A Cheap Birthday Excuse to Post Photos

Today is my wedding anniversary, and yesterday was my husband’s birthday. I used to be very organized about personal milestone/celebration dates such as these, but those days seem long gone. Between the demands of work, family and now-too-infrequent attempts to do good in the world, I’m lucky if I even remember birthdays anymore.

Beating Eggs with 1960s Equipment - Instagram

Many of my cooking tools are old. Both the mixing bowl and the hand beater were my mother's, circa the 1960s. I just love the colors in this pic.

So it was that I got home from work last night and had made no real plans for a birthday celebration. I had asked my husband to think about where he would like to go for dinner, but he’s even worse at planning than I am and had not even managed to choose a preferred cuisine, much less an actual restaurant.

As for a cake? Forget it. I thought about it as I was leaving work, and again as I was driving home, but by the time I got close to home, the thought of a store-bought or bakery-bought cake just seemed too uncaring and impersonal. Remember, I’m the person who entered a pie-baking contest not too long ago; I’m the baker in my family; so I have certain standards to uphold, if only to preserve my self-esteem.

Thus, I arrived home ready to roll up my sleeves and bake. But remember: I had done no planning. So I didn’t know what kind of cake I was planning to bake, nor even whether I had the ingredients.

Cookbook and Antique Sifter - Instagram

Did I mention that I use a lot of old equipment? This is my sifter, and it's way better than any new one you'll find in a store. The cookbook is the Fannie Farmer Cookbook; although the Lord Baltimore Cake recipe is showing, the recipe I used is on the facing page.

The short version of this story is:

  • German Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Had to run to the grocery store in the middle to get more sugar
  • Misread the recipe
  • Caught my mistake in time to compensate
  • Delicious (“Fantastic!” was my son’s review)
  • Took so long we never did get out to dinner

There’s no real moral to the story, other than maybe “You don’t have to get everything right in order for everything to work out alright, but it sure would make life easier to actually pay better attention and do better planning.”

German Chocolate Cupcakes - Instagram

The finished product: German Chocolate Cupcakes. Icing was a bit sloppy, but it was getting quite late. They weren't really this color; that's the Instagram filter.

But really, everything did work out beautifully. We’re going out to dinner tonight to celebrate both the birthday and anniversary, and we’re still eating these “fantastic!” cupcakes. And while I was taking too much time baking something that would have gone more quickly and smoothly if I had just planned it out better, I amused myself taking pictures and playing with the Instagram app on my phone.

I hope you enjoy the pics. They’re the real reason I wrote this post in the first place.

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