At 9:40pm, Jimmy is folding laundry and playing dj. It’s Prince: “I Would Die 4 U,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “When Doves Cry.” Eli is out. I am putting away my sorted clothes, and Lydia and Grace are hanging out with us. As usual, the children introduce conversational threads out of nowhere.
Lydia: When we go to New York, can we go to Magnolia Bakery?
Jane: Lydia, it’s only a cupcake.
Lydia: Mom, life is short —
Grace: — in a long way.
Cupcakes image is from B Tal’s photostream on Flickr. I worked with B Tal, that is, Brian Talbot, at Simmons College, and I once had the opportunity to have one of his peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. They were so great I had to get the recipe, and I have made them for the kids, who have dubbed these THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER. (Who cares about Magnolia?) You can make them, too, by following the recipe that appears under the photo on his Flickr page. Two tips from me — use only 1/3 or so cup of milk in the frosting recipe, and either make a double batch of the cupcakes or a half batch of the frosting, because the frosting recipe, as is, makes too much for the 12 cupcakes indicated. And refrigerate them: like a lot of cake and frosting combos, they are delicious cold.