When I lived in South Korea, I was a bit of a hoarder. The store that sold cocoa powder was more than an hour's drive away. And I had an irrational fear of running out. There was a time that I actually had TWELVE little plastic jars of cocoa powder. 12. In my defense, this was also Christmas time. And at Christmas time they sold Nestle's cocoa powder instead of just Hershey's cocoa powder. And I had never tried Nestle's cocoa powder in the cookie recipe and I had this idea that Nestle's cocoa powder was going to be even more amazing. And that I would be devastated if I couldn't buy more of it for another year.
As it turned out, I couldn't actually tell the difference between the two cocoas. I don't have a super refined palate. I just like chocolate cookies. And happily, I was able to make those chocolate cookies for a very long time before needing to buy more cocoa of any kind.
And then I moved back to America. And I lost all hoarding tendencies. Except for syrup. I have seven bottles of syrup right now. Because every time I go to the store I think we've just run out. But we haven't. We ran out one time a month ago and I keep reliving that memory. And I'm pretty sure that memory is blocking my ability to remember to buy more cocoa powder. Which left me on Monday with the need to make cookie dough and no cocoa powder to make it.
Which isn't a big deal because there are grocery stores just everywhere in the place I live now. In fact, there is a grocery store exactly one half of a mile from my house. It was a nice day. I thought I would be all healthy and walk to the store. With my 3 children. I put the youngest two in this huge monstrosity of a stroller and started pushing them. Down the hill. The entire half mile to the store was downhill. It was great. We talked about leaves and bugs and everything you could imagine. And we bought our groceries and I got an extra 10 pound bag of sugar and all sorts of heavy things. And then we walked out of the store and I realized exactly what I had done. I had purchased the exact weight of a small elephant. Which I now had to push up the hill for another half of a mile.
It wasn't easy. And it was really hot. And one of my girls started crying because she had to hold a box of tissue. And then the other started crying because the first one was crying. And my 6 year old crossed to the other side of the street so he didn't have to hear them crying so loud. And about 2/3 of the way up the hill there was a lady standing outside watering her flowers. And she kind of stopped watering them and just stared as we got near to her. She looked genuinely concerned and called out, "Are you going to make it?" I told her "Nah, I think I'm just going to move in with you and call it good." I laughed a little bit with the half second of breath I could manage and she just kept staring and looked slightly more horrified. I guess she didn't realize I was kidding.
And it made me think about that one time in Korea that the old ladies stopped and stared as I brought my wagon load of groceries into my apartment. And I realized that maybe I'm just a really bad grocery-carrying person. I mean, I could be just awful at it and nobody wants to tell me because they feel really bad for me and don't want to make things worse. But maybe there is this whole easier way of transporting groceries from one place to another and I'll never find out because no one wants to break the ice and just say it! So if you ever come to my house, I'll bring some groceries inside and you can just tell me how it is, okay? Promise? Because I value the whole honest thing.
Like this cake. You got old. Let's celebrate that.
Also, I wanted to tell you that you can make your own cake pans. Did you know that? They are more of a 1 or 2 time use thing, but you can make any shape you want with foil. I wrapped 6-7 layers of foil around some canned chicken to make a cake pan for the fire extinguisher cake. And then I just sprayed it with some non-stick spray. The cake actually comes out much easier than with a regular cake pan too. And the possibilities are endless. You could recreate that stuffed animal they love so much. Or your hat. Or 12 little plastic jars of coco powder. Do what you want....and make your own crazy shaped cakes today!