Remember going to birthday parties as a kid and there would be cake baked in ice cream cones and then frosted and sprinkled? I do. I loved those things and I’ve never tried making them. Until tonight. Things didn’t go well.
This is not my first misfire when it comes to being crafty or handy. I had every intention of being a from-scratch wife and mother, but from burnt popcorn to runny corn pudding to pajamas with holes in them, I don’t always hit the mark.
I have angst about this issue, possibly from having my own mom as a mother. Mine raised three kids while she cooked everything from scratch, made all my clothes (up to and including suits for work, cocktail dresses and my wedding dress) and can plant three seeds in a pot and have them turn into a lush, happily blooming oasis. How do you follow that?
If you’re me, you try really hard—with mixed results. My cake-cone debacle is a good example. Bringing cakes in cones to a Fourth of July gathering (with red, white and blue sprinkles) is a good idea, right? And I think I got off to a good start. We mixed and stirred, and I even let John crack the eggs. I bravely turned on the oven (which I never do at this time of year) and hoped for the best. I think I just overfilled the cones. And to add insult to injury, I tipped them over when I took them out. Possibly because I was irritated that they’d spilled over.
And now I don’t have the time or initiative to do it all again, so I’ll be the one showing up with store-bought ice cream sandwiches at best. Full disclosure: I have also been the mother who shows up at pre-school potluck with a pizza. Darn it! This is not how I intended to do things when I got started. Sometimes I pull off a dinner party or a refinished table, but sometimes things backfire.
I have crises on these issues pretty regularly, and I can already tell you what they’ll be in the next six months. Will John buy his lunch or bring his lunch to kindergarten? Will I buy or make a Halloween costume? Will I cook for the Christmas party or cater? What about lovely homemade Christmas presents? My guess is that some things will be bought, some will be made, and some will be both: I’ll try to from-scratch, I’ll either blow it or run out of time, and I’ll end up going with a Plan B.
Despite all this, I’m an optimist. I’m still going to do everything I can—possibly more than I can—and when things don’t work out, I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ll probably always have a pile of unfinished projects in a closet, and I almost always have an extra dinner idea on standby when the first one doesn’t work out. And there’s always take out.
P.S. I did eat one of those cones, and it was actually pretty good. Next time.