Adventures With Mango at After-Hours Club Dollop
Lazing at a bar, espresso in sight, attempting to unblock this writer’s block. I’m supposed to be detailing the Mango frosting adventure that was fashioned last week amongst fellow tweep and blogger Andrea Raethka and I at the afterhours sugarclub, Dollop. However, as much as that evening was spirited, creative, and exhausting, I was not entirely certain of its purpose in the beginning. You see, I have these ideas sometimes; these brain spasms of such magnificent proportion that they just need to be externalized right away. RIGHT AWAY. God forbid I let any period of time pass for the conception to marinate, stew, boil in its own juices, and become a sufficient source of something other than an idealistic gratification that must be played out immediately. IMMEDIATELY. Other than knowing a “girl’s night out” would only be approved by my inner workaholic if involving a productive evening of creating, Andrea and I honestly just allowed spontaneity to carry us on its wings that night.
Andrea’s nickname is Mango, it’s a moniker that developed in grade school and stuck around into her adulthood. Ironically enough, Andrea has never chopped a mango before and in the spirit of full disclosure, neither have I. Anyways, this story is getting away from me a bit (much like the ideas that initially instigated this whole adventure), so let’s knock our mangos off their trees and root this tale back to the ground.
At first glance, and probably second and third glance, Andrea and I would appear as an unlikely pair; a paradox of night and day, air and earth, hell and heaven. Her, a married mother of three, stay at home mom, introvert. Me, a nose to the grindstone, single
reclusive extrovert. What you wouldn’t notice unless you follow Andrea on twitter
, read her controversial blogs
, or catch wind of her facebook updates, is that she is one feisty, snarky, and well-written force of fortitude. Andrea bucks the proverbial “mommy” reputation with her unadulterated accounts of being so much more than JUST a mom. This incredible woman has an insatiable energy that inspires moms to be people first
and mothers second. And although I’ll probably never understand the inherent motherly spirit that Andrea possesses, I have come to the conclusion that I can find common ground with thee who bears children.
Being that both Andrea and I are individuals who are just that, individuals is where we have found our footing. In trying to just be ourselves and guide ourselves into the unknown, we’ve discovered judgment, pointed fingers, and claustrophobia induced suffocation by those who try to squeeze us into pristinely labeled boxes marked “mother” and “cupcake baker”, respectively. Well my friends, we’re here to push those pointed fingers out of our faces and we’ll push forcefully if we need to. Andrea and I are so much more than a label can encompass. Come to think of it, this is probably where our cooking expedition gained legs! What better way to express our individuality than by combining my real love (frosting) with the fruit of which Andrea was named (mangos)?
If you don’t understand my love affair with frosting, let me attempt an explanation. Frosting is versatile, it differentiates, and it’s essential to my life. It represents the top, the bottom, the inside, and the outside. Frosting is the flavor, the flair, the sight you behold, the piece de resistance! Frosting is a driving force and a continuous reminder that life experiences are all about how you top them. Frosting combines, it unites, and it relates to life on all levels. In traditional clichés, the frosting is epitomized as the topping of life; “Oh, my weekend was great; we swam, went to the movies, dined at that new café… the fact that the sun was shining all weekend was just the frosting on the cake!”. Buzzzzahhhh. Wrong. Now I know I’m no expert here but I intrinsically believe that the frosting IS life and that the cake, well, cakes are merely the crumbles of life. Frosting Delivery Vehicles (FDV), cakes are just modems of mediocrity. The frosting is the color, the flavor, the beauty, the spice. If your cake crumbles it’s no big deal as long as you have frosting: your glitter gun for life
Enter our creations:
: Mango cream cheese frosting lusciously spread on a honey wheat wrap, rolled tight with smoked salmon, spinach, and slivered almonds.
: Mango cream cheese frosting donned with dried cranberries and accompanied by a platter of salted stone ground crackers.
: Sweet potato tots rolled in vanilla cake crumbles, crushed popchips, baked till crispy, and served with a cinnamon mango buttercream dip.
: Mango cream cheese filled wontons, baked to a golden brown and drizzled with chocolate ganache.
If all of this frosting madness is making your head swim and challenging your preconceived notions, throw back a shot of frozen cinnamon mango buttercream coconut rum, because I promise I’ll show you how to embrace it in the months to come.
So although I wasn’t completely certain what Mango and I were doing at Dollop on that Labor Day evening with a mess of splayed foods and frostings before us, I wasn’t worried. With frosting as our tool, creativity as our guide, and a new friend by my side, I knew we would succeed at fashioning a memorable moment and a marvelous meal.
Want to see Andrea's take on our evening? Of course you do.
Cupcakes = Life
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