***Linking up with Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy on things that are saving my life right now. ***
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
I’m not sure Anne-girl thinks as highly of Februaries, and neither do I. Every time this month rolls around, I give myself a pep talk: “It’s just a month. It’s not so bad. Just keep doing what you do and everything will be great.” Without fail, a few days later I’m groaning, “Seriously, February? You again?”
There are technically quite a few things to like about February: Some of my favorite people were born this month; there are a couple of holidays, even if one is mostly Hallmark-driven; there’s the Beanpot for college hockey fans. But there’s just something about this month that turns me into a grump.
This year I’ve decided to *post* my way through the twenty-nine days of February. (I usually post once a week at most, so this is a bold commitment for me.) Instead of letting the month inevitably get to me in its weird February way, I’m going to do my best to entertain myself and my thousands of (ok, a dozen or so) readers with a few quick words, stories, pictures, and other bookspired stuff every day. I’ll share with the hashtag #makefebfun so other folks can find it and share their own February fun posts and pics if they wish. It’s going to make February fun because the hashtag says so.
And now, for my first official post of the month: a quick story and recipe. Five Februaries ago, a group of us went out to celebrate a super-great friend’s birthday. We went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and margaritas and then had some birthday cupcakes I’d made for dessert. Since we were going straight to a bar after dinner, I decided I should just bring the leftover cupcakes along with us (like somebody’s grandma, or like the not-too-hip married lady I was/am).
We were having a great time hanging out, the group of “us girls.” At some point I decided to start passing out leftover cupcakes to random people. It was all very neighborly and made the boys at the bar happy.
I’m not claiming to be a hero. I have very smart, beautiful-on-the-inside-and-out friends who always get the boys’ attention, with or without cupcakes. But that night the cupcakes made things just a tad sweeter, and I’m proud to have done my job as cupcake wingwoman. It’s a fond February memory. See, good things do happen during this wretched month.
Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate House Cake (Makes 24 cupcakes or 1 large 9X12 sheet cake)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift and mix dry ingredients to blend. Then incorporate wet ingredients and mix thoroughly (by hand is fine) until smooth. Line cupcake pans or grease and lightly flour cake pan and fill to about 2/3 with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Store in the fridge. If you wish (why wouldn’t you?), top with the frosting of your choice. I like to use old-fashioned vanilla buttercream. You can find the recipe on your bag of confectionary sugar. Bring these cupcakes to the bar, or to your church potluck, or to wherever you want to make new friends.