Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Local Columnist Makes Me Feel Feminine for Liking Cupcakes

Food is the almighty, the giver of life, the taker of slim pants. I will eat almost anything without a second thought, and as I've stated before, in my food value equation, quantity rules over any other consideration. A birthday is not a birthday without a cake, and a buffet is not a buffet without at least three trips back to the food line. As I type, I'm eating a piece of cake for breakfast - with a spoon because I had a small scoop of ice cream right before the cake and I'm reluctant to dirty a fork when a spoon works perfectly fine for my consumption purposes. What I'm saying is that I'm very healthy.

Cupcakes have always been a reasonable and transportable version of it's father and master, cake of the non-cup variety. For birthdays in grade school at Shrine Elementary, classmates would bake up some cupcakes with their parents and would celebrate themselves through the greater glory of baked goods. Over the past several years, cupcakes have grown to a new level of prominence in the world. I'm not sure what it is, but it seems to me that cupcakes have eclipsed regular cakes in prominence and regard. In some respects, I get it. I think they are scrumptious treats and you don't necessarily have to entirely commit to one massive variety of flavorful treat like you do with regular cake. You can stick whatever kind of candy you'd like into the frosting of a specific cupcake, and voila, you have that kind of cupcake. Twizzlers cupcakes! What's not to like? Here's what:

You can not be cool while eating a cupcake. Being cool is generally not one of primary concerns, but people are making fun of cupcakes even when they are trying to be complimentary. What self-respecting male would feel comfortable about eating this treat after reading this article from yesterday's Free Press titled "Cupcakes are yummy, they're cute and they're showing up all over". I mean come on, the article is titled "Cupcakes are yummy, they're cute and they're showing up all over". Other insults from the article intended as compliments include:

"So it's time to bake up some sunshine with cupcakes."
"...and not just because they're cute and easy to handle."

I love me pretty much any combination of butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and leavening agent, and more than that, I have genuine love for any person who takes the time to mix these ingredients in a bowl and stick them in the oven. What I don't need is anyone to remind me that the snack I am enjoying is the equivalent of listening to a Jonas Brothers CD.


Peggy Bennan said...

I'll tell you one way you can eat your cupcake guilt-free and tipping more toward the masculinity side of the your cupcake a muffin. I make muffins every Tuesday for a meeting we regularly have, and last week I made chocolate muffins with chocolate chips. They actually tasted like those molten cakes when eaten directly out of the oven. So consider terminology, and you'll feel good once more. By the way, Maureen is getting the recipe this weekend.

AlexJD said...

What you really need to do is make the cupcakes for others. Then for some reason they feel nostalgic, as you did, about grade school birthdays and don't even care that you baked.

For class snack (yes, even in college), I baked cupcakes in ice cream cones and let my classmates ice their own. The group was so busy thinking about their childhood no one had time to call me a girl.

el Presidente said...

"classmates would bake up some cupcakes . . . and would celebrate themselves"

It's this kind of early-age encouragement that leads to self-fests later in life.

Ken said...

to el Presidente - Ha! At first I didn't get your comment and was very confused, and then when I did get it, I was sad that I missed it the first time around. You deserve bonus points as a clearly somewhat regular reader for bringing in a clever reference from an earlier post.

However, if you would be so kind as to be at least three notches less clever than me in your comments, that would be greatly appreciated so that I am not ashamed when I miss a joke. Kudos.

Jeff Caminsky said...

Perhaps is just the troglodytic "old-male" in me, but I've always preferred regular cake to cupcakes. But I'm not sure its the feminine angle that accounts for my preference (though, now that you mention it, I'd never even be tempted to call a guy "Cupcake"). Mostly, cupcakes seem more prone to drying out...and, more importantly, it's harder to laden them with an oversupply of icing---which always struck me as half the point of cake in the first place. But, since I'm usually not the one doing the baking, I tend to be reluctant to complain...reasoning that if I complain too much about anything related to food, the women around me might stop feeding me---or, if they'd really want to twist the paring knife, they might invite me to prepare my own food, consigning me to a diet of peanut butter and jelly, or cheese for as far as the eye can see, until they decided I'd suffered enough and relented.

On a more philosophical note, I don't think that calling a cupcake a "muffin" would make it seem any more masculine: much like calling a "bailout" a "financial rescue package," I don't think we're quite gullible enough to be fooled, especially since the word "muffin" doesn't exactly set the testosterone surging. However, we probably ARE gullible enough to fall for something else that doesn't sound quite so yuppish or Starbucksy: maybe if we started calling them something like "Power Bites," or "Ab-Pounders," we might be able to overcome the cutesiness that seems to be the major stumbling block for us.