Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cupcakes and Licorice

For the last several days, my house has been full of licorice.

Not that I am complaining. Too much. I’m one of those people, the ones who sort out the black jellybeans from the others so I can hoard them and keep them all to myself, my precious, precious black jellybeans full of licoricey goodness and arrhythmia-inducing chemicals, I loves them so.

On the other hand, though, they really don’t fit into my new 2012 Diet Plan, which is entitled “Eat Less Crap.” It’s a fairly flexible plan, really, but sugar pellets really don’t fit into it no matter what color they are.

Oh well.

One of the many, many activities that the girls engage in on a regular basis is the local 4H club. This is why we drag the cat over to the Fairgrounds and pretend it’s not your basic domestic alleyrabbit for the judges. It’s why we have actual rabbits in our home. It’s why there will be even more theater in our world this spring, more art this summer, and less free time overall. And a County Fair. Don't forget the County Fair.

Like any other self-help program, there are also monthly meetings. These meetings have themes, activities, games and other entertainments, organized and led by the kids themselves. It gives them a sense of responsibility and they usually have a grand time.

Last night was Lauren’s turn to be in charge, and she decided that what two or three dozen kids really needed to make their evening more interesting was a cupcake decorating contest.

So we baked a few batches of cupcakes ahead of time, stocked up on various sugary things that could, conceivably, be used for decorations, and met up with everyone else and their similar horde of goodies.

You could get diabetes just standing downwind of the place.

But after a flurry of activity, there were any number of finely crafted cupcakes ready for judging. And they were judged.

And then they were eaten.

All of them. And all of their decorations.

Even the licorice jellybeans on top.


John the Scientist said...

That does not sound like "eat less crap" to me. And County Fairs. County Fairs definitely do not fall in the "eat less crap" category.

You might dinner at like my house, though. This week we've been the victims ... errr... recipients of various anise-flavoered stews, star anise being a favorite Chinese stew flavoring. It's licorice without the sugar!

David said...

Oh, I know, I know - how I longed to take all those jellybeans and vacuum them down into my gullet, but I resisted and only had a few. I'm eating less crap, not no crap.

I also made pizzelles Monday night for Lauren to give out to her class for Valentine's Day - they're anise-flavored Italian wafer cookies, and they are delectable.

You know, I might actually like those stews!

John the Scientist said...

I'm kidding about not liking them, although my wife is working on perfecting recipe for various meats, so it is getting a little repetitive. And there is certainly a lot worse in the Asian armamentarium. Can you believe Jim once drank a whole bottle of nuoc mam? On the other hand, I've eaten stinky tofu, voluntarily, and more than once, so who am I to point and laugh?

David said...

I can believe that Jim drank it, actually. I just choose not to think about that any further. ;)

Other than Scoville units - and not even so much those anymore - I'm not a terribly adventurous eater (that sound you just heard? that's my mother rolling her eyes), so I tend to stick with what I like.

And I like anise/licorice! Mmm, mmm, mmm, I loves them so.

John the Scientist said...

You would not have fared well as a kid in my house, then. The household palate is wide, and favorites are not indulged in too often lest they become Achilles Heels. It helps a bit that the boy's *favorite* food on Earth is stinky tofu. I kid you not. There is something wrong with that boy.

Thankfully, chou dofu is hard to get and also thankfully beyond my wife's current culinary skills. Did you ever read Nathan's account of our adventures in Flushing (an aptly named neighborhood in this instance).

David said...

I had read Nathan's account - it was part of my induction ceremony into the UCF, I think. ;) Or at least it was Nathan's attempt to explain the group to me a bit. One or the other. Or both.

I tend to like strong flavors - vinegars, spices, cheeses, things like that. But my range is fairly limited. And since I'm the one who does most of the cooking in my house, things work out in my favor most of the time.

beatrice in Paris said...

Licorice ROCKS. Be careful with it, though. It'll lower your blood pressure.