Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Fruit From The Tree of Wisdom

You know you're getting old when you start spouting crotchety sayings like "youth is wasted on the young", but I guess you need a little wisdom in you to realize how true this trite little sentence is. When I went to college in the early to mid 90's I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, hell, I barely knew how to write a check. College for me was like an all-you-can-eat slacker buffet. I chose triple helpings of sleeping in, staying up late, time frittering, junk food consumption. I majored in subjects I found interesting, art history and english, but made no effort to prepare myself for the job market after graduation. My attitude belonged to a billionaire's daughter- except neither Mom nor Dad were billionaires (however they were enormously patient and generous). I was just going to figure it out as I went along. As long as I was doing it in NYC, it was God's work. It probably is not shocking that I had 30 different jobs in the 6 years after graduation. Back then I guess my main aspiration was to live in New York, and my many different jobs just supported my
habit(ation). Most of my jobs sucked. The best part of working at all these places is that I met a lot of different types.
I didn't discover the Joy of Cooking until I got engaged. My mom is a great cook, and I pretty much stayed out of the kitchen- you know what they say about too many cooks.. So maybe I would've done things differently if I knew then what I know now. Or maybe it just took me a while to figure it out and I got a great education in art history, english lit, and New York City in the meantime. I waver between these two views.
Finally I've clued into what I like to do and how I need to do it. I like to cook/bake and I like to write. I hate working in an office, I cannot keep office hours, and I don't do well with enforced order and bosses. I'm starting to translate this all into something, with my small homemade chocolate business, and with my various forays into food writing; this blog, and articles I submit for a parenting newspaper.
To coincide with the back-to-school edition, inspired by something I saw somewhere, I whipped up a batch of these Applicious Cupcakes. I was pretty charmed with the results, despite the amount of red food dye I had to use to make the frosting red. The cupcake recipe itself is semi-wholesome, so I hope it makes up for the sugary food dyed frosting. It's to celebrate going back to school. School where you're supposed to learn how little you know, but seldom do-until it's too late, but really it's never too late.

Applicious Cupcakes
Mix up yellowcake mix, 1 c. apple juice, 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce, 1/3 c. finely chopped dried apples, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. apple pie spice, 3 eggs in a big bowl. Lay out 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins. Scoop batter into each liner to fill up 3/4 of the way. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
icing (this is where it gets a little scary): Beat 1 c. butter/marg. until smooth, add 2 c. confectioners sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add 2-3 tbsp. milk or non dairy creamer or soy milk to smooth out if necessary. Stir in 1-2 tsp. red food dye paste (there is a natural food dye you can use, I just didn't have time to hunt around for it) until frosting reaches desired shade of red. Frost cupcakes. Then, break 12 pretzel sticks in half. Stick into frosted cupcakes (this is the stem), cut green fruit roll-ups, fruit leather, or sour apple fruit tape into the shape of leaves. Place near the stem. Voila! A totally adorable back-to-school treat!


Alexa said...

Diversity is a sign of creativity... You sound like a very creative person. My background is similar to yours. We figure out how to harness all this energy eventually.:-)

Apples and Butter said...

Those are so cute! My mouth is watering just looking at those sour apple ropes!