Well, I've just returned from performing my weekly Random Act of Cupcake and what a lovely, lovely recipient I came across, (for which I am truly grateful, as I wasn't particularly in the mood for endlessly traipsing around the neighbourhood imploring possibly apathetic or even hostile citizens to accept my random baked goods).

I knew I was going on an all-day training course today, so in order to get ready for my random act this afternoon, I stayed up late last night after my ceramics class baking cupcakes.

And so it came to be that I was feeling a little weary by the time I set foot outside my house in search of my random recipient. A quick glance up and down the street revealed a lady walking towards me, but on the opposite side. I immediately scurried across the street, too tired to even contemplate or worry about the prospect of rejection. 

Luckily, my target turned out to be Jonnie, who has such a lovely smile and warmth about her that I immediately felt at ease as I launched into my introductory spiel. She really seemed happy to accept my cupcake and that kind of made me feel good too. While I've only experienced rejection three times so far during this project, each time does leave me feeling slightly foolish and questioning why I am doing Random Acts of Cupcake, which, coincidentally was Jonnie's question to me.

It's a good question. Initially, I think it started out as a kind of ill-defined social experiment. I thought it would be kind of interesting and possibly confronting to see what happened if I offered food to random strangers I met on the street, imagining I could write a treatise on the nature of trust between strangers. Yeah, right. As if I could write a treatise. Anyway, over time, this thing has taken on a life of its own and all I really want is for there to be one less stranger in my world. Whether or not it works, we'll have to wait and see.

So, back to Jonnie. We had a little chat and she told me that she was up from Melbourne, visiting her son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. She reckoned that the cupcake would go down a treat with the kids. Jonnie, if you're reading this, I hope they enjoyed it! And I hope you enjoy your time with the family.
Grandmothers are great, aren't they? My mother's mother lived in Ireland and I only met her once when I was about five years old, but I still cherish the memory of holding her hand on walks on her farm as we looked for snowdrops and snuggling up to her on those cold mornings during my stay. My father's mother I knew better as she lived in Australia. She was a very kind lady who used to help out her neighbours a lot. Every Christmas, she always sent my brother and I a big box of presents. My favourite gift from her, a glass bluebird, sits on my dressing table and whenever I look at it I think of her (and the incredible roast dinners she used to make).   

Jeez, I'm getting a bit teary. Must be because I'm feeling a bit tired.
Anyway, enough reminiscing. Here's how you make Carrot and Walnut Cupcakes.

Cupcake ingredients:
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g SR flour
4 eggs
1 tsp mixed spice
100g chopped walnuts
150g grated carrot
2 tbsp sultanas

Icing ingredients:
220g cream cheese
175 icing sugar, sieved
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
walnuts for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.

2. Mix the butter, sugar, eggs and flour in a big bowl with electric beaters until nice and smooth. Stir in the mixed spice, walnuts, carrot and sultanas.

3. Spoon the batter into the paper cases. Bake for 20 minutes. Then put on a rack to cool.

4. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until soft and creamy. Add the lemon juice and vanilla essence and mix well.

5. Spread the icing onto the cupcakes when cool and decorate with the walnuts.

Makes about 20.
Carrot and walnut cupcakes, nestling on a plate that once was my grandmother's.
Chris Schwarz
1/6/2010 21:49:20

Carrot and walnut cupcakes sounds delicious and almost healthy. But how do you have the energy to stay up half the night baking cupcakes, go to an all day workshop, and perpetrate a random act of cupcake? I felt tired just reading about it!
But I do have to agree that us grandmas are the salt of the earth. Can't wait for Lennox to get down here on Friday!

Chris Schwarz
2/6/2010 21:23:51

I think these cupcakes are actually the best yet. I know it is easy to forget how great the others were, but still these were just so yummy. Spicy and nutty and moist.
Thanks for the container-I remembered I hadn't given one to Ralph as he drove off this morning. Why do brains always wait for the moment it's just too late to 'help' you by remembering things?

2/6/2010 21:26:33

nice to hear that these cupies are the best ever, far too good to share apparently


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