So much for fancy cupcakes (29.10.2017)
For the past 20 years or so, I’ve loved baking & decorating cupcakes – especially for holidays. And cakes, as well, especially layer cakes! When a rare disease struck my right (dominant) hand & arm about 18 months ago, I thought it would just be a matter of time before I’d be able to do all the fancy icing techniques I’ve learned over the years.
In the meantime, I kept baking as best I could- with one hand. I couldn’t set up the baking equipment I needed with only one useable hand, so I’d have to ask my husband to set up the spring-form pans, the mixer, and everything else I’d need – each time I wanted to bake something. I know I’m very lucky that – most of the time – I have someone who can do this for me.
And I avoided any recipes that called for folding or kneading batter, or other techniques that require either both hands or good control of one hand. After all, I was using the ‘wrong’ hand to do everything. The first time I tried beating liquid ingredients by hand, with my left hand, most of the batter ended up puddled on the kitchen counter and the floor!
I still wanted to be able to decorate my cupcakes, so tried to find alternatives until I could go back to using the fancy decorating and icing techniques I loved. This cupcake’s an example; I wanted little cakes to look like airplanes, so used graph paper and candies to create a design I could transfer to each cupcake – using only my left hand. Not the way I’d have liked to decorate them, but airplanes all the same! And I made planes in different colours, to use all the colours in the packages of candies.
So I’d use candies, and purchased decorations, on my cupcakes.
This year, after 18 months, I decided to make pumpkin cupcakes and to try to use my disease-affected hand to decorate them for Halloween. I planned to use a design I’d made often in the past, figuring that it would be easiest to re-use a design than to try a new one. Well, things didn’t go as planned in cupcake-land ‘-(
Each of the cupcakes was meant to look like a little “Frankenstein” – instead they ended up looking like some kind of strange little robots.
I wasn’t able to decorate even a single cupcake with my right hand. And after trying to ice the first cupcake, for just a minute or two, I had a horrid pain flare – feeling as though each of my fingers was being blow-torched. And that pain lasted until well into the night.
This doesn’t seem like a big deal, I know. You’re probably thinking that I’m whining about nothing; making a mountain out of a molehill. What I didn’t say, at the start of this post, is that I’d planned to start a small business – selling cupcakes – when I retire. It was going to be for fun, but also to supplement my retirement income. So now it seems that this disease may be affecting my financial future… in addition to everything it’s already cost me.
Time to start thinking of a Plan B…