I swear I know how to cook. I even know how to bake. Though I occasionally can be found lacking in presentation, I almost always nail taste. And every year for birthdays I try my hardest to up my presentation skills and turn out something impressive. I have improved... definitely improved. But this year as I prepared treats for Scarlet's special day, I pinpointed one of the areas in which I am seriously lacking.
I am inept at using food dye.
Admitting it is the first step, right?
I could go back over the years and show examples of this ineptitude of mine but I will save myself the esteem hit and just have you take my word on the matter. In my best efforts, I tend to turn things into very inedible looking colors.
Well, I recently went about to solve that problem. I had been informed that part of the issue was the cheapo liquid dropper food coloring I have always used. So, I invested in a few of the more fancy gel colors. I bought a red, yellow, and blue. A little kindergarten art class knowledge put into use and I would have every color I needed.
So, for Scarlet's school cupcakes, we tackled the ultimate dying challenge - Rainbow Cupcakes..
(The picture is linked if you want the recipe)
I followed all of the directions to the recipe, except for the pesky direction that asked for white cake mix instead of yellow. No white in the cupboard... plenty of yellow!
And then Scarlet and I sat down with our three bowls of cupcake mix and had a little art lesson.
Scarlet, what will happen when we add red dye to this mix?
It will turn red.
Scarlet, we don't have green food coloring. But what two colors can we combine to make green?
Blue and yellow!
And for next layer, Scarlet, what color will we get when we combine red and blue?
Mmmmm..... mom that looks kinda brown.
You're right... let's add a bit more blue.
It doesn't look brown anymore! It looks grey.
Yup, sure does. Maybe a touch more red.
Yeah mom, it's brown again.
Learned my art lesson for the day. Red + blue = purple, but red + blue + yellow cake mix = tootsie roll brown.
Luckily, preschoolers don't really care what color their cupcakes are. And as they were celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday on the same day, the quirky colors just blended right into the festivities.
I am sure my children will someday reach an age where their mother's lack of appetizing looking birthday food will matter. By then I will either have to start truly channeling the inner Martha Stewart I know is just hiding in me somewhere... or just buy them bigger presents. Yeah, that might work.