Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Government Approved Cupcakes

I've figured out what I'm going to do when I start my own stay-at-home-mom business out of the house. We went to the PTO meeting and parent orientation last month where a well-meaning flier was handed out that included a recipe for Government-Approved Cupcakes.

Yes, the federal government is now telling you and me how to make cupcakes and even had a handy-dandy flier made up just for that purpose (which is our tax dollars hard a work). Now I'm all for the applesauce substitution--healthy is good, but government-approved cupcakes?

And if that wasn't Orwellian enough for you, not only can't the government-approved cupcakes have any oil, but they can't have any frosting on them. This is an affront to cupcakes. I ask you, what is the point of a birthday cupcake with no frosting? Seriously. The entire point of the cupcake is to support the frosting. Ask any kid, and see if I speak the truth.

As I gripped the flier in my hand, I looked around the room at the sea full of faces, desperately wanting to make the 'are you kidding me' face at someone, but everyone swallowed this announcement without so much as a blip on the radar. No reaction at all. I'm not sure what started the anger ball rolling in my stomach first--that the government is now approving my cupcakes or the fact that no one thought this intrusion was odd or out of sorts. I wanted to stand and scream, "The Government is APPROVING MY CUPCAKES??? What's next??? Are they going to start screening their lunchboxes and confiscating chips and cookies and Little Debbie's????"

Having a child with a birthday the next week, I got on the phone to the local grocery store bakery and tried to order 'applesauce' cupcakes. The woman repeated the question back to me three times until I explained that you can't take regular cupcakes into the school anymore--they are contraband. Dead silence on the other line. The bakery lady told me that I must be confused, at which point I read the flier out loud to her. Pause.

Um, no, ma'am, we haven't heard of applesauce cupcakes or making them without oil.

Then she covered the receiver and told someone working with her that there was a health nut on the phone looking for applesauce cupcakes. Okay then.

So after calling FOUR different places hunting up the healthy cupcakes with the same 'what are you talking about, lady" reaction, I realise that I am going to actually have to BAKE the stupid things. After working 9 hours, a 1-1/2 hour commute both ways in rush hour, coming home to cook dinner for four kids, helping with homework, making lunches, assembling and packing snacks, signing folders, writing checks for: t-shirt, lunch money for one kid, class trip, bathing everyone, laying out clothes for the next day, finding every one's shoes again, taking the garbage out, cleaning up the dinner dishes, moving the laundry around and folding two loads, getting everyone into the bed (eight times each), I am freaking DYING to BAKE! Aren't you? The Martha Stewart is just oozing from my pores.

But there is no way am I throwing myself out of the running for The Perfect Mommy Title, so I'm digging through drawers hunting up cupcake pans and those stupid little cups you pour the batter into and flour and salt and cocoa...the more I struggle to find the staples, the angrier I get about the 1984 Cupcakes (as I am now mentally referring to them). I get everything on the counter and start measuring and sifting and pouring, until I get to the part about the applesauce instead of oil. I am sure that I've set the applesauce on the counter--two of those little cups of it in individual containers. Sure of it! I only had two left and I know that I put them somewhere...I look around, on the ground, on the table, lifting up stuff to look under it, when in strolls my 7-yr-old and 3-yr-old smacking lips and congratulating each other on the tasty treat they found 'just lying around'. Oh yeah. They ate the applesauce. So, now I'm staring at a bowl full of half-made cupcake batter with no applesauce.

I hope they don't run any random lab testing on the food brought into the school, cause I'm going down for sneaking in contraband. Oh, and I sent in a jar of frosting just for my son's cupcake. They can force me to feed all of those other poor, deprived kids naked cupcakes, but in my house, I'm still the Mother Bear, and Carter Big Boy can take a bath in frosting on his birthday.

So, when I finally start my home-based business baking applesauce-instead-of-oil cupcakes for busy moms and dads, The Husband suggests that I call it "Big Brother Cupcakes" because no one with a lick of sense is going to buy or eat anything from a bakery called "Government Approved Cupcakes" Ha!

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