When I asked the Beast how he’d like to celebrate our five-year anniversary, he gave me some lame answer like, “it’s stupid to celebrate anniversaries.” So I put the whole thing out of my head. When I came home after my Friday night shift at the restaurant, it seemed that the Beast had changed his sour attitude. The house was decorated with balloons and cheap “Happy Anniversary” signs from the dollar store. There were also beautiful white roses and a card from the corner store that read, “Happy Anniversary to my wife.” I was also lucky enough to receive ShamWow; those German-made cloths featured in the infomercial. And finally, the Beast framed some fairly avant-garde photos that he took of himself. He says they comment upon the difference between modern and contemporary art, in a post-feminist, Cindy Sherman style. I say they’re a bit creepy, but it’s the thought that counts.
Now I looked like a chump because I thought we weren’t celebrating. I didn’t even make a card. So the next day I decided to bake cupcakes. Funny thing with cupcakes is that they’ve become really popular, in a yoga sort of way: everybody’s doing it. But my desire to eat white butter-cream icing overwhelmed any desire to be original.
Foodie: Which recipe should I use? I read somewhere that Amy Sedaris’ cupcakes were voted second best by New York magazine.
Beast: Why would you bake joke cupcakes?
Foodie: Just because she’s a joker doesn’t mean her cupcake recipe is a joke.
Beast: Use the Magnolia recipe.
Now here was something new—the Beast making a decision over something concerning food! I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to hum and haw over my cookbooks. I’d just make the cupcakes that the Beast demanded. I suddenly felt blissfully domestic, in a 1950’s sort of way where the husband comes home after work and demands stuff and the apron-clad wife smiles and makes it. And mom, Magnolia Bakery is in New York City. It became absurdly popular after an episode of Sex in the City where Carrie Bradshaw eats a Magnolia cupcake out front. Not only is the Beast familiar with the episode, but he’s also familiar with the bakery: I dragged him there and made him wait in the cold with me to get one of these old-fashioned, sugary delights when we visited NYC in November.
The Magnolia recipe is pretty simple, and I whipped up the batter and baked the cupcakes without a hitch. The best part is icing them. I try to make each one look as though a cartoon cloud had topped it. That’s not as easy as it sounds, especially after indulging in too much Burgundy beforehand. At one point, I dropped my icing knife, which in turn knocked over my glass of wine. Thank goodness I had my new ShamWow cloths to clean up my mess. Afterwards, we ordered in Thai food, and watched His Girl Friday. I don’t know how we settled on that movie, but it seemed appropriate for the occasion. I also ate four cupcakes, polished off the bottle of Burgundy and fell asleep on the couch with a stomachache and the Beast by my side. It was a perfect anniversary.
Cupcakes Foodie ***
Cupcakes Beast ***1/2