Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And I will always have gum (at least I could if I wanted to)

How pretty is this cake?  I bought it about a week ago when frugal, responsible Michael (somewhere his high school friends are laughing at that) sent me to the grocery store with meal plans for 14 days and the grocery list to match.  Fourteen Days.  That's two carts once everything is bagged.  I've mentioned how little I enjoy the weekly grocery trip, right?  And fourteen days - well, not only did that mean longer in the grocery store, but also that many days that I wouldn't have a single excuse to say, "Oh darn, let's just order out tonight - it would be so much easier.  Sigh.  

So, realizing how much money we were saving over that time period and how self-sacrificing it was of me to actually do the trip, I bought a CAKE.  A white cake with the whipped frosting, which puts all buttercreams to shame, and glorious life-is-actually-a-pastry red roses.  Not a single birthday or holiday in sight.  Jake and I poured over the choices - balloons, cupcakes with plastic animal heads on toothpicks . . . we settled on the roses, and I told him right then and there.  This is the reason you should want to be a grown up.

Admittedly, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  The roses (the little tricksters!) were buttercream.  A store-bought kind of flavor that bled into the entire culinary experience, decreasing the allure.  But I was still so proud that I took this picture of what it means to get to make silly, inconsequential decisions all the time all on your own that could very well make life richer - at least for the evening.

The new book I'm reading (by the author we met) is set in Chicago.  How much do I love Chicago now?  I've had to research it for work, and I am so embarrassed that I didn't realize my pretty little midwest had such a treasure.  Because, you know, I'm claiming it now.  Navy Pier, Grant Park, Cloud Gate - the book talks about them all, and because I've researched them, I almost feel that I've seen and touched them - or at least that I have some sort of ownership in their greatness.  I still dream of New York, but People, Chicago is a train ride from here, and it is so on my list.  Someday I'll buy that train ticket just like I purchased that cake.  I wrote about the Art Institute of Chicago on the Student Travel blog today, and posted pictures of its miniature rooms display, which looks dee-lightful. Linking to that blog post justifies the fact that the writing of this one bled a teensy bit into the work day.  Which brings me full circle, because that's just what those buttercream roses did.  

11 comments:

Lori said...

Oh how I love HyVee's whipped topping! Mmmmmm! You buying the cake reminded me of a couple of weeks ago when I was CRAVING soft serve vanilla ice cream for 3 days. As I was coming back from making the bank deposit one day I though "Hey, I'm a grown up! I can get ice cream if I want it!" And so I did, experiancing exactly what you did with the cake.

serenity said...

YES. You get me. And the thing I love about this is, you had to remind yourself you had the right. What is that? I suppose if I remembered it every second I would never deny myself anything and then I'd be a mess. Still, it's nice to enjoy the perks of grownup-hood when you think of it, because it's certainly not all perks.

About Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

I think you just inspired me...to go get some cake! My thighs hate you right about now, but my peace-of-mind appreciates it:)
Are you liking the book?

Molly said...

I'll be over soon to finish that cake...I love buttercream!

serenity said...

Silly Molly. You think there's cake left? It was only the quarter-sheet size, and cake is my favorite breakfast food.

serenity said...

Sarah - I forgot to answer. I'm loving the book, but I'm only a couple chapters in. The writing is very engaging. It's called the Lazarus Project.

Anonymous said...

Well good grief now I want that cake!!
:)

P.S. I can't BELIEVE I've never been to Chicago, SO want to go there someday.
luv
Tiff

Em said...

Another treasure the Chicagoland area has to offer is the Museum of Science and Industry, which my husband had to practically drag me to kicking and screaming all because the latter half of the name sounded sooo boring (I didn't want to waste a second of my Chicago trip on a tedious task). There is a full room devoted to a minature (but HUGE) fairy castle that puts all of my little girl dollhouse dreams to shame. Two thumbs up. Oh, and buttercream frosting beats the pants off of whipped frosting imo, but cake mid-week wins me over no matter what the topping.

RedHed said...

How funny. I just bought a half-cake from Wal-Mart with the whipped cream frosting AND it was bavarian cream filled. I bought it for much the same reason. I was grocery shopping for our normal 2 week time-frame (our paydays are every two weeks). I was having to do the shopping without my husband with me for the 3rd time in a row because he's out of town on yet another business trip. Feeling sorry for myself and the kids, I bought us a cake. Yeah CAKE! And the bavarian cream filling just made the whole thing better!

serenity said...

Em, I've heard that's a great museum but I had NOT heard about the fairy castle. I'm so hooked now. And, okay, with two votes I stand corrected that whipped topping is better. Apparently it's simply a matter of taste. :) And Carol, the husband/dad out of town is so junk food and movies time for us. :)