The Cost of Bread and the Metric System

“The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I likes it.”
-Abraham “Grampa” Simpson

Working, as I have for the last month, in a bakery that specializes in bread, I have a few observations.  The first regards the metric versus the imperial system of measurements.  Why anyone would choose willingly to use pounds and ounces to measure anything simply boggles my mind.  The simple act of altering quantities of measurements requires a calculator far too frequently.  But that’s really more of an aside.  The company I work for (being owned by former Americans) uses imperial measurements, but that’s just something I have to put up with.  No, I have another rant planned for today. Continue reading

Sympathy for the Devil: Are Cupcakes an Acceptable Evil?

I have from time to time and often with some venom, declared my feelings of animosity towards cupcakes.  I think maybe it’s high time we unpack this a little.  Cupcakes are evil.  Pure evil.  And like so much that is evil, they are very good at pretending they’re not and deceiving people into believing that is the case.  I suppose, though, I can’t make claims like that without backing them up just a little.

I remember a time before I had my revelation.  I remember trying several good quality cupcakes and wondering why I was so disappointed by them.  They were almost painfully sweet, with far too much icing for any rational person to feel was necessary.  It got me thinking about my sense of disappointment.  I had a vague notion that cupcakes were good.  At least I thought I remembered them being decent.  I found that, given deep reflection I couldn’t remember a specific example of a good cupcake.  This is when I first started to be aware of the sinister nature of the cupcake.  Cupcakes are (as a rule) too damn sweet and the best cupcakes I have had are the ones that move farther away from sweet.  Who knows, maybe somewhere out there is a truly magnificent cupcake made of the mythical flavour of umami.

Cupcakes also require little skill in their presentation, which is (I think, anyway) why there are so many fancy plates and stands devoted solely to displaying them.  Where this is okay is for the “casual baker.”  If you bake, I’m happy.  If it takes cupcakes to get you to bake then so be it.  But, it would make me even happier if your goal was to move beyond them.  I have a suggested alternative, even.  You can make fully layered cakes in miniature form.  This might entail more effort, but the end result is so much more impressive.

So, although cupcakes are the tool of the devil I think for now peaceful coexistence is the best route.  And if my ire seems less than powerful, it is only because the confectionery world is under an even greater threat.  It is imperative, I feel that we all join together to stamp out the Elder Evil that is cakepops.