Aug 09, 2007|
Whenever I’m in a stressful situation, I want to drop everything and bake. Going through robotic motions occupies one part of my mind, allowing the other to think clearly. My younger sister is the same way. It’s a trait of the Wong family, a crippling condition that has us coping with stress by sifting through flour.
So when my sister saw I was very upset after a fight with Dick, she said, “OK, we’re going to make cupcakes.” We used to do the same thing when we were kids – whenever there was fighting in the house, the oven would kick on and soon the house would be filled with sweet-sticky aroma of what a happy home should smell like. “But I don’t have an oven,” I said. “Dick says we can use his,” she said. “No way! I’m pissed at him!” How could she believe this was a good idea? The last place I wanted to be was there. Well, I guessed I could go over and collect my stuff at least...
Dick’s empty apartment was not the right place for me to be in. I grabbed my dress from his dresser, my DVDs from his shelf, and my stash of fresh underwear all while my sister was busy clinging pots and pans in his kitchen. Being here made me depressed and I wanted to leave as soon as possible, which would be 20 minutes from the time the raw batter went into the oven.
You can find no wrong in a cupcake. It’s the best cheer-me-up food that I know. She made a few batches of chili-chocolate cupcakes and gave me one fresh out of the oven. Too hot for frosting, she spread it with jam. It was strawberry jam from Dick’s mother’s garden and the chili was from a chili plant I gave him. Memories flooded back as I devoured it. I was so pathetically sentimental it was making me laugh between tears.
On the back of his laundry bill I scribbled, “I’m sorry” and propped it next to a cupcake I decorated for him. I returned my dress to his closet, my DVDs to his shelf and re-hid my underwear. Just before leaving, I took a long stare at the note then turned it right side up again to show the laundry bill. I wasn’t sure why I had to be the first to apologize. The cupcake, though, I left to speak for itself.