Friday, May 8, 2009

Sunshine and Cupcakes

Today my co-workers hosted a farewell luncheon for our director of development. I didn’t participate in passive protest to how he’s handled his impending departure.

The story is... he and his partner are relocating to New York, and although I’m sure this move has been in the making for months, he only informed us of his resignation two weeks ago. Yes, I know two weeks notice is standard, but this guy is a director of a department and in charge of coordinating our annual fundraiser scheduled for the first Sunday in June. Prior to, and since his resignation, he’s been totally lax in pulling the event together.

Now… I know we'll pull it off, but his decision to leave at this stage of the game has left us in a terribly vulnerable position. I just think the responsible thing to do would have included either giving at least a month’s notice or postponing his departure until after the fundraiser. When working in a non-profit environment, you're usually working with too few hands to accomplish all that needs to get done, and I would have just appreciated it if this cat had gotten his hustle on, so that the rest of us wouldn't be left scrambling to do three month’s worth of work in less than a month.

Sure, maybe I should have approached him directly to let him know how I feel, but I didn’t trust my tongue. I was afraid I’d just let loose and cuss him out and that would have simply been counterproductive. So, I’ve kept my distance, been professional and counted down to his last day. I just couldn’t bring myself to put on a happy face for a staff lunch in his honor, while it’s remained unsaid that his departure is leaving us in a lurch. Right before lunch commenced, I grabbed my bag and headed out to run a few errands in preparation for this weekend’s show. No harm, no foul.

I’m sure my recent disposition hasn’t been helped because it’s like the 10th consecutive day of dark clouds and intermittent rain showers and thunderstorms. I’m aware of how I’m sometimes affected by limited exposure to sun light. We had a bit more sunlight today and it looks like the weekend may bring even more, so I’m hoping my spirits will get a lift.

One thing that did lift my spirits this week is my newest cupcake creation. I've decided to call it my “Matisse Cupcake.” I caught glimpse of this scrumptious little devil over at 37 Paddington. It’s a vanilla cupcake with each layer a different color. Olivia used her talents as a visual artist to create an outstanding color palette. Below is a delicious recipe I found over at Enjoy!

Mango Mama's Matisse Cupcakes

2-1/2 cups AP flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cup sugar

12 tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

2 large egg + 2 egg white, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (I used a ½ cup of milk and ½ pf buttermilk)
food coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, purple (I used Wilton’s coloring gel)
 garnish (skittles, peeps, sprinkles)

buttercream frosting (favorite recipe or canned)
[NOTES: You could substitute a white cake mix for the cupcake recipe too.]

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the sugar and butter until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating on low.
Then add vanilla.
Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter into 5 different bowls.
Add food coloring per bowl and mix to combine until you get the vibrant color you want.
Add batter color by color, about 1 tbsp of each color until all the colors fill the cupcake liner about 1/2-2/3 full.

Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.


Angella Lister said...

very nice!

Anonymous said...

That sucks that only 2 weeks notice was given but I believe that the days of giving longer notice are in the past because loyalty from the company or organization to an employee are no longer there. The job market dictates that it's "every man for himself".

We had a guy that had been with our company for 9+ years...he was the only person that held the cards for a particular task but he had been working non-stop for months and had been asking for help. He didn't get it, gave 2 weeks notice and took a job paying less money. It doesn't sound like your organization mistreats its' staff but our culture dictates that the company/organization isn't going to look out for you and will lay you off at a moments notice...justified or not. As a result, people react to the culture set by big business and we all suffer.

When I left my job on the east coast, I gave a month's notice but not because of loyalty to the company. Primarily, it was because I worked with friends and I wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible. Had that not been the case, I don't know if I'd given more than 2 weeks notice. I'd like to think I would but I'm not going to make that claim.