Look, in the past I’ve been none too complimentary about the Spar. And I think with fair reason, the fresh produce in the Cape stores (for the most part) leaves much to be desired. But no more… I owe Spar BIG TIME!
To say it’s been a tough week is to be likening a tsunami to the tide coming in… It’s been rough! Outlook issues which very nearly bliksemed the hell out of 11 years worth of organisation, notes and research, days which have run out of hours, children with so many activities that I need to appoint a full-time Social Director to our Family’s Board, standstill traffic on my mountain pass and running out of cigarettes during said-traffic… agh, it goes on and on! I don’t like it when “everyday life” gets in the way of my pre-ordained perfectly ordered schedule. How dare it?
So quite by chance, I open up my diary 10 minutes before home-time yesterday to discover that my youngest is Bakerman tomorrow! Holy Crap! Can you imagine if I hadn’t clicked that mouse… to rock-up at nursery without cupcakes overloaded with sugar would be the most EPIC of Parental Fails! But, no biggie, I call home and with the help of my intrepid housekeeper we ascertain that I don’t have any of the ingredients required for cupcakes and it will necessitate a trip to the supermarket. Again, no biggie! I can do this… simply a small bump in the road. Fast Forward 1 hour and I’m walking through the front door armed with all necessary cupcake paraphernalia, including toppings and gold-dust (which looks oh-so beautiful on my chocolate ganache icing!) Plus super-strong headache tablets for the pounding pain which is somewhat impairing my eyesight, but that’s not important!
Cheerfully load everybody into the car, drive our housekeeper home. Uer parting gambit “Oh, by the way… when I was baking the pasta for dinner this afternoon, I noticed that the oven seems to be broken!” I didn’t quite know what to say, so I kind of just cocked my head to the side, frowned and pursed my lips and thought WTF? … Suddenly a wave of enlightenment washes across her face and she tries to give me hope… “It did warm up, it just didn’t seem to get hot enough!” Nuff said!
Rush home, turn on this oven of mine to test (because of course the Universe couldn’t possibly be this cruel to me)… lights are on, fan’s going brrr perfectely… but all this just goes to show you how deceitful appliances can be. After 15 minutes the light-thingy-that-goes-off-to-tell-you-that-the-oven-has-reached-the-desired-temperature is still shining brightly and proudly. Only thing is – it’s not supposed to be… touch the top element… ice-bloody-cold! Darn it to hell – Pick ‘n Pay closed 15 minutes ago! Search grocery cupboards for possible alternatives, assess that perhaps 2-minute noodles in melted marshmallow is not going to cut it, pile two hungry unfed unwashed unkempt children into the car and head off to the Spar, possibly the only retail outlet of any sort open in our sleepy valley at this time of night (give or take a couple of hundred shebeens)!
Oh, the wondrous sight that greeted me as I neared the bakery section. There – perfectly wrapped in shiny cellophane were 4-packets of moist chocolate muffins for the winning price of R9.99 per packet of 4. And coincidentally I needed 16 (thank you Universe for making up for your earlier cruelty). I don’t think I could even bake them at that price (experience tells me I need to cost-in at least 1 throwaway and burnt batch)! What’s more – they were un-iced so “technically” they might still pass for home-made, Jamie could still help me make them and with a smidgeon of authenticity claim the title of BAKERMAN!
It took us less than 15 minutes to make ganache icing, dip our cupcakes and place our decorations! Sadly the Universe decided to include 1-more “F-YOU” – The packer at PnP had decided not to include my gold-dust decorations! BUT… all things considered… I think they turned out pretty OK! Wipes brow…