Alaska 101: Father’s Day Cupcakes and Experiencing Earth Quake in Alaska.
UNTUK VERSI BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI
I never celebrated Gather’s Day. Not because I worried that people think that I’m embracing other type of religion, it because I was raised without a father. So this is my very first time that I pay attention on Father’s Day.
Chill, It’s not like I go to temple worship and bow to stone figure or something. There is no specific activity for this particular celebration. Since my mother in law hurt her shoulder, so I stepped up to make the day feel a little bit special. Last month I did baked her a cake for Mother’s Day. So I have to be fair, because they are equally important to Mike. So I decided to bake cupcakes for my father in law.
Actually I had a great headache after iftar. But then I woke up at 12 midnight and continue eat. Then at 1am, I started with my cupcakes baking.
I have confession to make. I am not pro in baking. But I always have serious interest in it. But I never had oven at my house until I installed full set kitchen cabinet in my apartment last years. But I never used it until I got married to Mike because I’m afraid I will blow up the kitchen. Once Mike on board, he taught me how to use it. Since then, I started to use to bake chicken, beef, vegetables, cheese pasta and simple pre-mixed cake. I used to check out baking gear in Shah Alam and KL area but it was too expensive for a new beginner like me. Especially Wilton brand. I attended Cupcake Decorating class in Hartamas 7 YEARS ago, complete with certificate. But since then, I watched baking channel every night before I go to sleep on youtube. Everytime I finished 10-15 videos, I am so confident that I can do it.
But, after my friends keep giving me complimentary that I am ready to take over Martha Stewart every time I posted my baking product on Facebook, I feel that I don’t deserve it. Yes, my love and interest towards baking world is crazy. But, as usual, I want it to be easy peasy. I can’t make complicated activity as a hobby.
The secret that I wanted to tell you is that, I used pre mix cake that came in a box. All I need to add are:
1 Box pre mix cake flour (half kg)
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup water
Batter for 2 minutes, then bake at 190 celcius for 20 minutes (don’t forget to pre heat the oven though). Done. It is so easy just like cooking 2 minutes Maggi.
That’s all. Even a 10 year old can do it. So, I’m not that pro. Here, I like to use brand like Pillsbury or Betty Crocker pre mix. The cake is so soft, has sweet smell and the taste is perfect. And it very cheap too. $1.40 makes 24 cupcakes.
But, if you remember the picture I posted on Instagram, when I was preparing cupcake at my sister in Law house with all organic ingredients – that was real. I made it from scratch. But the taste is so-so. I told Mike that I was very tired and unhappy that after 2 hours, the taste turn out not good. Then the idea to stick to Pre-Mix flour came to light. Hihi.
For fun side – you can put colorful candy rice into your batter. It will not change the consistency of the mixture and you can see colorful dots all over the cake and it is cute like that.
One more secret that I want to reveal here is that, all cupcake decoration here are ready made too. You just pick your theme. This one is fro Wilton and very cheap. But Ringgit Malaysia is so small right now, almost equivalent ot Rupiah, it still ended up expensive if you convert the price into Ringgit. And I don’t feel like a baker pro when using Wilton product since a 6 years old kids here are using Wilton for their baking play.
The famous DIY, crafters shop here is Michael’s and Joann. I can make Mike vomit blood if I mentioned that I want to go there. I can sit in that shop for a week without sleep. It has millions kind of baking and decoration items for cake stencils, writing gel And if you go to Wallmart or Fred Myer or Carrs, they have hundreds colors of fondants, fondant flower, fondant sheets, millions of cream, butter cream , cheese cream, whipped cream with many many colors. Food colouring too, in powder, liquid, pen type and it even has in highlighter pen kind. Not to mention on edible pearls and stone. If you familiar with Sayang You at Jalan Masjid India to find beads and sequins, here, they have the same thing only times 300. So, if one day my cake look like picture below, don’t be surprise since we have it all here. All you need is to stick it on the cake.
Can you see the colorful spot? Isn’t that cute?
But for the frosting, I did it from the scratch since it is pretty easy for first timer like me. Just like preparing 2 minutes Maggi too. All you need is:
6 Cup powder sugar
1 Cup Butter
3 Table spoon full skim Milk
2 drops of Vanilla essence
Whipped the powder sugar and butter until smooth, next pour in the milk little by little. Vanilla essence will be the last one in. If your batter is too soft, pour in more powder sugar and if it’s too stiff, pour more milk in it.
Prior to this, I find it very difficult for me to follow western recipe since they have their ingredients in CUP measurement. I came for rural area, kampung, I imagined that the cup measurement was by using a tea cup. But then. I also find Malaysian recipe troublesome. All measurement in grams – now I have to buy digital weight scale. Because of this, I put my interest in baking on hold. Until I was introduced to this measurement cup like picture above. Right after this magic measurement cup, I found that baking world is the easiest and fun to be involved with compared to sewing world and work with Travel Agent.
My mom in law has a lot of food colouring in store. She use it to color Easter Egg. She has 9 colors stored at home. I will get hundreds color if I mix among the colors. Since it is for Father’s Day, so I choose blue, Tiffany’s Blue for this time. So, in order to get Tiffany’s Box color, only 2 drops of blue liquid required.
I must tell you that my favorite part is frosting, I love to play squeezing the piping bag. If I have enough frosting, I might frost the whole house.
Once frosting done, just stick in the decorations like paper glasses and candy ribbons while it still wet.
Next morning, I took it out from the fridge and presented it to my father in Law. His face expression is priceless since he never thought I care to take the time to bake this little diabetic cuties since Mike and I did gave him the Father’s Day card a day before. I already has plan for my baking project for 4th of July. Just wait and see. Thee hee.
2 days after this cupcake thing, I experienced earthquake for the first time in my life. Before this I just saw it from the news. It was 1 pm in the afternoon and I was sleeping. Suddenly the bed is shaking the same time Mike’s got up from the floor (his PC is on the floor) so I was thinking, like, that’s freaking monster stretch out. So I got up from bed and Mike smiled with his hand waved at me “That’s earthquake. Don’t worry, go back to sleep”. Once I heard word “earthquake”, I almost want to cry and I said to Mike that I’m scared. Then he told me that, the tremor is normal one and there is nothing to worry about.
What I can describe about my earthquake experience is – it does feel like there was a giant stretching out after long sleep. But it was quick tremor. Only 2 to 3 second. Maybe our location is 100 miles from the epic center so, it wasn’t a bad experience to me. And maybe, the way they built their house here helps to absorb the tremor. The house here built with wood and dry wall so it helps. Plus, the base of the house isn’t sit directly on the ground and supported by beams. There is like 5 meters deep hole underneath the house base. Alaska ground is icy even though in summer so it is impossible for the to sit directly on the ground or else it will rotten the floor. There is no brick, concrete and cement structure in building the house here so, it is more safe for the earthquake too.
And then we checked on the net, the tremor was at 5.8 ritcher scale. Just like in Sabah if I’m not mistaken. The difference is, here, we do not have any damage and casualty. People here are so used to earthquake since it happen 10 – 12 times A DAY, in Alaska. Alaska sitting on Pacific plate subducts beneath the North America plate make it prone to earthquake and tsunamis. If Mat Rempit Malaysia stay here, they would constantly pee their pants because here, everything is wild. You can anytime walked into bears and angry moose in your backyard, or you will be chased away by a gun if you walk too close into other people’s front/back yard. Or, being told directly not to toss cigarette butt. I think Mat Rempit Malaysia unable to survive long here with their unruly manners. They will be shot down from the moment they warming up their stupid loud bike engine.
Eh, apa aku melalut ni. Ok lah. Aku stop sini dulu.
Okay, I think I am way side track this now