Monday, September 19, 2005

The Greatest Bake Sale Brooklyn Has Ever Known

I was waiting to see if anyone would put any photos of the big day online, but they haven't materialized yet. If photos do show up I'll post a link to them here. How I wish I had a digital camera, for the 100th time. Curse you, perpetual poverty! Side note: Augusten Burroughs says that the Baby Jesus is a handsome man who lives in the sky with his pet cow, and if you are nice to them and pet the cow with your mind, the cow will give you cash. Must remember to try this later.

Bake Sale Day Two

Cupcake Mafia MVP: bbrug
* Brought an amazing apricot poundcake to the Bake Sale

* Hung around to chat and help out

* Bought bottles of water for volunteers working the table

* All this to help out little ol' Cupcake, whom she had never met before

11Am on B-Day I had somehow managed to shower and dress myself and enjoy a tasty breakfast of two cupcakes and coffee. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off my coffee maker, so when I returned home six hours later and said, "What smells like burning?" the answer was "the remains of my coffee pot". I packed 65 cupcakes into multiple tupperware containers and one muffin tin, then carefully packed all the cupcakes plus a table cloth, one roll or purple Saran Wrap, one roll of aluminum foil, pastel paper plates, two sharpies, adhesive labels and a pair of scisors into what my friends lovingly call my "old lady shopping cart" and stumbled out of my building.

I have been living in Prospect Heights for two months now and I can say with total certainty that this was the first time I was awake and outdoors before noon on a weekend and it was nice. People smiled at me as I pushed my little cupcake wagon down the street, possibly mistaking me for a crazy but harmless vagabond. I arrived at the school yard and found a very small crew of EmilyM, Mr.M and tk. tk had been up early that morning and baked three pumpkin pies. Yes! This neighborhood is hardcore! We began setting up while waiting for Stacey to arrive with another table and some chairs. Setting up mostly comprised wrapping individual cupcakes, brownies, slices of banana bread and others and lenghty discussions about pricing. Other DHers stopped by to drop off things they had baked. We priced a couple of things at a buck, but most were priced at $2. A pumpkin pie cost $10. Half a dozen of my cupcakes cost $5. Stacey arrived with her son and husband, laden down with goodies and supplies and immediately won me over by instantly calling everyone honey.

Local cable access celebrity chef and host of the Post Punk Kitchen Isa arrived with her crew and some vegan treats including some Oreo cupcakes that looked so good, I almost considered going vegan. Later in the day I unknowingly ate a vegan cookie and raved about it, so I guess you can make good food without butter and eggs and milk. Isa also roped her Mom into baking, and brought her Mom to the Bake Sale, which seemed like a nice touch, to have someone's mom on hand. Isa effectively worked this angle to guilt strangers into buying goodies, which we were all about, "See this Banana Bread? My mom baked it and she's standing right behind you. Why don't you try it and tell her how good it is?" It was brilliant.

In order to help drum up business, Stacey's husband took some flyers and stood on the street corner. We couldn't tell what he was actually saying to people, but it was highly effective. Plus he would kind of put his arm on them and escort them halfway down the block to make sure they didn't scarper. This is the differenence between your suburban basksetball team bake sale and the Daily Heights Brooklyn Bake Sale. Later when we needed to draw more attention to ourselves, I suggested Isa lift up her shirt. "It's for a good cause," I said. "Hell," said Isa, "I'll do it for a bad cause."

bbrug arrived with a beautiful poundcake with a perfect chevron of apricot filling slicing through the center. She said it was easy to do, but no one believed her. I bought a slice to take home and it was delicious, like professional bakery quality good. I wish I bought two slices. People would stop and ask, "How did you get the apricot to make a perfect "v" like that?"

"I don't know, " I told one woman. "The woman who made that cake is no longer here."

"What do you mean, she's no longer here? What did you do with her?"

"I didn't do anything to her! She had to go home!"
Also, bbrug should probably run for Brooklyn borrough President because although she isn't even from my neighborhood, she seemed to know everyone at the Bake Sale.

EmilyM and I parked it on the curb waiting for people to pass by so we could hawk scones and cookies. EmilyM gives me a lot of hope. She is four years older than me, but we have some silly little things in common. "Oh my God, I have the same scone pan as you!" I gushed like an idiot. And we've knit the same pattern. And she speaks German. So I think, maybe my life is on track after all. Maybe in four years, I'll be just as cool and together as EmilyM! Please, no one shatter this illusion. Candissima came by with her roommate and they bought some goodies. I started hitting on a guy who was buying a cupcake. At first, he wanted to buy Medusa's cupcake, but I wanted him to buy my cupcake for the sole reason that he wasn't with anyone and he wasn't wearing a wedding ring. He agreed to buy one of mine, but I felt like a slimy, disguisting human being for trying to muscle in on someone else's cupcake sale at a charity bake sale. Thankfully, EmilyM got him to buy both. I invited him to the weekly happy hour. As soon as he was out of earshot, I asked if it was inappropriate for me to hand out my number at the community Bake Sale. "It's for a good cause! My Dad would be very happy if someone would marry me!"

Medusa and her husband had arrived with their beautiful baby girl. Mr.M, who had won me over earlier in the day by telling me he grew up in Bensonhurst and speaking my language yet remaining dorky cool, spun old skool beats on the iPod. Then he danced with the baby to the Sugar Hill Gang in a way that was unbearably adorable. Soon Medusa and EmilyM got permission for us to move the tables in front of Soda on Vanderbilt where there was more foot traffic.

It was time for the hard sell. Stacey, Isa and I had similar selling styles, namely, discreetly giving the finger under the table and mumbling insults under out breath to anyone who walked by without stopping. Isa used her Magical Thinking to lure people over from across the street with her mind. There are several handicaps to the modern bake sale: firstly everyone walks by with their head phones on. "Bake Sale!" we would yell. "It's for a good cause." I know people heard us. And by the way, when I see a bake sale, I don't care what cause it is for. What, you're raising money for a boob job? Cheers! I'll take two of those ...

Another hurdle is that everyone who doesn't have their iPod blasting is talking on their cell phone. Let me tell you, when I pass a bake sale, I tell whomever I'm on the phone with "I will call you back."

I left around 5pm, tired, a little sunburnt and already planning my attack on the Wing Wagon. I couldn't wait to get in this morning and find out what the grand total was... are you ready? ... drumroll ... we raised $613 which will be sent to the Food Bank in Houston, TX to help feed Evacuees who are being housed in that area.


Candicissima said...

I'd almost forgotten about a) that awesome apricot pound cake (who is bbrug, btw? DHer?) b) the guy who bought the 2 cupcakes. If you can't hit on people at a bake sale, when can you do it really? Besides the happy hour of course.

Cupcake said...

Candicissima, bbrug is not a DHer. In fact, she doesn't even live in the hood, which is too bad, because I'm sure we could cook up all sorts of excuses to casually be strolling by her apt. while she happens to be cooling a pie on her window sill. I have the feeling bbrug actually cools pies on her window sill! Just not in Prospect Heights.

PS You should bring your roommate to Happy Hour.

Anonymous said...

I love your Blog!!! I just wanted to post so everyone knows what a great job you did and how fucking fantastic the cupcakes were. Hows that for DH hardcore :).

Cupcake said...

Thanks anonymous. I still have cupcakes left over. They are the first thing I tast when I wake up in the morning. Maybe I'll start bringing them to the guy who hangs out at the 7th Ave. B/Q station in the mornings.

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry Cupcake that was me Stacey you know the one who kept calling you Amy :)

Super Skater said...

You beat the 7th grader's bake sale total- full success!

Tiffany said...

Sounds awesome! And I have to say... I am NEVER one to turn down a bake-sale! All those people who just walked right by were disturbed!

bbrug said...

Yesss!! Most important, we beat that stupid twelve-year-old with her stupid bake sale that she probably didn't even bake anything for. Though--admit it--you bought $13 worth of stuff yourself just so that we'd top her take, didn't you?

Sorry I haven't posted my report yet--which will include the all-important photo essay on how to get that V-shaped stripe in the cake. As I mentioned at the sale, the camera I was using isn't mine (because my own is lost in my apartment, no doubt in the same mysterious location where my favorite champagne-colored half-slip is hiding), so I don't have the cable for it. I'm waiting for the camera's rightful owner to offload the pictures for me.

My officemates were thrilled with the cupcakes I brought them, and they thought the Red Hots on top were genius. Me, I was quite happy with Isa The Vengeful Vegan's Newman-O cupcake. I'm going to make something from her cookbook this weekend, I think.

More to come . . .

Cupcake said...

Yes, this is how we measure success here in the Cupcake Mafia. Not by the good works we have done or new friendships we have forged or goals we have acheived; we measure success one destroyed 12 year old girl at a time.

bbrug, after you left one of Isa's friends showed up with some really yummy cookies she had baked using Isa's recipie: Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. They are super yummy. I'm eating one now. Yes, for breakfast. At my desk. It has been a long morning. I would recommend making these if the recipie is in the book!

I hope someone has a book release/signing party for Isa when the book comes out.

bbrug said...

Cake blogging and bake sale photos finally live at BBRUB.