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Just another natural disaster….time for Buttercream Frosting

August 27, 2011

This past week in DC, with an earthquake and a hurricane within 5 days, has reminded me of the year I spent in Richmond working on my M.A in history. Wanting a break from the stress of DC (post 9-11 and the sniper shootings), I decided to move near my extended family, so I attended the University of Richmond. Within my first two months of attending the school, there was an earthquake followed by Hurricane Isabelle which brought tornadoes and left the city without electricity for almost two weeks. My fellow grad students teased me for bringing bad luck down from DC. They would say: What next Locusts?

So, after an earthquake on Tuesday, Hurricane Irene is rocking it through the area. I know hurricanes are very serious, and really can wreak havoc on infrastructure and even destroy lives. But in regards to personal memory, hurricanes are sort of a tradition in my family. My parents were married in a hurricane, narrowly escaping bridge closures that would have prevented the guests to get from the wedding downtown to the reception in Old Town. They kept the tradition going as we got older. I grew up sitting through hurricanes in North Carolina. My family would gather in the family room and play hours and hours of Uno, eventually drifting to sleep in our sleeping bags. It always felt like time stopped, and our laughter and stories filled the gap. My brother would sneak outside and pretend like he was being blown away by the wind, making my mom shriek with laughter. But the world kept moving, and it was always exciting to find out what happened after our hurricane camp out. One hurricane, when we the electricity turned on the next day, we learned that the Berlin Wall was being torn down.

Today, AAM worked on small projects around the house: putting up the knife rack, building Serafina’s play table, and general babyproofing. Serafina ran around the house playing with her toys, but she would occasionally bring us our shoes trying to get us to take her outside.

While they napped, I realized I really wanted something sweet. Remembering from my pantry cleanout that we had a box of cake, I looked up buttercream frosting and realized that miracously we had all the ingredients. So, in celebration of staying at home as a family, we had Hurricane Irene Cake with Buttercream Frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp of whole milk

1. Beat your butter in a mixer at medium speed. You want the butter to becomes smooth, which might mean taking a spatula and cleaning off the sides of the bowl.

2. Combine the vanilla and salt in a separate bowl. Let the vanilla dissolve the salt a bit.

3. Add the vanilla salt into the butter, and put the mixer on low.

4. Slowly add in the sugar. Let the butter absorb the sugar, which will mean you need to clean off the bowl a couple of times.

5. Add some milk to the mixture to help the mixture smooth out. This is what helps your frosting become a good texture. So, add a tablespoon at a time until it is a desired smoothness.

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