Saturday was #DigiBakeDay. That meant that a bunch of my friends on twitter baked together. Well, not actually together. We decided we’d bake in our own homes but post photos of what we were baking to the internet. The online twitter baking party included hourly writing prompts that asked us to share memories and recipes. Somehow the prompt about heart-warming memories inspired jokes about cookies that looked like body parts. Ah, it’s the internet. Go figure.
I planned to participate by talking, rather than baking. That is, after all, my usual role. I tend to sit in other people’s kitchens, entertaining them while they bake, and then offering magnanimously to test the products. I figured my usual lazy approach would be even easier in virtual reality. I could just go on twitter and type stuff about baking, rather than actually getting out flour and sugar.
Besides, I had student portfolios to grade. Twitter seemed an acceptable mode of procrastination -– I’m just going on the computer for a moment, I’d tell myself – whereas starting a baking project in the kitchen would be admitting that I’d abandoned the grading task altogether. The other good part about virtual baking, I figured, is that I wouldn’t have to clean afterwards.
When it came right down to it. I really couldn’t get into some big baking project anyhow. I had to leave the house midday to go to a piano recital that featured Piano Teacher wearing a Santa Hat, a whole bunch of aspiring little kid pianists dressed in their holiday best, and Shaggy Hair Boy as the guest pianist at the end.
All the seasonal piano music put me in the holiday spirit. The little kids played their songs with great enthusiasm. Then Shaggy Hair Boy sat down at the piano. He told the audience that he wanted to play something in honor of Dave Brubeck, who had died a few days earlier. Then he began with Take Five and continued with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen in 5/4 time. His medley of holiday songs included a jazzed up version of Feliz Navidad, which he put in just to tease Piano Teacher since she says it’s a song she hates. He ended with Jingle Bell Rock.
I stopped at the Castle on my way home. That’s the nickname for the little house that my daughter, her boyfriend Sailor Boy, and my son Boy-in-Black share. I don’t know why they call it that: the house looks nothing like a castle. They showed me the last of the cupcakes that Sailor Boy and Shaggy Hair Boy had made the day before: fancy tiramisu cupcakes.
“They took HOURS to make,” Shaggy Hair Boy said dramatically. I didn’t eat the cupcakes because they definitely weren’t vegan, but I took a photo to post on twitter in honor of #DigiBakeDay.
When I came home from the recital, I opened up my laptop computer to see that all my twitter friends were posting photos of cookies. By then I was pretty hungry. With-a-Why came home from his play rehearsal saying that he was hungry too. But he and his girlfriend said they didn’t have time to bake: they were settled on the couch with books and computers, doing homework.
That’s when I gave into the twitter pressure. Everyone on the internet was eating homemade holiday treats! Everyone except me! So I abandoned my grading, mixed up some vegan chocolate cupcakes, and soon the house smelled good.
“Are you going to put icing on them?” With-a-Why asked as I pulled the pan of cupcakes out of the oven. He likes them plain.
“I guess not,” I said. I didn’t have the patience to wait for the cupcakes to cool. We began eating them just as they were, warm and unfrosted. By the time my husband came home — he’d had to work on a Saturday on account of his computer deciding to crash — the cupcakes were gone. The afternoon was gone too, and it was time for me to change my clothes quickly for the holiday party we were going to.
“The house smells good,” my husband said as we left.
“Yeah, it was #DigiBakeDay,” I said. “A whole day of holiday baking with my friends.”
As the car headed towards our friends’ house, I said, “Oh, we ought to stop at the store and buy some kind of dessert to bring to this party.”
He looked over. “Didn’t you say you spent the day baking?”
I shrugged. “It wasn’t that kind of baking day.”