Since graduating from college, I've learned to fake my way in the kitchen. When I have the right tools and the time, I even enjoy cooking. I do not, however, enjoy baking. It's too hard to fake it as a baker. The chemistry has to be precise, and I do not have the patience nor the knowledge to be a baker. This week, with my summer course starting today, I didn't really have the time either, but my kids wanted rainbow cupcakes for their "un"birthday at school. Since we attend a nut-free school, cupcakes need to be homemade, not from a box mix that could have been contaminated in a nut factory. Alas, the ready-made confetti mix was not an option, and yesterday, I got out my Kitchen Aid mixer and set to work.
When my son and daughter first asked for rainbow cupcakes, I imagined I would separate my homemade icing into several bowls, add food coloring, and color each cupcake with a different color. Put them together, they would make a rainbow. Then my friend shared with me a recipe for tie-dyed cupcakes. These cupcakes were over-the-top rainbows! The recipe explained how to make the cupcakes from a box mix. Being the over-achiever that I am, and temporarily forgetting that I have work commitments, I decided to adapt it to my "from scratch" recipes for cake and icing. I let the kids help with some of the mixing and the coloring, and by the end of the day, I had a container full of rainbows.
The batter is layered in 6 different colors, which the kids and I made yesterday morning before they headed to school. The icing, which we colored before dinner, is piped in three colors, and I didn't quite master the technique. Though I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing these with a group of adults, I'm sure 5-year-olds will find them aesthetically pleasing and utterly delicious. I learned quite a bit in making these rainbow cupcakes that would be useful if I ever made them a second time. But quite frankly, I cursed so many times in my head as I was making them that I think they may be on my "been there done that" list. I decided in the kitchen last night that these particular cupcakes should not be something a working mom tackles.
My mom tells my kids that she loves them "more than the sun, the moon, and the stars." They often play a game that replaces the celestial beings with other objects. My daughter laughingly told me recently, "I love you more than the pillow, the writing book, and the door" as she looked around the room. No matter what the objects, they always use the definite article "the" (not the indefinite "a" or "an"). For them love goes beyond something they can see. It's something definite. This morning, as my son shared his excitement for his "un"birthday celebration and reminded his dad to remember to take the cupcakes to school, I changed my mind about the "been there, done that" list. Despite the frustrtaion at the time spent in my kitchen yesterday, if my kids ask for rainbow cupcakes again, I will make them. I love them more than the rainbow.