Tonight… tonight is a big night, I guess you could say.
As I may or may not have mentioned, this past summer the man who loads and unloads the dishwasher and sink, who thinks to pick up fun ingredients for me to try, who never ceases to be able to make me laugh, who locks the cats out of the bedroom so I can get a little extra sleep… well he asked me to marry him. That’s another story for another time, but it’s an important detail.
Tonight, our parents will meet for the first time.
I believe that these two things combined, to the vegan and omnivorous mind alike, makes this quite the event!
I am quite fortunate in that vegetables and health food stores were not out of place in my childhood. There are many-a fond memory of being only as high as the bulk bins, helping my mom scoop out my dad’s favorite granola, making sure to take every big chunk I could find, knowing those were his favorite. My sister and I would choose treats which the smiling lady in the billowing hippie skirt behind the counter would ring up and hand back to us. We used to both get peanut butter honey cups, and as we grew older, ventured into fruit leather.
Every summer my dad would diet down for competitions, “retiring” from his hobby in 1995. The family as a unit was used to seeing well-balanced meals year round with “Dad food” making a debut after his birthday apple pie every year. Some nights my sister and I would dress up “tastesless noodles and chicken” – linguine in a light wine mushroom broth with pounded chicken cutlets – with copious amounts of Parmesan, other times we would be treated to “kid food,” homemade mac’n cheese with crunchy breadcrumbs on top with a side of peas, while our parents ate orange roughy fillets with brown rice and salad.
We try to not just bank on good genetics… despite the fact my grandfather is 101. Yes, you read this correctly. He gave a great speech at his 100th birthday party.
(partying it up at his 80-somethingth)
(Um, photo courtesy of my 21st birthday, but that really has nothing to do with what we are doing here. This is normal – I mean, imagine when we were roommates! And I promise that we really do clean up nicely into two well-behaved, fairly attractive young women…
just not in this picture.)
At any rate, I have long said that baking has been a therapy of mine, one that has only grown nearer and dearer to my heart as I grow older. VCTOTW was a book that changed my life. Since memorizing the basic recipes, I have begun to explore flavors and combinations I had only dreamt of with confidence.
Perhaps a bit nervous (there, I said it!) I decided to make something to calm the nerves, something that would take a while and focus, something that looked fancy but was attainable. Cupcakes. Cupcakes for adults.
Some coffee liquer, Peet’s Sulawesi and a whirlwind of mixing later, tada! Chocolate-coffee cupcakes topped with coffee buttahcream and semi-sweet chocolate ganache. The man of the house gave me a thumbs up through a mouth full of cupcake, later noting that he found them a success (y’know, once he came up for air. 🙂 I had to follow suit and try some too!)
Here’s hoping everything – the take-out, the cupcakes, the meeting overall –
turns out to be a success!