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Super Mommy

I'm pretty proud of myself this week. I prioritized my time, I delegated tasks, and I made this:

and I finished making this:

all for Muffin's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.

How to Make a Very Hungry Caterpillar Party in India
I have to thank Pinterest for the cake idea. I pinned it months ago and kept the idea tucked away in my head, thinking about how to make this in India.

First, when the Consulate placed an order with the commissary in Delhi, I ordered "one" food coloring box. Due to the confusing nature of the order form, I ended up with "one case" of food coloring boxes. I also bought one case of real vanilla extract (intentionally -- I use it a lot for baking) because you can't buy real vanilla in Hyderabad and the fake stuff sold here tastes awful.

Next, when we where on vacation in the United States in May, I tried the King Arthur flour gluten-free cake mix and I liked it a lot better than the Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes I'd been using. I bought several boxes of chocolate and yellow -- which actually comes out more like angel food cake -- and did a couple test batches once we were back in Hyderabad to see how the cupcakes would work in my oven. I also tested frosting recipes. I'd been using the Pamela's frosting mixes, and while I love the chocolate, the vanilla always tasted funny to me. I ended up using a butter frosting recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

I used Heritage unsalted cooking butter for the cake and the frostings. I've found it in HyperCity and at the Heritage markets. It freezes well, so I buy several boxes whenever I see it.

I did a little bit of work each day. On Tuesday I made a batch of green frosting. On Wednesday I made a batch of red and kept both in the freezer. On Thursday I took a break. On Friday, with our housekeeper helping to keep Muffin entertained, I made one box of chocolate cupcakes (one box yields 24 cupcakes), one box of yellow cupcakes, and another box of chocolate into 12 cupcakes and one nine-inch round cake. I also made another batch of frosting, dividing it into half blue and half yellow. I moved all the frostings into the refrigerator to defrost for Saturday morning. I sealed up all the cupcakes into Tupperware, blasted the air conditioner and kept my fingers crossed for the electricity, and left them on the kitchen counter overnight because there wasn't enough room in the refrigerator for them.

On Saturday morning, while Mike kept Muffin busy, I started frosting everything. I locked up the cat. I kept air conditioners blasting in the kitchen and the dining room. I ate a good breakfast and a good lunch and didn't drink too much coffee so I wouldn't have shaky hands and drop anything. I cut out little feet and antenna from black felt. I placed the cupcakes on a piece of white fabric (an old tablecloth that had a couple stains in it so can't be used for fancy dining anymore, but works well as a cupcake canvas) and the felt stuck to the fabric nicely. I kept the caterpillar's head in the refrigerator until the very last minute to keep his face from melting.

Several weeks ago I'd ordered official Hungry Caterpillar party supplies from the Eric Carle museum and some cheaper plain green supplies from Oriental Trading. I also found some party stuff at HyperCity and the party store next to Qmart.

Mike and I spent Friday night sealing up the goodie bags and I also finished Muffin's dress that night. Each day for the last two weeks I'd been working on the dress in about five-minute increments whenever I could. It's the Oliver + S Seashore Sundress in Michael Miller Lolli Dot from and red "matching fabric" from a sari shop.

All the work culminated in two hours of insanity. Nineteen kids and sixty cupcakes. We bought samosas from a kiosk around the corner for a savory snack and we had plenty of juice, water, soda, and beer for guests of all ages. We just let the kids go crazy with Muffin's toys until cupcake time, then they went crazy with cupcakes. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Muffin was a little subdued but she loved her birthday cake and she didn't cry when everyone sang "Happy Birthday." That's about all you can ask from a two-year-old.

And we had our housekeeper come in for the afternoon to help with cleaning up. That is a key element to throwing a party in India.

It was a pretty good party, but I'm glad birthdays are only once a year. I can't be Super Mommy every week.


cute cute cupcakes!!!

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