Monday, October 26, 2009

new and improved

New doesn't always mean improved. Duncan Hines changed the way angel food cake is made from a two-step process to a one-step process and "in the process" ruined the way the raw batter tastes. My sister is a batter connoisseur and cried real tears over the angel-food debacle. 
I was cleaning out my pantry not too long ago and found two boxes of cake mix from the two-step days.  I wrapped the decade-old boxes of angel food and gave them to my sister for her birthday. She's saving them for a special day when she needs a bowl of batter to cheer her.  
With all this innovation in the test kitchen, the Duncan Hines scientists still have not eliminated the troublesome upside down-ness that's required while the angel food cake cools. In the old days, we used pop bottles in that center tube to turn the hot cake on its head, but now pop bottles are also "new and improved" and no longer sport a slender glass neck but have become no-necked-two-liter bottles and squat aluminum cans. Fortunately my mother and sister saved a pop bottle before "the end" and are still able to make the exotic cake.  I myself am not a baker (as evidenced by the ten-year-old cake mixes in my pantry) but have looked into the future and bought up scads of my favorite bras and comfortable-model shoes before they "new and improve" them into oblivion.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

hello kitty

        I took a kitty cat to the grocery store with me, then we went to the bank. My kitty cat was our 3-year-old with perky ears worn on a headband and a swishy tail safety pinned to her black stretch pants. She wrinkled her nose at the fishy smells of the seafood counter, her painted-on-whiskers twitching in finicky disgust.
It was nearly Christmas, yet my daughter Emily couldn’t let go of Halloween – and why should she? As long as both of us were willing to put ourselves out there for ridicule and admiration, going on errands with a kitty at your side is quite harmless. My usually-shy-in-public daughter, oddly romped very sociably when dressed as a cat. People waiting in line who ignore us when we’re “normal,” cooed over us with questions like, “What’s your kitty’s name?” To my surprise, Emily lasted much longer doing errands as a kitty than as a human child. I was even able to squeeze in the usually horrid Christmas-season-noon-time-post-office-run without incident. Next week I have returns to make; I’m thinking of dressing as Wonder Woman.