A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


I Am the Week Link

I began a new job this week after being laid off last year in April.  I’m stoked to be back in the land of the gainfully employed, since folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen and other domestic duties pay for shit when you aren’t “working”.   Editor’s Note: I dare you to tell any stay-at-home mom she isn’t a “working” mother. At your own peril.

Of course, I’m stoked about my new working gig…uh…until the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol knocks on my door with my $5 grand a week.  Then it’s days filled with bon bons and vegging out to the Lifetime Movie Network!

While I am very excited about this new professional opportunity, I was worried my baseball family might be a little less than enthusiastic.  Being back at work will really cut into my baking time.  And they have a vested interest in my baking time…

Last year, I kept busy during non-job search time by baking.  My baseball family reaped the sugary rewards.  In 2012, between late March and July, I made over 2,000 cookies/brownies/cupcakes for players, coaches and families who came to the 34 games our boys played.  This included weekdays and weekends — single games, double headers and tournaments where we played up to 3 games in one day.  Not to mention the homerun cakes I made for the 4 boys who hit one, as well as a few birthday cakes and other special baked goods for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and our post-season party.

It looks just like a baseball, doesn't it?

It looks just like a baseball, doesn’t it?

But given the nature of my baseball “family”, I should not have doubted them for one minute.  On Monday, I received this e-mail via Facebook from one of the moms:

Your baseball family is really excited about your new job. (Okay we’re also a little worried about cookie production but we’re trying to be strong…) We have a week of giving back to our most giving baseball mom planned to make your first week of work transition a little easier. Plan on dinner deliveries on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (between 5:30-6:00 if that works), and a basket delivered on Wednesday afternoon. Congrats on your new job!!!

The container had gift cards - but do I have to wait for an emergency to eat the chocolate?

The container had gift cards – but do I have to wait for an emergency to eat the chocolate?

Even though we are not “in season”, my baseball family is still thinking of me.  We are all linked together by our commitment to our boys, our commitment to a strong program, and our commitment to being good community citizens.

And at the end of the day, I’m honored to be a link in such an amazing chain of families.

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Is That a Cinnamon Bun in Your Pocket?

I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast today.  As a bit of a tease for my facebook friends, I posted a picture of the rolls just before I was about to put them in the oven to bake to a golden brown.

This was the picture I posted:

Facebook friends commented on how good they looked and asked if they could come over for breakfast at my house.

But once I posted the picture and looked at it again, I saw something different. Something phallic, even.

My spoon holder had become a very small penis. Very small, compared to the enormous — dare I say engorged —  set of balls represented by two circular bake pans full of cinnamon rolls.

Suddenly, cream cheese frosting seemed out of the question.


Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and …. Farts?

This is the third year my son Alex has played on the All Star baseball team. The boys enjoy each other’s company, don’t argue and really help one another out on the field. Probably not at all like they behave with their non-baseball siblings.

Last year when I was laid off, baking for the kids/parents on the team was one way I was able to get a much needed periodic break from my job search. The boys thought they were the luckiest kids on earth to finish up a game and have chocolate chip cookies, gooey butter cookies, brownies, cupcakes or other sugary delights waiting for them. Win or lose the game, they were always winners because treats were part of the post-game ritual. I even brought a bag of Skittles to every game for the kid with the major allergies. Everybody gets a sugar high!

This year, one of the coaches taught the boys the “Beans beans” rhyme. That really cracked the kids up and the coach thought I should make him a commemorative cake with two huge butt cheeks, decorated with a fart sound. I don’t believe Wilton makes a cake pan for that.

I’m baking again this season after another recent layoff. This time, the other baseball moms devised a little treat for me. They got me a gift certificate to my favorite spa for a mani/pedi, which was tucked in this card they had all the boys and the coaches sign:

What the boys and their parents don’t realize is that the real winner in all of this is me. I get to be creative by decorating cupcakes and frosting cookies, try out new recipes and give myself a break from fretting about the job search. And the boys’ faces and smiles at the end of the game as they run up to me to get the treats? Well, that is the icing on the cake. Pun intended.

Upon closer inspection of the signed card, I noticed this:

I have the most amazing baseball family. Farts and all.


When Did I Become Becky Crocker?

It is no great surprise to anyone that I do not like to cook. My husband knows it. My mother (who makes every frickin’ thing from scratch) knows it. My sisters – one of whom made her own baby food – know it. My kids know it. My facebook and Twitter friends/followers know it. Even the dog knows I can barely bring myself to fill her dish with dog food in the evening.

When you are faced with this type of commentary when you cook…

  • “This doesn’t taste like a Glory Days hotdog” when my kids are presented with boiled Oscar Mayer weiners
  • “Is this supposed to be so runny?”, when my family is presented with my meatloaf
  • “These suck compared to McDonald’s cheeseburgers”, when I attempt to glue the pieces of hamburger together with cheese, to disguise the fact that the damn patty stuck to the grill under my watch

…it’s no wonder I am always looking to redeem myself in the kitchen.

Working my way backward to find out how this all started, I see that I have actually morphed into my friends’ and family’s go-to dessert maker.

There were these recently commissioned (!) cakes, for two of the kids on my son’s little league team:

This Memorial Day cake for a family picnic, along with homemade chocolate candies in red, white and blue:

This was my first commissioned (!) cake and cupcakes for a local girls’ softball team (Go Mystics!):

This Easter cake, made from two round cakes with icing and M&Ms:

This birthday cake for my son Alex, with candy stars made by me:

This birthday cake and cupcakes for our friend Brian Henigin’s Led Zeppelin-themed party (his self-designed birthday logo is there to the left of the cake). The sprinkle cupcake is for his adorable daughter Samantha, who loves it when Miss Becky shows up with goodies:

A sampling of the yummy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a friend’s 40th birthday bash – hand decorated by yours truly:

This SuperBowl cake – can you figure out who we were rooting for?:

These New Year’s Eve cookies (there were many more – each one decorated differently)

Goodies for various Pittsburgh Steeler watching parties:

A Halloween-themed Pittsburgh Steeler watching party at our friend’s the Henigins:

But I think it all started when I took a Friday off, in celebration of homecoming weekend for our local high school. Our one son was playing on the mini-pony team in town, and they got to be part of the homecoming parade on Friday night. So, I decided to do something special for the kids’ game the next day. I made 60+ helmet cookies, and hand decorated them with icing and their team name (Go Lions!), individual numbers and names. I also made cookies for the coaches and some generic ones for the cheerleaders.

The day after the football game, I received the following e-mail from a dad/coach:
Thank you so much for the time and effort that you put into the cookies you have provided the Coaches and Players. Not only do they look Great but they taste phenomenal !!!!!! Ian appreciated his so much, I couldn’t get him to eat it. He gingerly put his in a tupperware bowl, sealed it with tape, and promptly put it in the freezer upon our arrival home. He did, however, munch on mine (which incidentally didn’t make it out of the parking lot before I had to split it with him). Once again, Thank you for your efforts.

And Becky Crocker was born.