Life is full of those little inefficiencies. Some just happen to us--like trying to accomplish anything in China. And others we choose--like making cupcakes with a two year old. This is the story of one such inefficiency.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. Boxed cake mix & tub o' icing--check. Because why would you make it from scratch when you can just pick it up at the grocery store? Not like I did a lot of scratch making in China anyway. When I did, it resulted in failure, tears, and calling my more domestic friends to bail me out. Now that's inefficient!
And don't forget your two year old sous chef. A necessary component for optimal inefficiency.
Step 2: Get your eggs.
Step 3: Make egg glasses.
Step 4: Find a mixing bowl. This will actually take a considerable amount of time since said sous chef and his younger brother can access the kitchen cabinet where mixing bowls are kept and have either broken or relocated the majority of them.
Step 5: Use mixing bowl as hat.
Step 6: Remove little curly hairs from mixing bowl.
Step 7: Dump cake mix in bowl.
Step 8: Revel in the fact that only about 2/3 of the mix landed in the bowl. Contemplate recalibrating the recipe to compensate for missing cake mix but then realize that baking with a two year old is stressful enough. There is no need to add math to the mix.
Step 9: Crack eggs.
Inefficiency is greatly increased by allowing sous chef to accomplish this fun and oh-so messy task. Likelihood of eating eggshells, contracting salmonella, and going gray are also increased.
Step 10: Add oil & water.
Step 11: Mix, mix, mix.
This step can be the most time consuming of all and might require a little assistance from mom. If your goal is maximum inefficiency, let sous chef be solely responsible for the batter. Just expect lots of flour bombs bites in your finished product.
Step 12: Insert cupcakes liners into muffin tins. It is possible that sous chef might become distracted by the pretty colors and crunchy paper, thus extending the time invested in making cupcakes.
Step 13: Spoon batter into cupcake liners.
Step 14: Sneak a taste of the batter.
Step 15: Scold little chef for abandoning his finger as a sampling tool and licking the entire spoon instead. Receive disapproving look from little chef.
Step 16: Bake cupcakes. (It's understandable if pictures of sous chef participating in this step are not captures. It is also more understandable if sous chef isn't included in this step at all!)
Step 17: Slather that delicious blend of sugar & partially hydrogenated soy bean oil all over cooled cupcake. It is also understandable if sous chef is excluded from this step because your awesome outdoor lighting for pictures is dwindling.
Step 18: Show off your culinary accomplishment.
Step 19: The most important step of all...stuff your face.
Step 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25: Ask for more cupcake.
There ya have it. What the Duncan Hines box limits to three steps, a two year old can stretch to twenty-five. But as all moms of two year olds have come to know & appreciate, it's not efficiency that counts but the experience.