Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sweet Resolution

Mandy said to me today, "You write out your list of New Year's Resolutions, right?" and I said, "About once a week." Which is a lie because as of late, it's about once a day.

I've always been a lister. List of lists, accomplish and cross off. Scribble, scribble in my little black planner. It's embarrassing.

Things to Clean Today
Vitamins to Buy
Places to go Today
Work Duties
People to Call
Five Ways to Better the Universe This Week
The Girls' Calendar
What Should I Do with My Life; Top Six Ideas
Flaxseed Oil
Orange Juice
Three New Cupcakes I Want to Bake Next

And for the last two weeks, it always comes back to cupcakes.

This is the year (season?) that I will leave semiconductors. Because of this, I've been soul scouring. I've been unabashedly and without the slightest bit of embarrassment reading Life Inspiring books and listening to new agey CD's and watching DVD's about my inner secrets. I've been lighting candles, facing east, hoping on one foot and scribbling daily lists of my intentions all to shake free some elusive purpose. The more I think, the more I ask myself: Why does it have to be so serious and final? I've also realized that the more I dig all up inside the purpose-finding part of my brain, the more I just want to bake. Baking is fun and sweet. It makes people happy. It makes me happy especially since the treats are fantastically vegan and especially when I wear some 1940's style apron and when my little house is stuffed with the smell of warm agave and vanilla; especially when the kids fight over the mixers and when my husband eats three in a row . . .it's all really, really satisfying.

I've made dozens and dozens of cupcakes in the last couple weeks. It's been a cupcake jihad. This baking thing has become an automatic Go-To every time I'm sorting out my life. This could mean one of two things: I am an escapist, which is HIGHLY likely. Or the universe is like, Hello? I'm trying to tell you that baking IS it.

Quaniesha and I have talked about opening a vegan bakery in Santa Monica. It seems brilliant though logically, I have no clue how that would even happen. I figure if I just keep talking about it, things might unfold somehow. I've already been volunteered a large catering oven and some mixers, which, uh, sounds like the right direction doesn't it? I mean, when someone says "I have an oven from my father's catering business you could have . . ." maybe I should just run a little longer with this. I'm waiting for someone to say, "I have a 1930's bungalow on Broadway for you to use for your shop. . ." I have a million other plans for the bakery too like free nutrition seminars for struggling families (or whomever) that want to eat (affordably) healthier. And free after-school tutoring for (closet-genius) kids (like Mina). And monthly fiction readings. It's hard to dream small. I have no clue how this will all get done; I just want it to.

Happy New Year, Mi Gente. Here's to all your Wants even when we don't know the Hows yet.


To-Die Tofu Chocolate Mousse with Agave Cake and Shaved Chocolate

Ridiculous Cookies N Cream Joints

Christmas Tree Cakeitas

Most of my cupcake recipes have come from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World written by vegan chef and cupcake genius, Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen. The recipes really are brilliant and perfect.


acumamakiki said...

What an inspiring and hopeful post Madness. Happy New Year to you and your family, I know 2007 is going to be a good year, all around.

Anonymous said...

Quaniesha and I have talked about opening a vegan bakery in Santa Monica.

yes, please!

...and all the other offerings that you mentioned might accompany such a joint...

kristin said...

Holy Moly, Madness. I live in Chicago....and have been reading your blog for the last 6 months or so...and this post has so much hope and future in it....

I don't even know you....but when I read that you have dreams of opening a vegan bakery, with nutritonal seminars...and then I see the beautiful pictures of you cupckae creations...I feel it's destiny. totally have to do it.

You totally CAN do it. Good Luck in 2007, I can't wait to see what this year brings!

Marigoldie said...

I'm going to go with my gut here and say the first thing that came to mind: Cha Cha Cha!

Melinda said...

I'm about as far from vegan as they come, but if you opened up a vegan bakery and served me up one of those chocolate dealies, I might see the light.

bettyboop said...

damn cuz, those cupcakes look way too good! fancy and whimsical at the same time. bring it!!

KA aka Smelly said...

YUM! I too, have been baking, perfecting the pignoli cookie. I cannot cook, but baking has always made sense. To me? Of me? Probably both.
You are making some wicked sense and darling, delectible cakeitas to boot.
Go Madness!
ps...thanks for the vegan chef info.!

Anonymous said...

they look scrump! a vegan bakery is such a cool idea.

Maddog said...

Okay - I never comment, but you got me, [twice, now]. YES to the vegan bakery; no doubt. I would start with approaching the Farmer's Markets out there. If they will sell kettle corn, they should sell baked goods, and there are a slew of markets. See what they require and go for it. You might need to rent a certified kitchen by the hour through a 501[c]3 or use a friend's or whatever but then you have no overhead. You gain a following; you only work weekends or a couple days a week; you ease on into it. Also, go to local stores, coffee shops, coops, smaller Wild Oats and such and vend. You can also ask the coops if they want you to come and teach a class on baking or vegan cooking. You could put together a shop that sells your goods, your friends' crafts, your thrift store or tag sale finds, whatever you want. Make it like your living room. The mind boggles with the possibilities. And if I ever move back to Cali, you can feed me or hire me as your marketing girl!

madness rivera said...

Hey, thanks Maddog. Somebody just told me about the cerified kitchen stuff . . .or actually just told me that I probably can't cook out of my home kitchen for health code reasons. . . ? I still don't know all the rules about that yet. BUT hell yes, I hear you about all that other stuff. I'm so in gear to go for it. Thanks for the encouragement and the advice.

I'd love to feed AND hire you.

andrea said...

omg, I am so loving that you are doing this. I see it, I see, I see it. and I am wishing it for you, and then I am wishing myself right onto a plane to fly out there and sample one of those bad boys for real.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I know this is a really old post, but I was just sifting through your old entries.

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I am jealous of those Christmas tree cupcakes! And I think I am FINALLY making those Cookies 'n Cream cupcakes tonight! Yay, Friday treats!

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I'm glad Mabel could please... She's a charmer. :) I really like your blog--I'll be back!