Nine-thirty at night and I was wandering around the Price Chopper like a lost lamb.

I knew trouble was afoot earlier that day when I received a mid-day text from the teen girl requesting powdered sugar, cocoa powder and purple food dye.

And chocolate chips.

And Slim Jims.

Now that the daughter has a cellphone, we are in constant communication, which is a good thing if you are one of those parents trying to get your moody, withdrawn child to speak to you. I do not have one of that variety. I have one just like me — very chatty.

“Where is the silver cake tin?” her thumbs asked.

“Either under oven or on shelf in pantry,” I texted back.

“Okay, got it.”

I had learned from a text stream drawn out over 30 minutes that while I was away at work that evening she planned to make a Mardi Gras dessert for French class the next day. Her thumbs also explained how important this dessert was to her, its potential impact on the eighth grade and basically her remaining middle-school career.

“Can you drive me to school tomorrow? Don’t want to carry cake on bus.”

“Fine, but you are killing me.”

The child does enjoy baking, particularly, for some reason, when I am not at home. There is, however, some trial and error involved.

“Cake not cooked. Center mushy. Can I take it off plate and put back in the oven?”


And when the error of the trial and error happens, it feels akin to remotely landing a plane.

“Dropped cake in oven.”


“Daddy going to bed. He says he has ‘had enough.’ ”

“Wait! Where is cake now? What’s going on?”

“Can you pick up a purple dessert on the way home just in case?”

Now, I have the greatest confidence in food manufacturers’ ability to lavishly add food dye to products (i.e. Fruity Pebbles), but finding a purple “just in case I can’t fix the half-baked cake I dropped in the oven” dessert at 9:30 at night is a lofty goal, even for me.

Hence my wandering about the aisles with only my phone to keep me company.

“I tried to clean kitchen,” chirped my cell.

“You better do more than TRY,” I rapid-fired back.

“Can you still drive me to school tomorrow?”

“Ok, but I am not happy.”

“I am sorry. I love you so much. Happy Mardi Gras.”

“Love you too.”

“Also, think I threw out my retainer in the Dunkin’ Donuts bag.”

Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at petteyshome@gmail.com or visit her on Facebook.


Load comments