Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our lady of the toothache

So the last time I left a note here, I asked for prayers for my momma because she had a terrible toothache on a holiday weekend (ie, one of the rare times of the year that you cannot reasonably expect your DDS to be available).  I don't know how many of you took that request seriously, but if any of you did I sincerely thank you.  Basically, after three days of the worst pain, the pain just disappeared.  The dentist had a reasonable explanation for this event, but I'm not going to over analyze things here: it's gone, and who cares where and how it went.

Anyway, I felt so so so bad for my mom this weekend.  I don't have kids, so I have yet to deal with the "Oh God, my kid is so sick and pathetic and I don't know how to fix it" panicky feeling that parents describe.  The "only" stuff I've gone through that's sort of close has been with my mom.  The Killer Kidney Stone of January 2005 comes to mind, and now we have the The Terrible Toothache of Labor Day 2011 to add to the list.  When you're a good (or half-way decent) Irish Catholic daughter of a woman who's tough as nails, solid as a rock, and the ultimate destroyer of BS, it's completely sickening and awful to see your mother in a heap because one square inch of her body is malfunctioning.  The narrative loop in my head simply repeats, "What should I do? What should I do?" over and over, like the unhelpfully distracting ticker tape at the bottom of a cable news screen.

When I heard Tuesday morning that this weekend's issue totally resolved itself, I finally exhaled for the first time in three days, and then I thought to myself: 1) "Wow, endlessly repeating the Hail Mary really does work," and 2) "I really owe mom those peach cupcakes."

At the end of last summer, my mom emailed me a recipe for peach cupcakes.  The body of the email probably said something like, "mmmmm, these sound good! You should make them for your mother."  I printed the recipe out, but then school started AND I was cramming two months of dissertation revisions into three calendar weeks at the same time.  By the time I remembered the cupcakes it was Halloween, and everyone's desire for peaches had long since evaporated and instead turned toward pumpkins.

(Is anybody else humming, "Millions of peaches: peaches for me. Millions of peaches: peaches for free ..."?)

All summer long, I've been meaning to get around to this.  It only took the trauma of a toothache and its accompanying reminder of human fragility and mortality to make me really remember and get around to it.  Why does it have to be this way? (I'm a professional freakin philosopher, and I will never be able to answer that question.)

I apologize in advance: I don't have the recipe here and I don't even have a link to it.  I'll dig through my email to track it down.  Sadly, you will have to remind me to post it if you want it. (But if you remind me, I'll do it.)

The crazy part about my making of the cupcakes is: I didn't make frosting for them.  Cupcakes are vehicles for frosting.  Awful frosting is worthy of fire and brimstone.  Cake is important, yes.  I appreciate a fluffy, fantastic cake.  But frosting is my fave.  The cake here is vanilla with fresh, diced peach and a little bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.  Really, the perfect pairing for a summer-into-fall dessert.  I had everything on hand for the cream cheese frosting.

But, when I tried one of these ten minutes out of the oven, the idea of frosting struck me as wrong.  These were breakfasty-muffiny.  Don't get me wrong: I've eaten my share of frosting for breakfast, but I knew that these were not the proper vehicle for a lovely cream cheese frosting.

Something about this crappy photo really irritates me.  I should've messed around with the light more, but had no patience left.

All they need is powdered sugar.  Much to my shock and amazement, that's what I settled on. Plus, I was making these for my mom and she (pun totally NOT intended, I swear) does not have much of a sweet tooth.  Frosting's not really her thing.  Most times, she just wants the cake.  Next time, I think I want to figure out a crumble topping for these and simply push them into muffin territory.

("Peaches come from a can. They were put there by a man in a factory down tooooown.")


So that's that.  I hate how I'm the type of person who gets through something bad and immediately thinks, "The clock's been reset: it's only a matter of time before this happens again and the angst returns."  Really, would it kill me one time to think, "YAY! It's over!" and leave it at that?  Momma: you better never get sick or something again because I can barely handle my sky-rocketing blood pressure for so many days on end.  I'm still fearing the rupture of half of my blood vessels.

I am so glad that you're better ; )


cat lady, esq said...

1) i had to give one of your precious cakes to cait as payment for driving this morning (when are you going to have a post on how much septa blows) and it made her morning. she bakes a lot and she said it was amazing and you should open a bakery.

2) i have to admit, i thought once or twice that the only way theyd be better is with cream cheese frosting! i felt guilty for thinking it bc theyre already so damn good. but i think cream cheese frosting is amazing with pretty much anything

cat lady esq said...

yay it worked! i just had to press "post comment" 5 times and then it finally stuck. who knew

Jo Harper said...

1) I'm so glad that you finally (successfully) posted a comment.

2) I will get to work on a post re: How Much Septa Blows. This week alone has given me plenty of fodder.