American Girl dolls. American Girl dolls is all I have been hearing for over a year. Our daughter can’t get enough of them and when asked what she would like for her birthday, the holidays, or on a Wednesday (joke), she doesn’t pause to take a breath or give the question any additional thought: An American Girl something.
Luckily, she also has quite an imagination and makes up humorous and somewhat gruesome stories for her dolls. K can be found in her room setting up a Tier 3 ER for her American Girl dolls who have recently been in a deadly helicopter accident and were then “mauled” (aka sniffed) by the German Shepherd, who for the sake of the game is now a Saber Toothed Tiger.
Imagine my surprise several weeks ago when I discovered the American Girl dolls had been left by the wayside and K was parked in front of the television watching the Food Channel’s latest dessert show: Cupcake Wars. When I tried to distract her, she promptly told me: “Not now Mom! I’m about to find out who won this season’s competition!” Uh, huh? What exactly was she watching? It seems that K is hooked on a show that, like Top Chef (on the Bravo network), pits chefs (Pastry chefs in this case) against each other for the honor of winning an award and monetary compensation. In K’s case, she was watching the final episode of the 3rd season in which Chefs Casey Shiller, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, and Dana Holland, executive chef of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe competed against several other teams on the episode entitled “The Final Frontier,” an outer space theme. The winner’s cupcakes would be featured at a VIP party honoring the first man in space. Guess who won? And guess who was screaming with joy and jumping all over our living room furniture? Yeah, it was Jilly’s and K was THRILLED!
So it seems that the competition had been re-run in preparation for Season #4 beginning in January, 2012 but K didn’t know (or care). When we told her that we decided to go to St. Louis for a winter break holiday, K’s first questions were “Can we go to Jilly’s? You know their in St. Louis too?”
So off we were to visit some wonderful friends in St. Louis and go to Jilly’s.
We showed up at the bakery a bit later than we had intended: 4:30 p.m. The bakery was scheduled to close in 30 minutes. How were to know that we were about to experience Divine Intervention in the shape of Jill Segal and a fantastic cupcake? When Jill saw us taking pictures, she sadly told us that they were OUT OF CUPCAKES! OMG! We came all this way (from Chicago to St. Louis) and they were out of cupcakes? I couldn’t help it. I swear that the words just slipped out of my mouth: “Oh No! And we drove all of this way! From Chicago to St. Louis just to try your cupcakes! And she (my daughter) is such a fan! You can’t be out of cupcakes now?!?”
Jill just melted in front of us. This wonderful woman who owed us no more than an “I’m sorry but what kind of dummies show up at a bakery 30 minutes before it closes expecting prize winning cupcakes?” explanation, stopped everything that she was doing, grabbed K’s hand, took her to the back room and introduced her to Casey Shiller and Dana Holland, the chefs who created magic and won the contest! K was speechless, and it looked as though she was having trouble breathing because she was so excited to meet her culinary idols! Casey asked K if she was interested in designing her own cupcake? And the rest of the story can be shared through pictures–they are much more interesting and tasty:
What a way to spend a phenomenal afternoon in St. Louis! Adam, K and I had different favorite parts of the trip. Visiting with new and old friends absolutely made the list of highlights. But I think that we can all agree that there is NOTHING like a cupcake to make your day and bring a smile to your face. I cannot thank Jill enough for her hospitality and enthusiasm. Carey and Dana were fun to work (and play) with and I know that K cannot wait to make it back to Jilly’s again for a repeat performance. Be honest, if you had a chance to design your own cupcake with an award winning team, wouldn’t you?
I know that she would!