Archive for February 11, 2010

Good Family Fun

I’ve mentioned one or twenty times before that my parents have a vacation house in Galveston. (For future reference, they’ve named the house Bella Rose.) Since we live a mere 40 minutes from Galveston we are able to use this house more often than if their house were on another island. They bought the house early last summer (post-Ike) and up until last weekend, we’d never been as a family.

Many of you probably don’t know this but there is a mini Mardi Gras in Galveston. I’ve never been to the real Mardi Gras so I can’t compare. I’m sure it’s probably similar, but smaller… maybe like if you stuck New Orleans in front of the huge gun thing on Honey I Shrunk the Kids. There are parades and parties in the street. After 25 years of living in south Texas, I finally made it to Mardi Gras.

Stephen and I headed to Bella on Friday night after a nice dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant. We arrived full of humus and souvlaki and unloaded the car. On Saturday evening we were going to celebrate my SIL’s birthday so I got started making these cupcakes that PW posted a week or so ago. It was my first time to make cupcakes that involved the stove. It was also my first time to use a particular pot from the cabinet at that house. Does anyone see where this is headed? At one point you have to pour a cup of boiling water into a pot of other stuff. So I had two pots going. As I was heading to the smaller pot to pour the water, I tucked my hand into the sleeve of my sweatshirt because it looked like the handle might be hot. Unfortunately the tip of my finger was still sticking out and it touched the handle for approximately 1/8000th of a second and burned the hell-fire out of my finger.

I would show you a picture but nobody had the good sense to take a picture of my wound at the time. And now it just looks like a slightly darker pink line across my finger. So just trust me on this. In the words of Buddy the Elf, my finger had a heartbeat. In fact it was beating in the form of shooting pains from the tip of my finger to my wrist. It hurt. A lot. Cuts and bruises, I can handle. But burns are a different story. They make me moan and whine and curse my life.

So that was the long way of telling you that I burned my finger and may have forgotten the step in the instructions that says to remove the cupcakes from the pan 5 minutes after they come out of the oven.

We all settled into bed and went to sleep. I assume they all slept better than I did because I had to sleep with my finger tucked away in an ice pack all night. On Saturday morning the burning had stopped and all I had was a dark red line and a bit of finger tenderness. Which isn’t a bad thing. We all need a bit of tenderness in our lives, right?

Stephen and I went out to breakfast and left my parents at the house to do grown up fix-up-the-house activities. We had a couple hours before my sister, brother, SIL, and niece would arrive so we thought a nice stack of blueberry pancakes would fill that time perfectly. It was nice until about 30 seconds after we left the restaurant when I realized I left my leftovers on the table. I refused to go back because I assumed that they had already thrown them away… plus I’d rather just whine about it thank you very much. Although we should have gone back because I would have also seen that I left my Chapstick on the table and I wouldn’t have had to go through the awful feeling of putting my hand in my pocket only to feel cotton and a wad of lint. Bummer.

At that point, my weekend wasn’t looking great. And this is totally not where I intended this story to go. It was supposed to be all happy and wonderful and bragging on Galveston. But I suppose while I’m being the equivalent of Eeyore I could go ahead and tell you the rest of the story about the cupcakes. It’s a good one…. if you’re in a good mood. If your finger has just been burned and your Chapstick and pancakes have been lost, it’s a heartbreaker.

While we were having breakfast my mom decided she’d pop the cupcakes out of the tins so they’d be ready for me and my ganache topping. When I walked into the kitchen she had a concerned look on her face and two very torn up cupcakes on the counter. There were 21 cupcakes still in the tin and one that was nowhere to be seen. I later found out that it had mysteriously jumped out of the tin into my dad’s mouth. Apparently the whole 5 minute thing was an important step. These things were practically glued into the tins. I came this close to shedding a tear and thought to myself, “What would Pioneer Woman do?” Well she’d probably make a whole new batch. Or she would never have made this mistake in the first place. So then I thought to myself, “Scratch that. What would Big Mama do?” She’d improvise because one should never throw out good cupcakes even if they are a bit ugly on the outside.

So we cut and scooped and cut and scooped until all of the cupcake bits were free. Then we gently shoved them in a 9×13 cake pan and made a very lumpy cake. I made the ganache and artfully poured it over our messy cake. And friends, it was good.

And that’s really then end of my story. But you see that I titled this post “Good Family Fun” which totally doesn’t work with this story. I had planned to tell you that Mardi Gras isn’t just a drunken fest for crazies to let loose. It’s also an event for families. We sat on our chairs waiting for the parades and then cheered for beads. Good clean fun. So clean that my niece was even able to attend. (I know I’ve already shown you this picture… she’s just so cute.)

And I figured that if Justin and Laura could bring their child along, it was safe for me to bring my Stephen along.

That’s my man. Loud and proud. The only one with his hands in the air!

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February 11, 2010 at 9:32 am 19 comments


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