Steel Magnolias / Cuppa cuppa cuppa cake

28 Feb


I have loved Steel Magnolias since I first saw it in my friend’s dorm room when I was 18. Its the story of a group of women living in a small southern town who come together and share their lives at a local beauty parlor. Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis have the best lines, showing that age does not mellow a person, at all. Julia Roberts was still young and adorable and watchable in this film. She hasn’t been really personable for some time now (sorry Jules). Darryl Hannah tackles the part of Annelle and is mostly convincing at being terribly awkward but she is still beautiful, lithe and like seven feet tall. How awkward can a super model really be?  Dolly Parton is, well, Dolly Parton, fun, friendly and country to the core. I cry, every time with Sally Field. But I can’t tell you why, because you might be one of those deprived individuals who have yet to see the movie.

The best part of the film, in my opinion,  is the sense of community conveyed by the almost entirely female cast. Everyone knows everyone else. Everyone is aware of everyone else’s business and try to stick their noses in wherever they can. Out of the goodness of their heart’s of course. This community of women gathers together at the beauty parlor to get their hair done but they also discuss their lives and are there to circle the wagons when disaster strikes.

Disaster is not so unlike what happened today…

During one of the beauty salon scenes, Dolly Parton, as Truvy and Olympia Dukakis, as Clairee are discussing recipes. Clairee asks Truvy about the “cuppa cuppa cuppa” recipe. Truvy, while creating a bouffant on Julia Robert’s head says, “It’s a cup of sugar, a cup of flour, a cup of fruit cocktail with the juice and you just mix and bake at 350 until gold and bubbly”.

This sounds like the most simple recipe in the world, yet I still screwed it up.  Let us begin at the beginning.

The cast of characters: Flour, sugar, fruit cocktail (who would have known that fruit cocktail had grapes in it too?), Diet, Caffeine-free Dr. Pepper (nothing in the kitchen can be done without aittle fake sugar refreshment) and milk not shown because I didn’t know I needed it until after this picture.

I figured the fruit cocktail would have included enough juice to make the mixture moist, but it didn’t. I added milk because hey, other baking recipes include milk, and adding apple juice seemed wrong. You can see the batter looking like a sand pit wearing fruit cocktail in picture three.  Also, Truvy, as wonderful a hairdresser as she may be, does not give detailed instructions. I just guessed on the whole “g0ld and bubbly” part. The batter never got gold, as you can see in picture number four. It got slightly less pale and bubbled and then became rubber. So I might not have even cooked it long enough. Or maybe I cooked it too long.

What have we learned from this kids?

Don’t add your own ingredients to baked goods if you don’t have a pretty good idea of what will happen.  Now, you know it will lead to sugar-laden material suitable  for soling your shoes. And then ,really, don’t eat a bunch of it anyway. Just don’t.

I really need the structure of an actual, tested recipe, written by someone who actually exists. If you are a total baking rock star, you can probably pull this one off just fine. Go for it. What else have you got to do today? If you get it right, let me know and we can meet at Truvy’s Beauty Spot, eat and get our nails done.

I want to say thank you, Ms. Stephanie Dyer, because you owned Steel Magnolias. You let me watch it. You got me hooked. I decided to follow in the pioneer woman’s footsteps and try the recipe for myself.

Love to all, but I’m gonna go sleep this one off.


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