My emergency twinkly tongue birthday cake
By Kari Patterson,
See her blog
It’s usually the things we don’t plan that make the most special memories. Or, most often, the mishaps. So what 4-year-old birthday would be complete without a grand finale mommy mishap? This one takes the cake (and renders it inedible).
So I found a recipe for “Dutch Cake”, which I was so excited to make for Dutch’s birthday. I whipped up the recipe only to realize there was no way on earth that kids would actually eat it–it was hard and dry and only sweetened with molasses. I could just see the kids at Dutch’s little “birthday party” (we just had the little boys from our Community Group over) staring down at the hard little rock cupcake and wondering what they’d done wrong to deserve that. No, I would not be the dud mommy, so at the last minute I used the Funfetti cake mix (given to us at church for the intended use of a Jesus Birthday party), forced myself not to think about the hydrogenated soybean oil contained therein, and whipped up a batch of cupcakes and homemade frosting. So far so good. It would be a hit.
But then I thought it’d be fun to make something special for the family party we were having in the evening. I knew Dutch’s little cousins loved Cake Pops, so I found the directions and went for it. Mush cake and frosting, form into balls, easy. But then you’re supposed to dip them in melting chocolate, of which I had none, so I thought it’d be super fun to instead dip them in powdered sugar and serve them as “snowballs”–perfect for a December birthday! Yes, snowballs! Perfect. Now, did I have powdered sugar? Hm…wasn’t sure. I dug around and found a clear winco baggie (I buy everything in bulk), squeezed it with my fingers (it squeaks and has a distinct feel if it is cornstarch), and it didn’t squeak so I knew immediately that it was indeed powdered sugar. I happily powdered up my special snowballs and we were all set.
After dinner the kids gathered around excitedly for their treats. I served the kids then got busy cutting cheesecake for the adults. I overheard my neice exclaim, “This doesn’t taste good!” but was quickly chided by her mom for being rude so she hushed up and picked at the rest of her snowball. I was vaguely aware that the other kids just sort of picked at theirs as well but was busy doing other things. Soon they were off playing again and I thought nothing of it.
Later, doing dishes, apparently my poor sister in law nibbled on one and knew immediately what I had done. My brother came into the dining room, grinning: “So you coat your snowballs in baking soda, huh?” My jaw dropped. Of course!! I had just for the first time bought baking soda at Winco in the bulk section and forgotten about it.
“No wonder,” My mom said laughing, “Dutch kept saying, ‘this snowball makes my tongue all twinkly.’” Yes, twinkly tongues for sure! Poor kids, they were awful and made your mouth fizz something terrible.
So far no reactions, and no fizzy bubbles are coming out their noses, thank goodness. But it makes for a fun memory. And hey, none of the children overdosed on sugar that’s for sure! That’s one way to sour them on sweets…
Overall, what a blessed day. Thank you, God, for marvelous mishaps that sprinkle our days with laughter. And of course, thank you for four-year-old boys and tongues that twinkle.