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?

1 comment:

Eriko said...

The cake and frosting were delish, this year and last! How lucky we were to share in the birthday celebrations. Thank you! (I have to peek at your frosting recipe, I really think it is amazing!)

Indeed, packaging is important for many people. But as for me, my first thought is to save the earth and refrain from using plastic wrap if at all possible.... You know, I made the same "mistake" at that bake sale -- not wrapping anything I'd baked -- and ended up using the school's plastic wrap to package my offerings, at the organizers' request.