Over the past couple of years, I have developed a love for cooking and baking. I have also slowly started to purchase more specialized tools that make cooking more efficient and more fun (like a micro grater… freshly grated ginger has changed my life), and I have become more adventurous in the types of recipes that I prepare. I still have my standard staples (because 3-year-olds and 1-year-olds are not the most adventurous eaters), but it is fun to try something new every once in a while.
I have also taught myself to pipe icing and I love it. I started making cupcakes for friends' baby showers and children's birthday parties. A few months ago, our church asked me to bake for our baby dedication. This is an event that happens a couple times a year where they dedicate 10-15 babies at the same time. For this event, they needed over 200 cupcakes. That's a lot of butter… and flour… and eggs. Our refrigerator was out of control.
My parents watched the kids so that I could spend one entire day baking. I spent the next entire day icing the cupcakes, and I think they turned out beautifully.
I learned a lot doing this. Make the pastry cream first thing… not just before you need to leave. Because you might forget to add vanilla to it and then realize that you don't have enough time for it to firm up in the fridge before piping. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
This was my first paid baking gig, and it was a blast. I realized that the reason that I like making cupcakes for people is that they are always eaten around some joyous event… a birthday, a baby dedication, a holiday, a family gathering. For the baby dedication, I prayed for all the babies as I was icing the cupcakes. This past week, I made cupcakes for a friend's son's birthday (miracle Will) and I reflected on his story and the miracle of his life while I iced his blue and green M&M cupcakes.
Maybe someday I'll open a Foxy cupcake shoppe. Each cupcake comes with a free prayer. You never know.