let them eat cupcakes

Finally, I have decided what I will do in 2010. Here, that is, in cyberspace. I already know what to do with the rest of my life. I also know how to deconstruct atomic devices and stop global warming. Yeah.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had one of our rare date nights and went to see Julie and Julia. I loved that movie. I know, so did a lot of other people. And anything Meryl Streep does is just going to be up for an Oscar, as a general rule. But the thing I loved most about the movie was how it portrayed two couples who really, truly loved each other and were happy together. Despite trials that could have made one of them call it quits. Wow, what a fascinating new Hollywood concept.

Anyway, now anyone who writes a blog has to step up to the challenge, right? What can I do for 365 days? Not cook, that’s for sure. This blog would then be full of four-letter words. Words like bake and boil, and (gasp!) cook. Not to mention several forays to fast food. So what can I do? Probably nothing new. Whatever I pick, someone out there has done it, is doing it, or will sue me for attempting to do it when they wanted to.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to celebrate each day. No, I don’t mean in the cheesy sort of “live every day like it’s your last” celebrate (though we all should). I mean cheesy in the sense that, if it is National Cheese Awareness Day, I’m going to celebrate it. You would not believe the national days that have been proclaimed by one person, organization, or nutcase fringe group from Texas. But I won’t spoil it by telling you what they are. However, if you know of something fun, please let me know, too.

Now, some of these will be more difficult than others. For instance, tomorrow is National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day. I anticipate no difficulties in celebrating this. However, in two days, it is National Roast Suckling Pig Day. I do not personally know any suckling pigs. I do not know how to roast one. And I do not think our oven would fit one if I did. I do not, for the record, plan to roast anything outside in December in Chicago. And what do you think the friendly folks at Ultra Foods would say if I asked for a suckling pig at the butcher counter?? So, there will have to be an alternate plan. And National Bicarbonate of Soda Day? Hmmm . . . well if it fell the day after that National Chocolate Day, I can see the need for it. But alas, it does not.

Today is National Lemon Cupcake Day. Not being a huge fan of cupcakes, or the calories therein, I thought, what else could suffice as a reasonable celebration? And I remembered, I have wanted to make popovers for several days now. Surely, there must be a recipe for lemon popovers on the internet. And, thank you Al Gore, there was.

I followed the recipe exactly. I preheated the oven, heated the milk, and put the eggs in hot water to warm them as well. These are steps I would rarely take on a daily basis. I lam basically a lazy cook. Also, I don’t follow direction well. But for this, I did. Then, I dragged out the giant muffin pan I had just put into the dark reaches of the cabinet where only the daddy longlegs really know what’s going on. Alas, despite my care, they did not come out very popped or very over. More like, well, lemon cupcakes. And not even very lemony. I love lemon, you understand, so if you disappoint me when you have promised lemon flavor, we will have words. I may have to go out and buy some lemon curd, which would set them up nicely, I believe. My guess for the texture failure is that I really was not supposed to use that jumbo pan but a regulation-size muffin pan. So much for the heavy labor of dragging it out.

So what have I learned by this? That following directions isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Probably not the best life lesson. That if I haven’t used the jumbo muffin pan in years I probably should get rid of it? A better possibility. Or, perhaps, I’ve just learned to keep lemon curd in stock.

And yes, I will still write some “serious” stuff as well. But if we do not know how to laugh and celebrate, we do not know how to be properly serious either. And vice versa. I’m sure there’s a famous quote to that effect. I will find it, on National Find a Quote Day.

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