Travel Thoughts and Twinkies 

This past weekend, I made the journey across states to head back home. I haven’t done the trip by myself in quite a while. Typically, I would have at least Milo with and sometimes Josh too. With Josh having a better work schedule now, he is able to fulfill more of a role as pet parent and he kept Milo for my weekend with my family in Minnesota. One way, it’s about a 7 hour drive (so 14 hours round trip). I spend 2 days just traveling. Which is why I only make the trip about every 6-8 weeks.

Some people say they worry about me when I do the drive on my own. But I relish it. 14 hours is a lot of think time. And snack time. Let’s be serious. It’s amazing where the mind can take you when all you have to do is sit and drive across 3 states. Here’s how my solo drive went, in no particular order.

*Gorging on cheddar sour cream chips and caramel bugles. Caramel bugles are salty sweet goodness. Make sure you have some in your life.

*Reliving moments in time. Because there’s something about replaying memories to help pass the time.

*Filling the full cast of several musicals. My current guilty pleasure is Hamilton. History has never been my subject of choice, but I can throw down a historical rap with the best of them.

*Planning out logistics of going back to school-with several different timelines.

*Shopping plans, to-do lists, meal planning for next week, and so on.

The reason I traveled to MN was for my mother. She turned 50 on Monday. One time when we were traveling, she said to me “If I was ever in an accident, I would want it to be with a Twinkie truck. Because then all the Twinkies will come flying at me.” I recently got the book “Duff Bakes”. I got into baking from watching Ace of Cakes on Food Network in the basement of my childhood home. I like to think that Duff is my baking spirit animal. In his book, there is a recipe for homemade Twinkies. And since my moms dream is to have Twinkies come flying at her, it seemed only fitting to change it up from cake to Twinkies for the big half century birthday.

The pan I used is the “delectovals” pan from Wilton. Aka, a pan with Twinkie shapes. I obviously overfilled a little bit. The recipe said it would make 18, and I got 12. But I now see that I could’ve easily got 18.

Because I overfilled, I cut a straight edge with a serrated knife. It was pretty easy to see where my straight edge should be. Serrated knives are my favorite- so great for cutting cake and bread.

Then I mixed up the filling. The filling included marshmallow fluff. Marshmallow fluff tops the list of my least favorite things to bake with (it’s right up there with sour cream). It’s so sticky and you feel like you have it in all the crevices of your hands and kitchen for days. To put the filling in, I took a circle piping tip and pushed it into the straight edge of the cake in 3 spots.

The reaction of everyone seeing the container on the counter was “Are those Twinkies?!” My brother decided they were “Winkies” or “Twankies” because they weren’t exact Twinkies, but they were close- like an off brand. :)

When I make these again, I might substitute with all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. The cake part itself was good, but I’m just more likely to have all-purpose on hand. Also, my filling didn’t really go inside the Twinkie. It was just on the bottom. In the future, I will be pre-carving out little holes and then filling.

Can you believe this lady is 50?! Here’s to the best decade yet (aside from your 20s, because, you know, that’s when I appeared in your life :D). I’m so grateful to have such a strong and beautiful lady as my mom.



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