My co-worker sent me an email a couple of weeks ago asking if I would help her decorate some cupcakes for an upcoming wetland meeting. “Sure,” I said. “I love decorating cupcakes!” So I turned to the trusty Google and searched for “wetland cupcakes” and wouldn’t you know, I actually got some decent hits. One of the first things I saw were beaver cupcakes, a la what you see above. But there were also some really cools hits like cupcakes decorated with green icing, then arranged in the shape of an alligator. Cool, but we don’t live in Florida. Not many alligators in the Rocky Mountains last time I checked. I thought about trying to do that in the form of a great blue heron, but we both decided that we would save that for another time, when we had MORE time to play around icing, decorating, and artist talent (or lack thereof in my case).
My co-worker loved the beaver idea, so we did the bulk of the 95 cupcakes as beavers. She made chocolate, vanilla, and gluten-free cupcakes. She has way more time or ambition or something than I would have had…plus, her daughter was travelling across state to the state soccer tournament that evening–she and her husband were to follow suit the next morning. I asked, “Did you know about the soccer tournament when you volunteered to make these cupcakes?” The answer, of course, was no. Ah, life timing!
So all in all it took us 6 hours to decorate. I can only imagine how long it took her to bake the 95 cupcakes earlier in the week. I didn’t bother asking.
In addition to the beavers, we did some with lily pads, and others with cattails. These cupcakes are the “fails” that didn’t make the cut (she only needed 60 cupcakes for the meeting, but ended up sending 70, leaving us 2 dozen to eat ourselves…), but overall, I think they turned out great. I told her these cupcakes would not make the Pinterest “fail” boards that I have laughed at so hard, tea has come out my nose at times. We did have, as a joke, one beaver who made its home in a Superfund site. The happened because we ran out of the candy eyes…but here’s the kicker: there was an odd number of eyes in the box. I asked, “What the hell am I supposed to do with an odd number of eyes?” Her husband immediately said we should make a Cyclops beaver. Or a 3-eyed beaver. We decided on a Cyclops beaver with a burned out nose from heavy metal poisoning (some of the hard candy coating had cracked off the red Sixlets we used as the nose, so it looked awful) and we used a couple of uneven pieces of Lifesavers as the teeth. It was pretty funny-looking, and we hadn’t even dipped into the wine yet. This is what happens when you put a bunch of biologists in a room together and turn them loose.
When we finally finished decorating the cupcakes, she told me to go home. I looked around her kitchen–it was a complete disaster. “Don’t you want help?” I asked. “Nah, I’ll clean up,” was her response. I had cleaned up a few things as she was packaging up the cupcakes, but I felt bad leaving her in such a mess, especially since she still had to pack for what could be a 3 day trip for a soccer tournament! But I didn’t argue, I was exhausted. I gladly took my share of cupcakes and boogied home at 9pm. Hubby was so happy to hear I had cupcakes (he ate two), but I think I’m cupcaked out for a little while. I’m glad I could help her out, though. Unfortunately, neither one of us is going to be at the meeting to see how the cupcakes go over. I suppose we’ll hear about it one way or another. My co-worker was worried that some of them didn’t turn out as beautifully as she would have liked. Her husband kept saying, “You’re not going to be there. It doesn’t matter! Besides, if someone complains about these cupcakes, they need an attitude adjustment.” To that I replied, “Yeah, we’ll just tell them to go suck on a cattail!” And they both lost it, doubled over in laughter. Her husband said, “I’m going to borrow that phrase, if you don’t mind.”
Biologists. We are a unique lot.