Sunday, July 22, 2007

I Heart Cupcakes

Cupcakes, well cake in general, are a totally foreign concept in Peru. And, I have always been an enormous cupcake fan. Not just the Magnolia Bakery or their competitor Buttercup Bake Shop or Cake Love varieties either. I will eat any and all cupcakes...seasonally frosted cupcakes from Safeway where the dyes are so intense they turn your whole face blue or green, Betty Crocker from a box with frosting from a can varieties that can be whipped up in mere moments (sometimes at 2 am - been there, done that), even questionable cupcake shaped offerings frosted with something less like frosting and more like sweetish glaze. Clearly, I'm not picky. But, for all my willingness to take whatever is offered and be happy, even ecstatic with said offering, Peru is a veritable desert in desperate need of a sweet fountain brimming over with cupcakes (and don't even get me started on the lack of muffins and bagels).

In contemplating a life overseas, I was fully prepared for the fact that we would actually not be living in the USA - a reality that some of our compatriots seem often to overlook when deciding that a life in the Foreign Service is for them (one wonders what they are defining "foreign" to mean instead). And, I might have a skewed view of myself, but in general I think I am a fairly adaptable person who can make things work under most circumstances. I enjoy change and adventure and new things and all of those characterize our present and certainly our immediate, if not long-term, future. I make friends easily and am good with languages and am willing to try most things, at least once before passing judgment. After nearly a year in Peru, I am confident that most of these perceptions about myself are fairly accurate, all things being equal. But now, I am pregnant, and things are most decidedly unequal! The pregnant me is not exactly irrational, but is, shall we say, FAR LESS CONTENT with change and adventure and new things and most importantly doing without certain things than my "normal" self. So, tonight, as I was blog-surfing, I found myself drooling over The Cupcake Blog and also, for the umpteenth time in an embarrassingly short period of time thinking about all the things that I miss about being essentially anywhere stateside and thus counting the days until I will be there again.

I am compensating for this dearth of cupcakes, this catastrophe (for indeed it seems like one to me) by making more batches of these things than ever before, but we are South of the Equator and something highly scientific about that makes these blossoms of goodness fail to rise and while they are still good enough in spite of this failing, there is just something missing. My list of things to do and, apparently, eat immediately upon landing in the States is growing daily, and consuming my fill of cupcakes has just zoomed to the very top!


Anonymous said...


I feel for you, I understand the need for cupcakes!! I asked Chris what would help make them rise. If you have not already figured it out here are some of his suggestions(you may have already tried them)

Use more of the leavening ingredient i.e.: baking powder or soda, yeast, cream of tartar (which ever one the recipe calls for he suggests doubling it, less fat i.e.: oil, butter etc dramatically less, like around 1/2 less. Less liquid(if you were going to use a cup put in just over 3/4) , more flour, less shortening, lard or butter. Cook it 25 degrees higher about 8 minutes longer, or just check them.

Hopefully this will help get you through the next few months. I am not guaranteeing success!! OH yeah, Congratulations, we are excited to see you this winter!!


Linsey said...

I have not experimented, but will now and will let you know the results! Thanks for the tips - it helps to have a chef in the family!

Paige said...

Oh dear, that is so understandable. For the record the sweet craving means it's a girl. Sprinkles Cupcakes in LA is my absolute favorite. They even ship. But probably only stateside. You must keep cooking and eating until you become a cupcake yourself.

robin marie said...

linsey, first of all i am definitely in love with cupcakes right now as well! i am trying to get the frosting just right when i make them but i can't get them to ever look like the fancy shops!

as for your longings... in portuguese it is referred to as "saudade" (sow-da-gee). i understand somewhat what you are feeling, i have made those "when i get back to the u.s. lists" too and there isn't anything wrong with that! there is something to be said about the comfort of home... especially when pregnant!

and fyi we are JUST FINE with our free time if you know what i mean! sheesh.

K. Crisler said...

I have great news for you... I have discovered a place that makes the most delicious cupcakes! I will have one waiting for you when you arrive to Utah (in four months) sorry about the wait.

Adrianne said...

my own list:
mexican food
grocery stores that sell everything you need
thai food
strip malls and parking lots
dove chocolate bars
really great deli sandwiches
Nordstrom Rack
Fountain Diet Coke
Jamba Juice

and it goes on...

Nate and Sina said...

As much as I love where I am, I have made a list of things I will do IMMEDIATELY upon my return fact, I am so eager to participate in some of the activities that I have listed them on the sidebar of my own blog. But, I picked up hair bleach today, so I can mark that item off my list, but Target still calls my name...

Kristy said...

I've been looking at this post for days trying to come up with how I can send you cupcakes. I have had no lightbulb moments and it sounds like mixes just don't do the cupcakes justice. I do, however, offer my sympathies! I remember going through a chocolate chip cookie craving while we were down there but fortunately you saved me with our trip to the embassy where I could buy american ingredients!


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