Monday, May 12, 2008

Buyer beware

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 5/12/2008
Have you ever proudly presented a hostess with a gorgeous boxed cake for a potluck? Have you ever had someone exclaim with excitement about how lovely the cake will taste?

And have you ever then opened the box to get it ready for a party and discovered that it is in fact, not a cake, but cake mix and you now have to beg, borrow or steal eggs, milk, mixing bowls, and mixer from said hostess?

Oh, you've never had this experience? Let me tell you what it was like then. Not only was I the only partygoer who didn't bring anything homemade (although I've never actually cooked anything for other parties that I've been to), but I also brought something that had to be made using things from the hostess's refrigerator.

When I picked up the box from the store, I didn't really have too much time to suss out what I was buying. First of all, the box was written in Japanese. OK, so I'm a translator, but having to figure out something in less than 5 seconds when I'm racing through the grocery store doesn't really give one too much time to get into the subtleties of different nuances. I know what you're saying: She couldn't even make out the word "mix" on the box? How can I trust her translations of the difference between aerobic and anaerobic fermentation for composting of organic waste? Well, I tell you, I saw only a few words before I hastily scooped up the box: oven, only, 10 minutes. Those were the words that jumped out at me because I was enthralled with the picture of the chocolate cake that was dripping with chocolate icing and kind of lost my head for a minute.

The other thing? Well, the box itself was already shaped like a cake.

The shock mirrored on my face turned to horror as I read the advertising on the front of the box in my hostess's kitchen. Upon closer inspection, those words "oven," "only," and "10 minutes," didn't actually accurately reflect what the buyer was required to do after purchase. What the box actually said was that the cake (mix) could go "Into the oven in only 10 minutes." So with the 10 minutes it took to get the mix into the oven, plus the additional 45 minutes to bake and another 15 minutes to cool down, this "easy-to-make" cake took over an hour to get on the table.

I'm normally a fantastic guest (no, really!) so don't let this keep you from having me visit. I'll make sure not to plunder your kitchen cabinets for ingredients to put together whatever it is that I was supposed to make before I got there.

Hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day!

2 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

tamakikat said...

That's soo funny. I totally get where you've been with that cake. I'm good at Japanese but don't read what I don't have to (-selective vision?) which makes life interesting at times.

Asianmommy said...

That is hilarious! A friend of mine tells a story about his mom who, soon after coming to the US from Taiwan, bought a cake and put it in the oven, since it came from the store very cold. Imagine her surprise when she later checked on it, and it had melted to nothing, as it was cake made out of ice cream. :)

 

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