Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The hubster and I don't have any children (yet). The yet is completely inconsequential to both my parents and in-laws who basically think we are giant losers because we have not given them any grandbabies. A few days ago, my mom said, "I'm always so embarrased when I go out to lunch with friends and I have to tell them that I don't have any grandchildren." Yup mom, your daughter and son-in-law, both of whom have advanced degrees, are self-sufficient, responsible individuals (who recycle and have no overdue library books!) have completely failed you :).
The point being, when you don't have any children and neither do any of your siblings, you can love on your friends' babies. It's the best kind of love. You hug and squish these adorable babies while they happily drool and giggle and as soon as they begin to cry, you pass them off to the nearest biological parent. That is exactly what I planned to do this past weekend, as my darling friend's even more darling son turned one. It seemed only fitting that I make Bakerella's famous Mickey Mouse pops for the, you guessed it, Mickey Mouse themed birthday.
I opted to make the silhouette versions because I think they look more sophisticated than the ones with faces painted on. Ok, I'm lying. I opted to make the silhouette versions because it was possible to make them in the three hours before the party whereas it would've taken me days to paint faces on the darn pops. Even without faces, the pops took a long time. And the pre-pops? They took even longer. See, my neurotic self had to figure out some way to display the completed pops. A box wouldn't do. Neither would a bowl. And so, I dragged the hubster to numerous art and party supply stores until we discovered these babies. Perfect. I'm sure they were intended to display a bunch of proudly waving flags, it being close to the fourth of July n' all. They also made perfect vessels for my pops. Yay for patriotism!
So, I got the majority of supplies the weekend before the party. I was going to make the pops the morning of. Things were perfectly in place. Or so I thought until Wednesday night when I went to my local grocery store to pick up a bag of candy hearts for Minnie Mouse's hair bow. Simple right? Not so much because candy hearts are only sold in a precise 2.5 week window before Valentine's Day. After that, the same cinammon candy is only made in circular form. I then spent the next two days scouring every specialty candy store within a 50 mile radius but there was nary a candy heart to be found.
Friday night and countdown to cake pops was underway. I was sitting dejectedly at my computer trying to convince myself that my little one-year-old friend would understand if I only made Mickey Mouse pops. But really, what's Mickey without Minnie right? So I started contemplating ways to make those darn red bows. I tried carving red licorice, using halved M&Ms (and for the record, it's hard halving M&Ms), and painting bows with icing. None of the options resulted in the adorable bows I was going for (but I enjoyed eating the failures). So there I was at 10:00 p.m. after a long week of work and I thought, what if I molded the bows out of sugar paste? Two problems. One, I'd never molded anything out of sugar paste. Two, I was not really sure what sugar paste was.
A quick internet search later, I marched into my kitchen and begin concocting me some sugar paste. Think play dough but sweet. Forty-five minutes, one bottle of food coloring, and two psychotically pink hands later, I was staring at my sugar paste. By now, it was close to midnight so I did what any sane girl would do. I start molding me some hair bows fit for Minnie Mouse.
Saturday morning, I relaxedly had my cup (ok, two cups) of coffee and read the newspaper. I was a woman content with the knowledge that I had done all of the prep work for my cake pops. I was certain the pops would be made well before I needed to leave for the party. Heck, I even thought I'd have enough time to straighten my hair to impress the one-years-olds at the party. That is, before I discovered that icing color is different from candy color. Three drops of black icing color in my melted chocolate, the entire concoction seized and I was staring at a giant black mess eerily resembling a tarantula. A laughing tarantula. I frantically read through Bakerella's instructions. Yup, in her wisdom, she clearly noted that you must use candy color because it doesn't contain water. I grabbed the bottle of icing color. First ingredient, water. Blast! I frantically tried to fix my icing (all the while muttering, "Frick, frick, frick" a la Elliot). This took (a lot) longer than anticipated. I then tied the bows trying not to touch the pops (for the record, I now hate ribbon). Oh, and then, I had to figure out some way to refrigerate the pops in a refrigerator crowded with 43 bottles of condiments and sauces, 6 loaves of bread ranging from sourdough to the hubster's boring 100% whole wheat, and one lonely, six-month-old fruitcake, courtesy of our ever so generous neighbor.
Needless to say, I didn't have time to straighten my hair before the parties. The one-year-olds missed out. But I did manage to run in, Mickey and Minnie mouse pops in hand, and a big smile on my face. And I'm glad I did because the party was lovely. Friends and family came out in droves to celebrate with the little man while he contentedly ate his way through his own chocolate cake (more of it ended up in his hair and on his clothes than in his mouth). I wished I was young enough to scramble for candy from the pinata (and yes, the hubster physically restrained me or you know I would have been in that pinata line). And I saw the other side of my good friend, the ever composed attorney. The mama bear side that wiped snotty noses, rescued vases seconds before kids knocked them over, and proudly watched over her brood. It was a good Saturday, indeed.