17 February 2010


To celebrate the birthdays of Koji and eight of his school friends this afternoon at a party, I served Redemption Cupcakes.

No one there knew that they were eating anything other than yellow(whole wheat) cupcakes topped with Strawberry Cloud Cream. But when they (mamas in particular) took a bite, then another, smiled and said, "Oishii! (Delicious)" I felt curiously redeemed.

Just Friday last week, I proudly appeared at the school bake sale with pineapple cake, oreo truffles and lemon cookies with King Arthur Flour lemon powder. Alas, I did not appear with any of the above items individually wrapped in cutesy packages. ARGH. Conveniently, or devastatingly, I forgot the high value that many (most? nearly all?!) Japanese people place on packaging. There was no clamoring happening near the plates I plunked down. Perhaps it was the final straw after a long week that didn't go as expected on several fronts but I was devastated.

You may think I'm over dramatic, and I know I can be, but in this case, my turn of phrase is accurate: I really was so disappointed at the utter lack of interest in what I had made, and I (briefly, till I cried it out that night?!) crossed the line to devastation. Guess I allowed myself to identify a little too closely with my baked goods, which is why I was relieved and comforted today, back in the place where the ladies like my cake.

Several pertinent notes:
*I didn't take a picture of the so-called Redemption Cake; it was actually cupcakes and they consisted of the parts mentioned above.
*This morning Koji said that he wanted a cookie with his name on it in addition to a cupcake (he's not as randomly demanding as that sounds, in the past when we ordered a birthday cake from a bakery, there were several personalized cookies balanced on top). He wanted to recreate that experience, and the above is what I came up with.
*Finally, I want to note that though my emotions over baked goods are described above, what I long for is to be identified and founded on Jesus, not the popularity of my homemade treats. Obviously, I need some work in this area, and perhaps that's the reason for this incident?