Sunday, May 4, 2014

# 7 (sort of)The Bea Arthur: A golden cupcake for a golden girl.

I want to start by saying sorry.  I have been out of sorts lately.  I can put this down to many factors.  The moon?  Possibly.  Hormones? Almost definitely.  Mostly thought, I just couldn't be arsed.  I could come up with some a veritable slew of spectacular lies for you.  For instance, I mused about the fact that I was sent into witness protection due to a witnessing a maniacal mafia shoot out, but this is The Hague.  The closest we get to that in out neighbourhood is a show down over douchebag parking and or some renegade wisteria.

Seriously, The Hague, I am from the ghetto and know bad parking.  
I have even put out a chair to save my dug-out parking spot during massive winter snowstorms... 
...Ya'll have evolved douchebag parking into an extreme sport.

So with out further ado, we marched on.  High on our success of the Handmade Market, and nauseous from the sheer scale of butter that was used to accomplish this (seriously folks, it was enough butter to give Paula Deen pause) we took a break.  A wee hiatus no less.

You have no idea the wealth of Paula Deen memes I went through.
Paula Deen is totally meme-worthy. I especially like the photo of her riding a stick of butter. 
Leaping like young gazelles through the savannah we frolicked back to the kitchen once more.  When I say frolicked, I may mean staggered, possibly crawled, definitely whimpered.  Once more dear readers, I had made some questionable decisions the night before.  There was wine and, well more wine. (SO much freaking wine people).  Thinking that my new hair cut and some make-up would pull me together into some form of functioning adult I dragged my sorry ass to my front door to find Li, standing there radiant, positively eager.  Not a fucking whiff of the previous evenings shenanigans evident on her beaming face.  Naturally I wanted to stab it.  

I love Zoe even when she wants to kill me in the face. Totally true. 
I really AM that person in the morning you hate. 

Valiant efforts were made by (a possibly still drunk) me, to heroically "man up".  Frankly though, every time I bent over I wanted to die.  Repeat to yourself, Dutchess Drunky McHangover - "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

It's now that I probably mention that it was Good Friday. (Heathen.)  Li was going to spend Easter with her family and wanted to make a specific cupcake out of sequence.  (Occasionally we have been known to actually spend time with our families.)  The Bea Arthur. A black coffee (oh how I needed this) and chocolate cupcake, with cheesecake buttercream frosting and an espresso ganache.  

Pleij family holiday party! Aw YISSSS! My Dutch family rocks my face off and our seasonal parties are awesome. So much laughter and good food and general gezelligeheid. Man I wish this word existed in English. Festive and cosy just does not begin cover it. 

If you don't know who Bea Arthur is, then I don't know how to feel about you. (And you are officially dead to me. Tough love on this one all the way). The Golden Girls.  Go and watch it and then feel bad about yourself.  She was epic. Acerbic, sharp, fabulous and most of all a comic genius. Bea played Dorothy, the much maligned and resigned daughter of Sophia.  I tried looking for some quotes for you, but I lost an hour, laughed my ass off and still couldn't choose.  I totally understand why Allison Robicelli has dedicated an entire chapter of her book to these amazing women.  A show so far ahead of its time, so wildly inappropriate and wonderfully endearing it makes me smile when ever I think about it. This is how I imagine Me, Li and a few other friends will end up.  

I hope to be awesome as the Golden Girls when I grow up. 

Back to the cupcakes.  We mise-en-place'd once more.  Well we half arsed it by throwing everything on the counter and checking to see if we had enough.  We did.

It looked a little something like this.  Quality all the way.
And for the record that is the SEARS Tower. Save that Willis shit for the tourists. 
The executive decision was made for me to take on a more supervisory role.  So perched in my little nook, and having tried to fortify myself with home made chocolate chip cookies (the best damn cookie ever! Try it) I tried to be a team player.  Yes folks, that is me. Wedged between my baking drawer of shame and the dishwasher.  There huddled up on the floor with the crumbs, squished toddler debris and the dog hair.  It's where I belonged.

Oh, HELL no.

Li, tried very hard to hide her disgust.  Not so much at my hangover or lack of any constructive or discernible help, more at the intermittent whimpering and frankly the rank smell of stale alcohol that refused to shower out.  

Totally not even silently judging her. Also this is my mean face. Stop laughing. 

Reinforcements were needed.  Thankfully, Maisy answered the call.  Lured with the promise of cookies, cupcakes and the opportunity to openly mock a very weakened me, she skipped over, and took up the gauntlet (ok, well sieve, but you get the gist - that's what I get when I try to wax lyrical.)  Maisy, is a far superior me.  She also has magnificent hair.

Maisy is freaking hilarious. You need to know this. 
And her name is MAISY, how awesome is THAT?!

Time stands still for no hangover, so onwards my curly counterparts marched.  In a flurry of flour, chocolate, eggs and coffee, magical things happened as I loitered uselessly in the background like tits on a fish. To be honest it could have been a scene out of Disney's Fantasia in my kitchen, and I wouldn't have noticed.  (I now have an image of Li in Mickey Mouse ears with dancing mops and hippos.  Jesus that shit was trippy) Vainly I tried to figure out how to again become part of humanity and avoid having Li drive my head into the mixer, but to no avail. So. TEMPTING.

The smell of coffee and chocolate magically blended together was biblical.  It permeated my home and wrapped it up in a warm snuggley blanket of comfort and security.  Unfortunately I felt like my head needed to be down the toilet (potentially with Li's hand shoving it in there,) so my normal bowl licking duties were sacrificed for the sake of public hygiene and the fact that I couldn't peel myself out of the fetal position I seem to have found myself in.

Busy things happened, Busy things of which I had no part. My kitchen was a hive of activity as I observed from the safety of my chair.  Better for all involved for me to have hidden behind a cute toddler and pretend to parent.  I am not proud of this, but I'm also not above using my daughter as a human shield.

This is the result of the afternoons baking.  This oh so delicious and, sadly for me, a very unappreciated delight. The espresso ganache was magnificent.  The cheesecake frosting, a perfect rounding-off to balance and lighten the weight of the coffee and chocolate.  (The irony that I use the word lighten to describe the frosting is not lost on me.)  I did manage to pull my head out of my ass long enough to pipe the frosting, but this is where my input concluded.

See? She was not completely useless, just mostly useless! 

It finally ended with me having finally lost the will to live and praying for the sweet release of death. Monkey was packed off to nap and I finished up here. Spooning with the dog on the sofa under a pile of blankets and shame, I despondently vowed to never drink again.

Spolier alert: She is totally going to drink again.

Ok so I may exaggerate, but the guilt for my utterly ineffectual contribution to the day lasted as long as my misery and regret.  (Also until the next bottle of wine was opened.) Yeah, CALLED THIS. I'm like all psychic and shit. 

I am told that the cupcakes were a triumphant success.  I will take Li's word for this.

Please take my word on this. Happy Pleij's were happy and it was a great Easter/Mama Pleij birthday celebration. That's good enough for me.

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