At 8:35pm last night, I was busy relaxing in my rose-colored lounge pants, stretched out on my bed, straining my eyes to see the channel guide on the TV (I didn’t feel like going all the way downstairs to get my glasses from wherever it was that I had left them) when my daughter — who was in the middle of FaceTime’ing one of her BFFs in her room — suddenly came in and handed me a small sheet of paper.
“Don’t be upset, Mom,” she told me as she began to skidaddle out of the room. “I’ve decided I’m not doing it.” It was now 8:36pm.
Not doing what?, I wondered. “Come here, please,” I told her, and slowly turned my attention to the typed message on the paper.
As I read it, my daughter sidled up to me and summarized the contents of the message, “SCA is having a bake sale tomorrow and since I’m on SCA, I’m required to take something to sell. But don’t worry about it. They said you can just stick a couple of store-bought sugar cookies in a bag or buy a box of mini cupcakes at the store and take those. But I’ve decided I’m not doing it anyway.”
[SCA = Student Council Association]
“When did you get this piece of paper?” I asked her, knowing it had at least been before the weekend when we might’ve had time to actually make plans to bake something. She reminded me we could “forget about it”.
And here is when I launched into my brief but meaningful “How We Do and Do Not Do Bake Sales” lecture…
- We are not going to “forget about it”. It’s only 8:30pm; we have time to make something, even if it’s not from scratch.
- We are not the type that just throws cookies in a bag and calls it done. It’s not nice to have a bake sale and charge $1 for two Oreos in a bag, when people can gorge themselves on an entire pack for $2.50 (on sale).
- And we are also not just going to buy a container full of mini cupcakes because: A) Everyone buys those for their birthdays at school (except us; we make our birthday cupcakes) and it should be kept special for that; and B) They taste bleh; and C) Everybody else will be doing the same thing.
- Just because you forgot about the bake sale and/or don’t really feel like doing it, doesn’t mean you get to take the easy way out. There is always a solution and a better way. And it’s usually easier to figure out than you realize.
- So… you need to think about this and get creative. We will go to the grocery store in about 20 minutes. (The grocery store closes at 10pm.)
Daughter returned to her room. I played a game on my tablet for a few minutes, snuggled with the cat, and Googled, “easy bake sale ideas”.
At 9:07pm, I changed into appropriate clothing for going out at 9pm on a school night and walked down the hallway to my daughter’s room. She was still FaceTime-ing. I told her, “Let’s go,” and she clicked off her iPod, jumped off her bed and followed me out the front door.
“Did you come up with any ideas?” I asked her in the car en route. “Not really,” she tells me.
“Well…” I said, “let’s see what’s in the Bakery section that we can doctor up and make better.”
So we go inside and walk back to the Bakery. There is almost no one in the store but us and a few workers who are restocking shelves, which reminds me that I’d rather be back home in my lounge pants snuggling with the cat. But we press on… reviewing blueberry muffins, mini pies, coffee cake, banana bread, pies, cupcakes, cakes, etc….
Then we visited the frozen bakery aisle just to make sure we really didn’t want to have to use the oven, even if it was just to heat something up from a frozen state.
Back we go to the fresh baked goods section and she decides that she wants something that both adults AND kids will like. This immediately negates my “the coffee cake looks good” suggestion.
My daughter then finally makes up her mind: Pound cake.
So now we have to think about how to make pound cake special. I mull a few ideas over with her, then realize that I am imagining a sugary glaze dripping down the sides of it, so we go grab a bag of confectioner’s sugar. But there also needs to be a vibrant flavor to complement the buttery-ness of the cake. So we grab a jar of orange marmalade… and to finish it off, I buy an orange from the produce section.
And so… our baked-good transformation was about to begin.
Back at home in the kitchen, I tasked my daughter with cutting the pound cake neatly into large cubes, while I whipped up a batch of the glaze-y icing, adding a splash of “Sunny-D” to it (desperate times…) to brighten up the flavor. Meanwhile, Daughter spoons a dollop of orange marmalade on a cake cube and tops it with another cake cube, essentially sandwiching the preserves in the middle. When she’s finished, there are 16 little double-decker cakelets for me to drizzle the glaze over. I douse them with as much I think is necessary… and then locate my mini grater and use it to scrape and sprinkle fresh orange rind on top of the cake cubes.
Looked pretty. Smelled delicious.
My daughter shoved an extra one in her mouth and nearly fainted it was so good. I took one bite, put everything in the fridge and went upstairs to get ready for bed.
This morning, I carefully packed up our “Orange Glaze-Drizzled Pound Cake” for my daughter to carry to school with her on the school bus.
She forgot to take the bag with her.
I finally drove over to her school on my way to work and dropped off the bag. The actual bake sale is from 4:30-8pm tonight, accompanying the late-night Book Sale in the school library. My daughter is supposed to man the bake sale booth at some point because of her SCA status, but since she’s also planning to shop for books, I don’t know how long she will last behind the table.
Anyway… that is how we do bake sales (at the last minute).