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Fourteen years ago, “Dill” and Annika were seven and five . . .
Just because your mom is busy working at her computer doesn’t mean you have to celebrate the Fourth without baked goods from your kitchen. We all know what a die-hard tradition cupcakes are on the Fourth, so here is our simple recipe for the fun holiday confection that calls for minimal disruption to your mother’s work schedule.
1. Obsess about making cupcakes every time a holiday approaches, so that the day before the Fourth, when you bring your mom the box of old cake mix while she’s buried in her work, she relents as long as you “follow the directions.”
2. Work together to line up everything you will need: three eggs, a two-thirds cup of oil, and some water. Mom will be pleased when she comes out for a drink.
3. Get off track and start reading the recipe for pineapple upside-down cake instead of just the cake in the box. Don’t worry–Mom will catch this when she hears you say, “Mmm . . . pineapple . . .mmm . . . cherries.”
4. Follow the directions to mix the ingredients together. You did what the instructions said, so there must not be anything amiss when you manage to fill only ten sections of the muffin tin when Mom said there’d be twenty-four cupcakes in the end.
5. Make sure you try to put the cupcakes in the oven without calling Mom first, and see that one of you goes to Mom’s desk with one piece of ice in the corner of a gallon Ziploc bag because you singed your arm.
6. Have Mom come out and look in the oven, and she will tell you why the eggy batter was enough for only ten cups in the tin. Pouring the congealing yellow mass back into the bowl, she’ll open the bag of cake mix for you and dump it in the mixing bowl with the slippery fluid you thought was the batter.
7. Stir the batter at the kitchen table, and get small puddles of it on the dining room floor.
8. Tell your mom it was a mystery to you how that paper towel came to rest on the glowing heat unit in the oven.
9. While the cupcakes are baking, line up the following on the counter: red sprinkles, and red frosting in the decorating can. And hey, why not, it’s there–green sprinkles, and green frosting in the decorating can.
10. Walk away and play while the cupcakes bake. There’s always the chance Mom could get so desperate she’ll tackle the puddles, the counters, and the battery bowl herself.
11. When Mom says the cupcakes are cool enough, cheer. Go over to the counter and say, “Now remember, we need to ask the cupcakes how they want to be decorated.”
12. Pile the cupcakes with red and green frosting and sprinkles. Then each chooses one decorated by the other sister to eat.
13. Wash up so well that all Mom has to do is wipe residues of powdered mix off the counters, twice remove the dustpan from the counter, rewash the bowl, pick up cans of red and green frosting up from off the floor, and wipe up a puddle of batter hardening in the dining room.
These treats are a snap, and with only two of you wild about cupcakes (and not journaling your caloric intake to boot), you’ll be having two cupcakes a day until way past the Fourth of July.Published in