Sunday, March 9, 2014

'That' Age

I'm getting to 'that' age.

You know - the time in life when you do occasionally stupid things but at least you can explain them away by mentioning how old you are.

My slightly stupid thing (and I say slightly because it really wasn't earth shattering - just exasperating) was done on Wednesday but it had its effects on Friday.

I had to make forty red velvet cupcakes for a fortieth birthday party. Not a difficult task but I was using a recipe that I hadn't done in a while and in the back of my mind I had an inkling that it needed some ingredients that I don't usually keep on hand. I found the recipe (after a ten minute search through many disorganised plastic sleeves of recipes from the internet) and wrote the ingredients on my shopping list.

Friday comes and the plan was to start baking at the crack of dawn. I started to get out the ingredients and I was only down to the third one when I realised that my fore-planning hadn't been terribly thorough. Oh yes, I'd bought the ingredients that I usually didn't stock but I'd forgotten to check in my pantry to make sure I had enough of the other stuff. And what I was short on was plain flour.

You ran out of baking ingredients??
The thing is that I generally bake cakes with self-raising flour. And I did have plenty of that but this recipe is so different I was pretty sure that I couldn't just substitute and hope for the best. I had enough flour for a double batch which, according to the recipe, would have made thirty-six cakes so I decided to be a little stingy when I came to spooning out the batter into the cases. And I did a pretty good job of it. Thirty-nine cupcakes! Being one cupcake short is just cruel but there was no way I could make them any smaller so I had to bite the bullet and make another batch.

I decided to quickly do a Google search to see if I could somehow use my self raising flour to make some more. My other option was to go to the shops but if I went to the shops I'd have had to have another coffee (because I'm genetically incapable of resisting that smell) and do the crossword in the paper and that would have taken a lot more time out of an already-tight schedule.

Of course there was an alternative recipe on the internet. Because the internet has answers to all the burning questions. It's just a pity that it didn't have the capability to read the situation and present me with the answer before I even knew that there was a problem. I could have saved myself a good half hour of wondering what was the best and most efficient way to solve my problem.

The whole point of this story isn't to show you pictures of pretty cupcakes - even though I'm doing just that.

I'm heading towards yet another birthday and I've realised that things will probably not get a lot better in this department. Where once I had a mind like a steel trap, it now resembles a pasta strainer. Exasperating at times. Like when you're trying to remember someone's name. Or exactly the right word that you know exists and it starts with a P. Or when you're punching your pin number into the ATM and you get it wrong for the third time and the machine swallows your card.

Thank goodness it doesn't require a lot of mental acuity to run.

By the way - I just had to go ask Luke's girlfriend how to spell acuity - because I'd forgotten - because I'm old! I love the irony.


  1. A mind like a pasta strainer. Like that one. And man do I get this. Love the cupcakes as always!

  2. oh boy.... things to look forward to :)

  3. First off, without spell check, I would look like an idiot all the time!!!
    Second, I'm right there with you on the mind and......
    That 40 year-old that you just made cupcakes for should be prepared! Things will be changing soon!!!

  4. Oh goody; can't wait for 51!

  5. I turn 45 in December, start getting that flour bought... but I would like 4 different cup cakes...

    Wait, maybe start saving for the holiday (working holiday) you are going to have to take to Cape Town so you can bake them for me...

  6. I can SO relate. I'll forget a name and then generally remember it 2 days later normally at 3am from a deep sleep!!!! And please, do not let me go to the store with a "mental list" … it never turns out well.

  7. Those cupcaks look delicious as always!
    Acuity? After I had read that word I quicky googled it. Thanks for sharing a new English word, Char!

  8. I've never had a mind like a steel trap. Imagine how I'll be in a few years...

  9. Mmmmm red velvet. You were probably doing the party guests a favor making them small...just saying. I used to be a stellar speller. Not so much anymore. Now I just rhyme.

  10. First off, YUM....
    And I too once had a great memory, yet sadly since turning 40 last year, my memory has started to fade, and my focus even more scattered. LOL!

  11. I have a memory exactly like this too, I blame the kids!! Those cupcakes look fantastic!!

  12. Jum for the cupcakes!

    I write everything down when it comes to groceries. When I take the last of something, when I plan my menu I write down how much flour for example I need and check it. Otherwise I just forget, not only because I'm 45 but also because I don't want to think about what not to forget to buy when I do my grocery shopping.

  13. I realize that the awesomeness of your cupcakes has already been mentioned numerous times previously. But I just can't resist making the same comment. The creations from your lapse of mental acuity would be welcome at my house anytime.

  14. Regardless, the results are pretty fancy. :)

    I spent 20 minutes yesterday morning confused, then sorting out, why I had two people with the exact same name in my phone and email contact lists. One was a one-time-met acquaintance, the other a new client. I kept messaging the wrong one (both by email and phone). Embarrassing and confusing. And I'm a bit younger than you. I'm slightly terrified to see what happens 10 years from now....


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