When Life Hands You Crap, Make Frosting (just remember to wear an apron)

ugh. I am covered with tiny chocolate polka-dots. Head-to-toe. This is the precise reason I avoid AllRecipes.com; the recipes are hit or miss. I followed a promising recipe for chocolate whipped cream frosting, for the damned cakes I made for Hanna’s damned band fundraiser dinner, and the recipe struck out…all over me. The result was so bad, I ended up making a curdled chocolate butter-like substance, that dribbled brown water. Lesson #1: Always wear shitty clothes when you cook. Lesson #2: if you are a fool and forget Lesson #1, always wear an apron to minimized roadkill on your clothes.

Let’s talk about Hanna’s band. First of all, it is taught by a geek who never got over being in band in high school, and still revels in the glory that is bandgeekdom (I am allowed to diss band geeks because I used to be one – most of us grow up, eventually). He is soft and fleshy and lumpy. He is pasty-faced with a personality to match. He has about as much music skill as I do, which does not qualify him to teach band, but this tiny town is desperate and beggars can’t be choosers. Hanna, who has a huge ego and doesn’t need any encouragement to increase her God Complex, is a pretty decent flautist. But by Jasper High School standards, she is the Queen of the Universe. The band teacher kisses the ground she walks on. I would like my children to grow up well-educated and humble…at this rate, Hanna is getting neither. The worst part of it all are the fundraisers. Here we are in Canada’s largest national park – world famous, it is. And the Jasper High School band sells bird feeders in the fall, as a fundraiser. Birdfeeders are illegal in a national park, just like hummingbird feeders, fruit trees, and salt licks. If you put out an artificial food source, you interfere with the natural food gathering process of the wildlife in the park. So the birds and squirrels will flock to your garden, and the coyotes and cougars will flock after the birds and squirrels. Bears like bird feeders too. Next thing you know, Parks Canada will have to kill an animal because it will bother some Jasperite in his/her yard. Just last year, they had to kill a bear for walking into town and eating the apples off of a tree in a local person’s garden. I personally think the human should have been put down, instead. If you grow it, they will come, assholes. Oh, and even if bird feeders were not a problem to own, tell me how many one can buy, year-after-year? Apparently, it is a years-old tradition for the band to sell bird feeders – and only bird feeders. I’m guessing the folks in town who want to own bird feeders have enough of them…I’m going to suggest the band sell fruit trees next year.

So the 2nd big fundraiser is this Turkey Dinner. First of all, what is so special about turkey? Why would anyone pay MONEY to come eat a Thanksgiving dinner they probably made better themselves, back in October? It’s March, people, have some originality. So they scramble to sell tickets, but not really. Hanna, as per the usual, hasn’t even brought any home to try to sell – and the dinner is tonight. Next, they sent home a letter asking for volunteers. Apparently they have nobody to work the event. They need everything from dishwashers, to servers, to cleaner-uppers, not to mention actual customers to eat the dinner. Also, desserts. Must have lots of dessert. They originally had about 11 turkeys to cook, so I emailed to offer to cook the turkeys via our hotel kitchens, but they don’t need that. And as you can probably tell by the tone of this entry, I’ve become slightly negative about this place, and I am no longer in the mood to help out. My new motto in Jasper is: “I Connaught.” I came up with that little beauty as I was driving down the main street here (Connaught Drive), one day last year, watching the town sprinklers water the trees and grass…in the pouring rain. Talking to myself, I asked, “Town of Jasper, why don’t you send a person to turn off the sprinklers in the event of pouring rain?” And I replied, “I Connaught!” I tried for 6 months to make friends, get involved, volunteer, and the message was, “Welcome to Jasper; we don’t need you…except for the last minute emergencies…which is every time we have a function…when we realize we suck and we only have about 8 volunteers total…and we have to make sure we make it as last-minute and inconvenient as we can…because that’s how we do things in this wonderful town.” Markus, being the nice person representing our family now, volunteered us to make a dessert. “Us,” haha. So I made 2 chocolate cakes and 2 tropical cakes (pineapple, coconut, almonds, vanilla cake). I put them in disposable cardboard pans so I don’t have to return to pick them up (that’s the key to being a grumpy Anti-Volunteer–disposable containers). And it looks like they’ll be topped with some simple buttercream frostings. And tomorrow I leave this armpit to drive to Calgary, then catch a plane to Iowa. To think a trip to a tiny town in Iowa feels like I’m going to Vegas…the bar has been getting too heavy to hold high up here, lately, sigh. The travel will revive me, make me nicer, give me new strength to return. Because, return I must. What do the firemen say? “If you go, we go.” That’s how our family is handling survival in the Great White North. We’re in it together, and we will one day get OUT together. IN the meantime, I must go change my clothes and hope the chocolate polka-dots come out in the wash…Image

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Connie :)
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 20:35:50

    Nice! If I ever make it to Jasper you just point her out to me… 🙂



  2. Connie
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 18:24:04

    LOL! Hang in there Sue. If there wasn’t a possibility of one of your family members eating one of those cakes, you should have added your “secret ingredient”. Have fun in Iowa!



    • Suelinhess
      Mar 07, 2013 @ 19:07:46

      haha, thanks, Connie! I should have just done it. Here’s my update: I brought the cakes to the place where the dinner was going to take place, and mentioned that the Hawaiian cakes had almonds in them, in case there was someone with nut allergies. The head volunteer (who singlehandedly runs events in both schools and really hates extra volunteers around to get in her way) says in a know-it-all voice, “ACTUALLY, almonds are NOT nuts, they are seeds.” You would be so proud of me, Connie. I did NOT punch her in the face, like I wanted to. But I did have to have the last word, so I mirrored her tone and said, “Peanuts are not technically nuts either – they’re legumes. But they’re both lumped into the term NUT ALLERGIES.” Beeyotch.



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