Stress Baking!

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Cupcakes

A post by Michelle Mosier. Love this concept. And who wouldn’t want to make a slam cake? Take it way, Michelle, and thank you:

When I am stressed I bake.  I just grab a bowl, a mixer, some ingredients that may hold together, and whirl away!

This coping tool emerged during the ‘Slam Dance’ era of the ’80’s on the occasion of a bad boyfriend’s birthday.  He wanted a chocolate cake with cookie dough. After a previous party night of said dancing with other girls, I decided to use this concept to create the confection. Warm out of the oven, the cake broke apart, so I slammed in some chocolate chip cookie dough.  I glopped on several spoons of canned vanilla frosting, each overly tinted with a multitude of food colorings. Next, I speared the gooey creation with random candles.  Happy Birthday…we’re done!  I let him light the candles himself.

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Slam cakes were my thing for awhile, upon request…or not.  Baking cookies and muffins, cupcakes, or even preparing deviled eggs are a joyful release of stress.

During my stint as a retail associate, I baked, stirred and whirred aplenty.  Working in a giant mall environment alone, much less being the captive employee of a store, was enough to keep me mess making in the kitchen before going on shift.  Often, I stopped in to pick up a coffee from the guy on the corner kiosk. One day he spied my deviled eggs and asked with a little concern, “What are those?” My eggs sported sliced pimento olives. He thought I said ‘Devil Eyes.’ Thus, they became famed and a requested specialty item.

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However, I have baked some amazing cookies that continue to elude me to create again.  Belly Buttons, I called them after the way the dough puffed up and centered into a caramel pool of deliciousness.

 I never really know when the urge to stress bake will strike, like lately with my arduous job search.  I have been diligent with calls, interviews, and online psych/personality profile tests.This last bit sent me over the kitchen counter edge.  Cocoa, flour, sugar, eggs and lots of butter produced some yummy fudge cupcakes filled with vanilla frosting. Using a pastry tube seemed like a fun idea, until I tried it. Not so easy peasy. When I squeezed the tube, the icing filled the cupcake, sure, but then became string art topping. Still, I feel much better, and the squiggle cakes have been consumed with big cups of java.
 Cupcakes

Stress baking: I reach for a spatula and threaten stress just a little.

Michele writes about herself:

I graduated 1985, University of South Carolina, B.A. with a concentration in fine arts. I was a professional painter’s assistant, and painted on large acrylic canvases. Today, I enjoy painting garden flowers and landscapes in acrylics and watercolors. I have worked alongside my husband as a stained glass artist for the past 30 years. We sold our custom designed jewelry boxes, jewelry pieces, and mirrors to many arts and crafts galleries (mainly east coast), and juried art shows. Once, we premiered at Bloomingdales in NYC, this was a high point-however, hard to get paid. We still show at NC Crafts Gallery in Carrboro, NC.

We recently moved to Charlotte to be closer to my mom and sister, as I am in serious need of more gardening tips and less long distance hugs.

We have moved many times over our 30+ years, shifting and shuffling artwork, various collections, photos, and a few precious boxes of sentimental ephemera. This colorful baggage energizes my memories and the stories I tell myself and sometimes others! I still have my early childhood diaries and later journals. Also, I have one loosely written cowboy story, and some ‘story songs.’  I hope one day to attend some writer workshops and get better at this writing thing!

I love the outdoors, hiking, and camping at the beach and mountains. We camped a lot over the craft show years and sometimes, we joined a show just to explore a place.

Michelle

18 responses »

  1. I loved this piece. You are an excellent writer, getting the story to almost melt in our mouth! (and then the connection with devilled eggs, I just put one olive on top, but your way is waaay cuter!)

    Thanks for giving us all a look at life in the kitchen as full of purpose and sweetness. You know in the way art each moves us, so does a good glimpse of us in the kitchen making the most of what we’ve got. Speaking of art, someday somebody should get art in the walls of our showers, to beautify the normally beige and bland “closed in feeling” the old shower stalls give a person!

    • Thank you Doreen, I enjoy writing and hope to get better, I must take more time to write. It is relaxing and gives me creative perspective on life change events. Funny that you should mention beige shower walls, I moved recently to an older home and find the beige shower tiles comforting! Because I have used a lot of color when making my art, I find relaxation in calm-even bland living surroundings, haha!!

      • We just moved into our new home, a big transition now to what is the home we will finally retire in, and I can just tell you that I love our beige tiled bathroom!

        Okay, reason is, it’s updated, and modern, and we don’t have to fix anything! This is so opposite of the tremendous effort and expense we went through when selling our home in Northern California. The beige, new showers is what buyers wanted!

        But, you know what I think of when you say “beige and bland”? I think . . . wish our little new shower stall could have a few custom Hawaiian or Mexican colorful tiles with aqua, orange, & yellow birds, sea life, or foliage!

        But, get the calm beige — but, only if you add some beautiful green plants, too!

  2. Baking can be an antidote for stress.At least you get your mind off of yourself and provide a treat for others. The deviled eggs look wonderful. Have to remember to use two slices of olive instead of one.

  3. Have to say that those cute little deviled eggs don’t really look like “devil eyes”!! A few even look downright adorably sweet in nature! Great adaptation by making the tube-squeezed icing “string art”! Not only did you reduce “stress” but created something quite original in an artistic sense!

      • Yes, never thought of the texture. But, it’s true!! Texture can add so much, in so much that it practically MAKES the experience sometimes! Recently, as I told Barbara on this post, got a real craving for a Dairy Queen dipped vanilla cone. It is the dip that makes the texturally wonderful experience! Although they didn’t have my childhood “lime” dip, I could get cherry! The firm, crisp crunch of the liquid cherry turned instantly solid on the soft vanilla was out of this world! Wouldn’t have been the same with a cherry sundae — yes! Texture matters!!

    • Hi Pat, do you still bake bread? Have you ever heard of “salt-rising” bread? I swear, although this bread didn’t smell too good, it was tremendously delicious, and I so miss it!

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