Thursday, July 23, 2009

Death of a Salesman

I'm almost 95% certain he was a salesman of some kind.
The Dude's last surviving grandparent passed away on Monday. It wasn't much of a shock. He'd been in hospital for two weeks and the doctors had already told us it was just a matter of time. His grandfather actually lived a lot longer than any of us expected. His wife, The Dude's Granny, passed almost two years ago and we all expected him to follow shortly thereafter. He died almost two years to the day.
Yesterday was the wake and funeral. Yes, everything all at once. Made for a long day. It wasn't without some laughs, however.
When you bring children to a funeral/wake, you're bound to end up with some funny moments...thankfully, not all of which were courtesy of my children. The Dude's cousin was kind enough to bring his son along as well.
I We tried as best as we could to explain what had happened to great grandpa to the twins before going. They had gone to see him in the hospital while he was semi-lucid, so they knew he was sick. Aunt Ali was ZERO help during all of this because she cried at the kitchen table while we did this. Anyshway, so day of funeral, The Dude had to be at the cathedral extra early and I stayed behind preparing some cupcakes for the reception that was to follow (recipe at end of post). They asked a bazillion questions and I did my best to answer. Most of my responses simply got a "But why?" from them.
At the funeral when the family was asked to come and say their final goodbyes, The Dude took Twin A, his Mom had Twin B and I had Pickles. I whispered to the girls to blow grandpa a kiss and tell him goodbye. As we got closer this is was Twin B said, rather loudly, "Hey, why is Grandpa in that box? Ya know, that's not how you tell someone goodbye, ya do it like this," as she placed one hand on her hip and waved. Stiffled laughter filled the air. Pickles refused to blow a kiss, so we just went back to our seats.
The cousin's kid was carried up to the casket where he proclaimed, "I love Grandpa's new bed! It looks so comfy!!" Hey, I never suggested we bring the kids up there!
At least the kids cut some of the sorrow and tension that filled the air.
On to cuppycakes!!
My Granny's church has a group of women that take care of food for funerals. My Granny always handles the desserts. She has one cake recipe she calls The Funeral Cake. She says it has always been the most popular at all of the funerals. So I took my cue from the expert and got her recipe. I, however, wanted to cut some of the extra mess and hassle of a regular cake and opted for cupcakes (ya know, no knife needed, no plates needed, etc).
The recipe is rather simple, but the results are yummy and incredibly moist! Get a box of chocolate cake mix with the pudding in it or simply get a regular one and toss a box of chocolate pudding in the mix, a bag of chocolate chips I used mini chips since I was doing cupcakes, and a can of cherry pie filling.
Combine the cake mix, 1/3 Cup oil, 3 eggs and 1 Cup of water, stir well. Fold in the pie filling. Spoon into lined cupcake tins and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
My Granny told me sometimes she just sprinkles powdered sugar on top and other times she tops it with fresh whipped cream. I decided to do a whipped creamish topping.
We all know that whipped cream doesn't really hold up well in heat. You can stabilize it with pudding or gelatin, but the results aren't always that great. I used Dream Whip and a box of white chocolate pudding. The results were super-fab!
You definitely don't want a Buttercream type frosting, as that would be too much and far too overpowering. Whipped cream sounded about right, but I wanted a little something extra. The white chocolate pudding was just the ticket. The resulting frosting was not too sweet and just perfect for the cupcakes. Held up well too!
The Dream Whip box has the instructions on the box for making frosting. You mix the Dream whip packet with cold milk and the pudding with a mixer until medium peaks form. Yums!!
P.S. my tags for this entry remind me of Eddie Izzard's "Cake or Death" bit.
Good stuff


C. Beth said...

I'm sorry for your loss. The kids were hilarious though!

Stopping by from SITS.

Beth :)

Roxane said...

Hey I say thats a great attitude to have towards death! at least they weren't scared or freaked out by "the box/new bed"

JennyMac said...

Very positive outlook. And I love your attitude.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I am sorry for the loss.

I am slowly making my way through all of the comments that I so lovingly received last Thursday when I was featured on SITS. Thank you so very much for visiting me.

Sassypants Wifey said...

Oh Eddie! Love it.

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