Tonight was our final school board meeting of the year. We have food at this last meeting, when we say goodbye to the board members who are rotating off and say hello to the new members who are coming on.
I was supposed to bring dessert.
The plan was that I would make this cake, as seen in Matthew Mead's (super duper fantabulous) Summer magazine. It is an easy cake. You make three layer cakes (from boxes), and smear each layer with whipped cream and pile them on top of each other and throw some berries on top. I went and got all the stuff from the grocery store at 1:45 today, and got back in time to go pick Claire up at 2:30.
Easy peasy, and very pretty and summery and delicious-looking.
And yet, something happened to my cakes. What? I do not know. I smelled burning about the time they were supposed to be cooked, and molten lava cake batter was spewing out of the cakes onto the floor of the oven. They looked like little volcanos.
See that shiny part? It's still liquid if you poke it with your finger.
Have you ever had this happen before? These were just your basic Duncan Hines cake mixes. I have made a bazillion boxed cakes in my life. I have no idea what I did wrong this time.
So then it's four p.m., and our meeting starts at six p.m., and I am standing there completely surrounded by no desserts.
So I told Claire to grab her shoes, quick, and we jumped in the car and started driving nowhere in particular, but fast.
And then I remembered Dots! Yay, Dots! Dots to the rescue! Except that I couldn't remember exactly where one was. So I drove in the general direction of Pasadena, and typed "Dots" into my GPS, but I ended up with some office supply company in Indiana, and I don't know what all else, and what use is my GPS if I can't just think "cupcakes" at it in a panic, and it tells me clearly and quickly where they are?
So then I had Claire call Bob on my cell and get directions. He knows Pasadena food sources like the back of his hand. All the guys in his office do. You could call any of them and name any dish that is part of any world cuisine, and you could say that you want to eat it at three a.m. on a Sunday, and they could tell you where to go to make that happen.
Except that Claire was just repeating whatever Bob told her and then saying "uh huh", without speaking to me or giving me any context:
"Huntington. Uh huh. Fair Oaks. Uh huh. California. Uh huh. Del Mar. Uh huh. Royal Parkway. Uh huh."
"Arroyo Parkway?" I asked her. "Is it on Arroyo Parkway?"
"Royal something. Or maybe Royo. Del Mar. California."
Finally, I very calmly and slowly and gently and patiently, and them some more calmly, just for good measure, suggested she put him on speaker phone, and he gave me the address (400 South Arroyo Parkway), and I said "okay, goodbye" too quickly, because then we couldn't actually find it.
I mean, I found the address, but Dots was not there.
"We just drove past 400 South Arroyo Parkway, and it's not there!" I said at the phone. I forgot to say "hello" or anything when Bob answered. I just started talking fast.
"It's there. Next to Pasadena Inn. Park in the Pasadena Inn parking lot. I was going to say that when you hung up on me last ..."
I hung up quick, and sure enough, the second time we drove by, Dots had materialized OUT OF THIN AIR and was there. It was definitely not there before.
I ordered one dozen assorted cupcakes, plus two.
The "plus two" were for Bob and Claire, my sweet and longsuffering helpers. :)