids, and who don’t need any sleep. I am not personally friends with any, but I read a lot of articles written by them. I work all day, and then often go to school or cheer activities, and for dinner all I care about is that there is some kind of food available. And that it didn’t cost too much because I have checks pending and the mortgage is about to be paid. My house is never clean, it is always cluttered. I do have terrific kids, but they can get on my nerves and can drive me crazy. I do best on about nine, nine and a half hours of sleep, but can (and usually have to) make do with less and some Mt. Dew.

We all want the best for our kids, and there are tons of ways for that to happen. I hope what the girls remember is not the clean house (ha, ha!) or the healthy and organic meals (because there haven’t been a lot) but that Husband and I were always available to talk to, we were at all of their activities yelling ourselves hoarse for them, and the fun times we had watching movies, playing games, or stuck in a hotel room with no money to do anything in a different city besides go to the cheer competition we were there for, so we had to entertain each other. In the years to come as they go out on their own they’ll grab the blue box because it’s what they know, and hopefully they’ll smile as they remember all the fun things that happened around eating orange-colored cheesy pasta.

Food is My Friend and My Enemy

So food and I have been frenemies for many years.  I didn’t intend for that, and I don’t think anyone does, but it happened.  My earliest memory of food issues started in sixth grade.  And, in my mid-40’s, they are still there.  I’m lucky to have not been bulimic or anorexic, and sometimes I wonder how I managed not to be.  I knew quite a few people in high school who were.  Now I’m overweight, and I think that is where my issues took me.  Well, medical problems combined with the issues.

In sixth grade my Mom put me on Weight Watchers for Kids.  I was already made fun of for just being awkward me, so now let’s add the different food in.  As an adult I now realize that my plumping up was not due to my eating (which, hello, was either what I was served at home or at school, I wasn’t a major snacker) but rather to pre-pubescence.  I’ve seen it happen to many kids around that age, and by 8th or 9th grade they have thinned back out.  But, my diet obsessed Mother, who was always on a diet herself, decided I was fat and told me I was fat, and put me on a diet.  My treat was dried apple snacks.

I graduated high school standing 5’ 6½ “ and weighing 118 pounds.  I thought I was fat pretty much through high school, so I only wore Levi’s 501 button fly jeans with button down un-tucked shirts in a variety of colors.  I found out later people thought I was part of the stoners group.  But I thought it hid my fat stomach.  In college my Mom again said I was fat and paid for me to go to Jenny Craig.  I lost weight when I cheated.  I wore a size 8 at the time, but since I had gone up from a size 5 I was apparently fat.  I would look in a mirror and see a big belly, so I knew I had to dress to hide it.

When I was five months pregnant, we were out at a Mexican restaurant, and one of my brothers was visiting.  I wanted another sopaipilla, because those are my favorite, and this place gave basketfuls with plenty of butter and honey.  My Mom looked at me as I reached for one and told me I didn’t need it because I was getting fat.  Husband about burst a blood vessel, grabbed three and started slathering them with butter and honey and said I could have as many as I wanted since not only was I pregnant, but I had just started eating again after being sick for 4 months.  I lost 5 pounds during the first 4 months.  My Mom then looked at my brother and asked him if I wasn’t getting big.  Really?!  He tried to look apologetic as he said he hadn’t ever seen me that big.  He also has a thing with overweight woman.  I WAS 5 MONTHS PREGNANT.  It happened again with pizza during my second pregnancy where I lost 10 pounds during the first four months.  I didn’t need a third piece, because I was getting fat.  Husband wasn’t at this meal, but a good friend was and she gave me the pizza.

My Dad was really overweight, and he used to hide food and eat in the middle of the night.  My Mom was always screaming at him about eating.  I think I get the food hiding from him.  Yes, I really feel strong urges to hide my chocolate.  After 20 years together I finally let Husband in on that secret, and he was stunned.  He had no idea I felt I needed to hide chocolate.  He could care less that I buy it or eat it.  He also doesn’t care that I’m not even close to a size 8 anymore.  He’s more worried about my health problems, which all started when I was a size 8, and have contributed to my weight issues.  But I do eat things I shouldn’t, and more than I should, and when I’m depressed or upset I go for ice cream.  My Dad always bought me ice cream to cheer me up.

I know how to eat, and what I should eat, and that drinking water is really, really important.  And I try.  But then I break in a new way, we get busy with all of the girls activities, my emotions get the better of me…and I’m not doing what I need anymore, unless buying Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food counts for what I need.  And drinking Mt. Dew does improve my mood.

I try not to beat myself up about food, and I try to do the best I can to eat the way I should.  And, I actually like how I look.  Yes, I’d like to be thinner, but I look in the mirror and I’m happy with what I see.  Probably because I’m happy with who I am, and with my life.  I think that is the biggest hurdle, being good with looking in the mirror.  Which most days, I’m glad to say, I am.  Oddly enough my latest medical issue came about, as far as the doctors could tell, because I lost weight and started exercising.  Sometimes you just can’t win.