Trail of Crumbs

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(Note: I just got back from South Africa yesterday. My brain has absolutely ZERO idea what time it is. I contemplated blogging last night, but I was deliriously tired, and acting slightly more crazy than normal. At one point, I may have fallen over my husband in the kitchen because I wanted to bite his arm. When he didn’t acquiesce, I started whining like a four-year-old.

So he let me bite his arm. 

I’m still kind of out of it, but I’m pleased to say that the attempts at spousal cannibalism have become far more infrequent since that episode. I’m going to try and get my bearings over the next few days. In the meantime, I’ll be posting about a few trips that we had prior to South Africa, that I haven’t gotten around to telling you about. Enjoy.)



Like any good alchemist, I spend a lot of time at home trying to turn lead into gold. Or, more precisely, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and a bit of vanilla into cake.

Same thing, basically.



I might have overdone it on cupcakes when I was last in New York. I know: those words sound blasphemous, don’t they? Even as I try to type them, my fingers burn a little. If I attempt to utter the phrase, “I’ve had too many cupcakes” out loud, it sears my throat. Clearly, my body does not want me to admit to it, but admit to it I must: there is such a thing as too many cupcakes. Very simply, if you eat more cakes than you spend days in a city, you will get yourself into trouble.

And that is precisely what I did.

Of course, I regret nothing. After all, I had to fulfill my journalistic obligations, which were, to the best of my understanding, to eat every single cupcake I came across.

Yup. Every single one. If I saw a cupcake, I bought it. In New York City, where the homeless population has largely been replaced with bakery trucks (seriously? Movable cupcake repositories? I think I dreamt that idea up once in fifth grade. I never thought it would actually happen), such an endeavor is dangerous one. Even if you try to set up strict guidelines to avoid consuming enough sugar to take down an elephant (like, say, only eating cupcakes that directly cross your path), it’s still a risky game. After just a few blocks, you may find yourself in the throes of a diabetic coma, nonsensical babble pouring forth from your frosting smeared lips.


I was more animal than human.


But I pressed on, in the name of … I don’t know, science? Yes (that sounds far better than “gluttony”). Here are my findings:



“I need cupcakes. Cupcakes for science.” I announced to my husband the other evening.

“That sounds perfectly reasonable,” he replied.

“I need them,” I said.


“SCIENCE!” I screamed.

He nodded. Usually I don’t specify why I want cupcakes. It would be like asking why fish need water, or Berkeley needs drum circles. THEY JUST DO. My existence, he long ago learned, is about the acquisition and consumption of dessert-type foods. I’m eating candy even as I type this (I am not kidding. I would not joke about something like this).

My passion for desserts is not new-found. Behold me (far left) with my brother and cousins, circa 1983:

Every weekend was like Lord of the Flies.


Notice how I can’t take my eyes off the cake. Even at that tender young age, my motivations were clear.