On Saturday, Kathy dragged her family to the grand opening — no, wait, I’m sorry. I want to be accurate. They went to
a cupcake + sweets celebration grand opening of highest quality
for a cupcake shop a tenth of a mile from that other one she goes to get buttercream shooters and huff frosting. Presumably because this new place was totally like, oh Kathy, how can we possibly consider ourselves a proper business without a blessing from Charlottesville’s most famous franchise bakery-affiliated food diarist with a functioning womb?
I didn’t know what to expect, so when I walked in to see trays of cupcakes in every corner I nearly fainted with excitement.
See, this actually makes sense. For her. This is the same woman who, tasked with bringing food to a lady who had just given birth, split a pot of soup with her. The same woman who put on a “low country boil” for 50 people with only like three and a half shrimp among them, expecting some kind of Hannukath miracle that the keg would just keep pouring sausage and potatoes without end.
Of course, she is still admitting that, at the grand opening of a cupcake shop, she wasn’t expecting to see… cupcakes. She’s either the most pedestrian of thinkers or the most avant-garde.
Okay. “Pedestrian” it is:
Pearl’s feels like a darling bakery from yesteryear in the most charming way possible. I felt a little like one of the women in Mad Men surrounded by pastels and a vintage flair.
The sad thing isn’t that she finds some aspirational qualities of escapism in “Mad Men.” It’s that they’re probably summed up by the episode on twilight sleep births.
Gosh, Kathy. Tell us what kinds of cupcakes you had.
Champagne with Champagne Frosting \\ Black and White \\ Raspberry \\ Chocolate Mint \\ Mocha \\ Lemon with lemon curd … Plus other fun bites like the most colorful macarons I’ve ever seen
Some of them were “stuffed,” which made them “extra special.” Stuffed with what? I’m going to guess PCP, gummy bears, and crock pot information, because she doesn’t say or maybe she does and I’m too transfixed by the fingernail growing out of its very stick-on as we watch her go “halvsies with Matt.”**
Also because she has feelings about choosing which shared cupcake she liked best:
I’m not sure I could name a favorite because I’m sure it would change depending on my mood, but I really liked the mint and the champagne.
She tried some gluten-free and vegan cupcakes as well, in addition to the “halvsies” of six cupcakes above,
for research purposes. Obviously.
and decided that who cares what the gluten-containing or the gluten-free ones tasted like because who the fuck doesn’t eat them just for the frosting? and that the vegan ones might be good “for anyone who doesn’t want to eat butter.”
Uh huh. Those and undisclosed “savory foods” ended up being dinner, which I guess balanced out the fact that she had recently eaten/was about to consume the subject of Wednesday’s post, on so-called “meatballs”:
Kathy starts by talking about her mom, menopause blogger Buzz, and the deep and abiding sadnesses of her life — a natural segue to any of Kathy’s collections of ingredients:
…one of her regrets from her early days of motherhood was not making enough of her dinners in advance … to make the dinnertime witching hour easier…
So in addition to defrosting chicken sitting all day over canned beans, we have the sequel: “funky looking” balls of ground beef stuffed with herbs, “spinach packed in for more nutrients and greens” and bread for a — I shit you not — “bready flavor” and “a fresh, bready taste.”
If you’re looking for classic, tender meatballs, these are not them.
Oh thank goodness. The last thing I would want to encounter online is a delicious recipe.* Phew. All the grass-fed beef from Dave Matthews’ ranch, “local eggs,” farmer’s market zucchini —
— pictured here in a scene from the obscure opera “Meat and Squash, In the Twilight of Their Years, Consider Looming Mortality” won’t make it so. Especially since she cooked the whole-wheat spaghetti ahead of time because she so didn’t want to clean up after dinner. Presumably it too was stored all day alongside its meat counterpart in food purgatory, Kathy’s fridge:
This is a fridge that invites questions: Where the fuck is everything? Nineteen-year-old boys who have never cooked a day in their lives have more food in their fridges the day they plug them in. And why is the crisper full of a sweater you stuffed in a bag from an overpriced gift shop in the Phoenix airport? Anyway, these 20 meatballs are supposedly “seasoned” by, in total, one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper, ONE clove of garlic or jarred bullshit, and a tiny third of a cup of chopped herbs. Has anyone suggested to sister Larbs that her missing twenties may be in the Younger-Smugson spice rack? I’m pretty sure no one’s ever checked.
*Kathy’s meatballs do have one thing going for them, and that’s the ability to turn into ancient stars collapsing on themselves and bending mass and time in the process. They are cooked “until tops are brown and middle is ton per a meat thermometer.”
**Worst NPR show ever.