Right now I have experimental cupcakes baking in the oven with Andy Griffith’s 86th birthday as my excuse for baking when I am trying to eat healthy, exercise more, and lose weight.
I grew up watching classics like I Love Lucy, The Dick van Dyke Show, and The Andy Griffith Show (I could list a slew of others but I don’t want to bore you. Nick at Night was popular in my house). I still watch the shows my parents grew up on that are now on channels designated for “classic” TV. There is something wonderful about sitting down for thirty minutes and watching good old fashion humor and what now seem like petty conflicts (OK, so Gomer losing his job and moving in with the Taylors isn’t exactly petty, but it’s no CSI or Grey’s Anatomy, either) driving relatively simple plots.
The other day my dad and I were talking about a nail-bitter Cubs game and I commented on our second baseman’s name, Darwin Barney. “I guess it makes you think of a purple dinosaur,” my dad mused. “No, I think of a twiggy sheriff’s deputy.” I’d say I was raised right.
So naturally, when I realized we had the majority of a can of pumpkin left in the fridge and several boxes of cake mix in the cabinet on the day that the Internet Movie Database claimed was Andy Griffith’s birthday, I had to bake cupcakes. Several years ago I learned that you could substitute all the ingredients on the cake mix recipe (eggs, oil, etc.) with one can of pumpkin for a delicious and much healthier cake. While it’s not the best cake ever, it’s a good way to make excuses to eat more! (I’m doomed, aren’t I?)
I should explain that these cupcakes are experimental because I also had two very aged bananas on the counter (which usually signals time to bake banana bread) so because a few spoons were missing from the can of pumpkin, I used one banana, too. We’ll see how red velvety these actually turn out. I’m doomed, aren’t I?
On that note, I hope Mr. Griffith was able to spend his big day eating real cake and doing what he enjoys. As my dad said this morning, “He’s younger than Betty White!”