Somewhere back in my 30s, I think I spent idyllic mornings before heading off to work where I would sit and sip a cup of coffee in silence and maybe leaf through a book, magazine or newspaper. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t recognize that “pre-child” era for the paradise that it actually was. Yet every year, with the arrival of summer, I cling to some deeply repressed notion of a smooth, peaceful and easy morning since we “don’t have school or anything else to hurry off to”. And every year, about a week into summer I realize what a hopeless romantic loser I am for even believing in “smooth”, “peaceful” or “easy”.
In case you can’t relate to what I’m describing here, let me give you a run down of a common pre-8am landscape in our little slice of the earth. That is correct, all of this -and more- occurs prior to 8 o’clock in the morning; approximately only 60 – 90 minutes after 8 small feet hit the floor to welcome a glorious new day.
10 – Hand soap smeared on a wooden nightstand because “I was decowating it”. This particular day it was hand soap, but you can feel free to sub in toothpaste, Mom’s expensive moisturizer, calamine lotion, butt cream, or any other gooey substance that is supposed to stay in the bathroom.
9 – Apple core dropped in the toilet because the potty was closer than the trash. (OK – this isn’t a regular occurrence, but the fact that it even happened once kind of makes you wonder.)
8 – All out tantrum because “I wanted to po my own ceweal.”
7 – Wet pull-up left in the middle of the kitchen floor. When are they going to make them so that they can absorb the pee and dispose of themselves?
6 – Reader on page 360 of the book you just got her (that was supposed to last all week) and completely oblivious to the ensuing morning chaos. I should never have talked to her so much as an infant; then maybe she wouldn’t have become such a voracious bookworm.
5 – Breakfast sweetly made for younger siblings (she calls it the Hot Cocoa Cafe), but the kitchen not so sweetly hiding the remnants of said breakfast (aka – crap all over my kitchen!)
4 – Question “What are we going to do today?” already uttered at least 57 times. Answer: NOTHING. But they still keep asking as if the question can change the course of their future.
3 – Dragon, lion, and other “animal of the week” pictures already littering the dining room table that was clean last night when I went to bed. Darn FuntoDraw with Mei Yu videos on YouTube. She should have named it FuntoKillTrees with the amount of paper these children plow through.
2 – Animal hospital, complete with a gazillion bandaged stuffed animals, set up and completely blocking my front door. Here’s hoping the fire marshall won’t visit today.
1 – The words Mom, Mama, Mother, and MacoCheena (don’t ask) uttered, shouted, whined, screamed, whispered, and repeated in varying tones, pitches and cadences at least 700 times (or so it seems).
Picture painted now? Good. So how is your summer going so far? And yes, it’s often on days that start like this that I retreat into my mixing bowls and measuring spoons just to take a moment. On this particular day, I tackled Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with some home grown sugar pumpkins from the garden. I figured everything else is so wacky, why not bake with pumpkin in early July.
I started by roasting up one of the cute little guys.
I then scooped out the yummy filling and mashed with a potato masher.
I mixed together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Then I mashed together sugar and butter until they were well combined.
To that mixture, I added an egg white, my mashed pumpkin, some milk, and a bit of vanilla. Then I added in the dry ingredients and mixed it all up until smooth.
I used mini cupcake papers and a tin and filled each one. I baked them about 12 minutes. While they were baking, I mixed together some powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter. After the cupcakes cooled, I frosted them and Voila.
Please note that no specific children were identified in this post. There are really no behaviors in and of themselves that are horrific, atypical childlike behaviors. It’s simply the gestalt of it all compacted into a 60 minute time period that drives this mother to her oven.
Here’s the complete recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes.