Making Cake Pops with my Daughter

It was fully a year ago that Eliana and I went to a cake pop making class in Ann Arbor, but it came up today in water cooler conversation. Of course, I saw the metaphor in the method, so I had to share it.

First, I didn’t realize that cake pops are made from the rejects and leftovers of cake, mushed together with frosting in a big bowl and rolled into tight little balls on a stick, which we dipped into ganache to set. It’s the leftovers made pretty, and once I got over my initial shock at the simplicity, I decided to revel in the message.

I’ve always been the leftover chef.

At the beach every year with my in-laws, the day after my mother-in-law’s “Big Eat” dinner party, I take over the kitchen. I love opening the fridge and finding all sorts of bits and bites to make into scrumptious dishes. I love filling the table with new versions of old dishes.

It seems to happen mostly with food, but I suppose we could take rejects and cast-offs and repurpose in other ways, too. Think about “vintage” clothing – used! Finding new life. Furniture at the curb – it’s picked over before the garbage truck ever arrives.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Cake pops look so delicious, a pint-sized treat that isn’t too much of an indulgence, so we can rationalize it for our waist lines.

And now organizations are popping up to repurpose and recycle. Humble Design. Camp Invention. Salvation Army.

It’s not new. It’s an old idea become popular once again. Repurpose, recycle.

It’s really seeing things through new eyes. Looking at life a different way. Hell, when we buy houses instead of building new, that’s the classic example of giving new life to something someone else no longer wants.

I went to the cake pop class ostensibly to spend time with my daughter, who has dreams of a culinary career. We loved the evening – sitting close together, perched on stools, dressed in aprons. We figured out a synergy of rolling and securing with white sticks, dipping in ganache and setting on wax paper to harden.

The purpose is new life in every moment. Doesn’t matter what the ingredients are or what we recycle. It’s about the meaning.

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