Sunday, September 16, 2007

Coffee and Cupcakes

There is something about a small select demographic group more commonly known as Older Sisters born in 1979. They are at the best of times, mercurial, because they can be saccharine sweet one minute and the resident queen bitch from hell the next. Like walking time bombs, they're primed to blow up in your face anytime, usually when you least expect it. Most of the time though, they remain painfully annoying, though these days as siblings grow up, the physical pain diminishes, replaced instead by a healthy dose of annoyance.

Alright before the brickbats come out, let me just say that this is an extremely broad generalization, even when confined amongst the already restricted subset of qualifiers (ie: Women, Older Sisters, Born in 1979). I'm sure there are nice wonderful Older Sisters born in good ole' 1979 who are like angels to their younger sibling(s) and treat them decently. And they never attempted to whack/smack/hack at their younger more vulnerable siblings back when both were still kids. I'm sure there are. But, this observation about Older Sisters born in 1979 has been backed by personal experience (duh) and an impromptu snap poll I did on my friends who have Older Sisters born in '79.

The experiences were rather similar albeit in a disheartening way. We came to the sad but true conclusion that we were terrorised and quite possibly traumatised by the queen bees in our lives as little tykes. A. got kicked by her sister and was sent flying across the room in a trip that ended in hospital to stitch up the wound, L. got walloped by his lovely sis with her hairbrush when she accused him of touching her stuff, I got scratched and smacked frequently for a variety of reasons that ranged from the petty (making too much noise) to the downright illogical (never follow me- WHACK!).

Then by the time we grew big enough to fight back, they resorted to subterfuge, sabotage and other disingenuous means of carrying on the vendetta. It's an art, they've refined it so well, they can still annoy today and do it so effortlessly. That's how far they've advanced. ^^. Plus they've had more years of practice at it than we'll ever have. It probably started at the crib ( 'Hey look Mommy's not watching, I'm going to pinch him and see how loud he squeals.') but hey they're still our Sisters.

So anyway, the Sister in another of her stunning displays of wealth came home the other day with a KRUPS espresso and cappuccino making machine, which she then proudly showed off with great aplomb.

Her Preciousss.

And she paid $550 plus for it. Just for good coffee in the morning. I was quite used to the UCC Instant Coffee for my before-work-morning fix after hauling myself out of bed but since she's obviously quite loaded, I'll make good use of the contraption when I get back to work. After all, who needs coffee now, when you get up at Noon. But the Sister does pride herself on being a coffee connoisseur. So she was going on an on about how easy it was to use and how she quizzed the salesman and how he could answer everything.

For a moment, just for a moment I was impressed. The contraption after all didn't look very user friendly and prior experience with the superb coffee machine back at the office taught me that effective usage didn't merely entail the pressing of a couple of buttons. But she insisted on doing a demo, saying "You'll love the Cappuccino!" She assembled the thing with great difficulty, even though the manual was just beside her, cleaned the stuff and commenced.

Which didn't turn out very well, apart from inserting the tube too quickly into the milk container which forced out a stream of milk right unto her dress and a corresponding shriek, the milk came out thin with barely any froth. Frowning dismally at it, the Sister complained, "Huh why is it like that one? When the guy did it, it was frothy!" The instruction sheet with pictures and numbered steps still lay beside the box, forlorn and forgotten.

"Did you preheat it first?", I asked pointing at the blatantly obvious Step 1 instruction. Press Steam Button to preheat. "Huh? How? " "Read the instructions.." "You do for me can..." So I did, and ok la it looked and tasted like good Cappuccino. On a side note though, I've never really understood why girls buy all this techie stuff and appliances, refuse to read the manual provided and complain about how difficult it is to use the electrical widget or appliance they just bought. That is till a female friend did that to me one day, taking out her newly bought digital camera then after attempting and failing to perform some function without even glancing at the manual, asked me for help.

"Read the manual la. Instructions are over there." (me)
"Help me la. It's so complicated, I won't understand it (manual) anyway." (her)
"Really, after spending money on something so expensive, shouldn't you at least read the manual and figure out how to use all the functions yourself?" (me)
"No, that's what guys are for what. *titter*" (her)

So guys (the straight ones at least), now you know what else the ladies want you for. That's right, reading manuals and road maps. And as the friend added, apparently if you teach them and they still don't get it, it's your fault that you suck at teaching. ^^

Back to the Sister, if there's one thing we share in common and agree upon, it's our absolute passion for desserts and good, dark chocolate in particular. And she just happens to be good at baking. So everytime she bakes, especially her brownies, chocolate fudge cakes and the scrumptious carrot cake I am always thrilled. Even though the way to a man's heart may not be through his stomach, it certainly makes him a happy (aka sated) man.

This time round, she tried something different, basically making some cup caked version of the usual brownie, filled with chopped roasted walnuts and topped with more chocolate fudge and sprinkled with almond flakes, all done with that 85% cocoa butter based Valhrona dark chocolate. Which for a Chocolate junkie like me is the dessert equivalent of an orgasmic high. None of that crappy 'chocolate' you find so often outside.

The Result... alas gone all too soon.

The Sister unfortunately continues to remain mercurial, it's a fact I've resigned myself to and one she readily reinforces shortly after churning out such heavenly cupcakes, ranting about how the game I installed two years ago on the desktop (City of Heroes) is slowing down the system (when she's been installing all the rubbishy programs which run in the background, along with her 4 GB worth of pictures and movies).

She still pisses me off by washing and hanging her stinky thongs in our bathroom. And I respond by studiously leaving the toilet seat cover up every time I visit the loo. Ah the joys of sibling love and affection.


Anonymous said...

try this.. it's good =)

Aelgtoer said...

Mmm,looks good. Now to get the sister to bake it. ^^

wildgoose said...

Valrhona! If I get to eat Valrhona brownies, I'll happily read an instruction manual. How hard is that?!!

Aelgtoer said...

Ha ha I always end up reading the instruction manuals anyway, Valrhona cakes or not. Might as well make full use of the appliances even though I didn't buy them.
But yah I'm glad She's such a food snob sometimes. :P

Suzie Wong said...

I'm sucker for pastries! the brownie cupcakes....yumm....

sinlady said... I know where I want to be invited for coffee and cupcakes :)

Aelgtoer said...

Suzie: I'm a sucker for desserts in general. Yum.:P

Sinlady: Heh, can la no problem, if you don't mind the mess all over the place. :)