Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 81,826,882 Issue: 156 | 3rd day of Gathering, Y6
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A Baking Disaster


by _icypanther_

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"I'm bored!! There's nothing to do!" wailed Sugar, the strawberry Moehog. "How come Star gets to have all of the fun?!"

      "Because she's a Beauty Contest pet, remember?" Searklarry said miserably. "She gets Icy Neopoints while we only use them up."

      "That's not our fault! Elephantes are prettier than us…"

      "Try telling that to Star," Searklarry laughed. "Her head is up in the stars."

      "So what are we supposed to do?" Sugar asked again, laying her head dejectedly on the countertop. "Icy said we had the house to ourselves… we just aren't allowed to blow it up again."

      "Don't look at me like that, Sugar! How was I supposed to know oil wouldn't mix with fire?" Sugar glared at the blue Tuskaninny and he immediately fell silent. "So what do you want to do?" he asked after a pause.

      "How about we bake something?" Sugar suggested brightly. "Icy loves Strawberry Shimmer Cake, right? Why don't we make it to surprise her?"

      "Great idea! Umm…how do we make it?"

      "I'm sure the recipe book has it." Crossing the tiled kitchen, Sugar pulled down a thick book. "Let's see…Strawberry…Strawberry Milkshake, Strawberry Poogle Biscuit, Strawberry Salmon, ah, here it is! Strawberry Shimmer Cake!"

      "It looks hard," said Searklarry, looking over his older sister's shoulder. "Are you sure we can make that?"

      "Of course! We just need strawberries, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, milk, and water. Oh! And a tad of vanilla! And some glitter sprinkles…we have those, don't we?"

      "Yeah, we have the sprinkles," said Searklarry, looking at the assortment of items before him. "But we're missing one ingredient…"

      "What?"

      "The sugar. You ate it all a few days ago."

      "Then we'll put salt in its place. They look the same so it shouldn't make a big difference," the Moehog said confidently, now pulling out a mixing bowl from the cabinet.

      "Okay…" said Searklarry hesitantly, placing the jar of salt next to the other ingredients. "What do we do now?"

      "First, we mix the flour with the milk," said Sugar, reading the small text. Searklarry dumped the said items in the large bowl and started to stir it with a large wooden spoon. "Now add the sugar, or in our case salt."

      With a worried glance at the salt, the blue Tuskaninny dumped it into the mixture and began to mash it furiously into the rest of the goop. "Now what?"

      "Cut up about two cups worth of strawberries into small chunks. I'll get the vanilla and eggs in there while you do that."

      Several minutes later the two Neopets had successfully made a reddish cake batter. "Does that look right?" asked Searklarry. "Should we taste test it?"

      "Let's!" A flipper and a hoof were dipped into the bowl and then risen to the Neopets mouths.

      "That's disgusting, Sugar!" coughed Searklarry, spitting the mixture into his hand and rushing for a glass of water to rinse the vile taste from his mouth.

      "It'll taste better when we cook it," assured Sugar, making a her own face at the dough. "Just pour it into the cake pan."

      Still making a face the Tuskaninny put the mixture into the circular pan and stuck it into the oven. "I still feel like we did something wrong," he said, sitting down at the kitchen table.

      "Did you grease the pan?" asked Sugar, now wiping up the mess they had left on the counter.

      "Ummm…"

      "Don't worry about it, all the grease does is add fat."

      "Are you sure about that?"

      "Why do you think Icy won't let us have French fries? They cook them in grease!!"

      "Oh, it that why?"

      "Yep!"

      "What do we do now? I'm bored again!"

      "Why don't we make dinner?" suggested Sugar. "Whenever Icy and Star get home they're both always really tired…we could make them dinner so then Icy doesn't have to cook!"

      "At least it's something to do…besides, we're getting really good at this cooking thing."

      "We'll have Grackle Stuffed Turkey! We haven't had that in forever!"

      "Where do we find Grackle Bugs?" asked Searklarry, a puzzled look on his face. "And do we even have a turkey?"

      "Of course we have turkey!" Sugar disappeared into the walk in refrigerator and came out with the bird wrapped up in plastic wrap. "Icy never cooked it for Thanksgiving Dinner because you blew up the house a few days before…we went out for dinner that year."

      "Oh yeah," murmured Searklarry, a faint blush forming on his cheeks. "I'm glad the turkey lived through the explosion though!" Then as a second thought he said, "But where do we get Grackle Bugs?"

      "Hmmm…I'm not sure," Sugar mused. "I think any bugs would work…Icy has some worms in the garden. Those should be okay."

      "Okay, I'll go get the shovels," said Searklarry.

      He and Sugar met in the garden on the side of the house, the Tuskaninny armed with two shovels. "How many do you think we'll need?" he asked, scooping dirt away from the tomato plants.

      "About thirty I'd think. We want to make sure the whole turkey is filled up." For the next half an hour the two siblings toiled in the soil, dumping the worms they found in a plastic bucket Sugar had brought out.

      "I think we have enough now," said Searklarry, looking into to container, now filled to the top with wriggling, brown worms. "I'm actually starting to feel a tad…sick," he muttered, turning his head away.

      Bravely, Sugar picked up the bucket and carried it into the kitchen. "Hand me the strainer, would you?" she asked, holding out a hand. "We should wash them before we put them in the turkey."

      A few seconds later the worms had gone from dirt covered to bright, shiny pink. Sugar cut a hole in the side of the turkey and scraped out some of the insides. "I think I really am going to be sick," gasped Searklarry, running from the room with a paw over his mouth. The Moehog shrugged and poured the wriggling masses into the semi-hollow turkey.

      Hefting it into a large baking pan she placed it on the counter next to the stove to wait for the cake to finish before she put the turkey in.

      BRRIIIIINNNGGGGGGGG!!!!!

      "There's the timer," she said happily, opening the oven door and pulling out the Strawberry Shimmer Cake. Setting it on top of the stove she slid the turkey in and programmed it to cook for an hour. "Searklarry! We need to frost the cake!" she hollered, carrying the dessert over to the table.

      The slightly green Tuskaninny appeared back in the room, now taking deep breaths to calm his stomach. "Here's the cream to put on," he said, handing her a small tub off of the counter.

      "Shaving Cream," she read. "Are you sure this is the right stuff?"

      "Pretty sure. It's the only cream I can find in the whole house! Although I only remember it being here since Icy's dad came over for a day…"

      "First we need to add some melted caramel to it," said Sugar, reading the instructions for the frosting. "That makes it turn honey brown and adds a sweet flavor. After that we add the cherries and the sprinkles."

      "I have a question, Sugar. Aren't we supposed to take the cake out of the pan to decorate it?"

      "It won't come out," said the strawberry Moehog, turning the cake over and shaking it. "It shouldn't really be a problem, though. We'll just have to scoop it out come dinner."

      With a large metal spoon, Sugar began to spread the shaving cream over the cake, humming softly as she went. Following behind her, Searklarry placed on the bright red cherries on random globs of cream.

      After Sugar finished frosting the cake, she dumped the container of sprinkles on top of the dessert, a rain of shiny, sugary particles falling lightly to cover the entire item. "All done," she said with a smile. "I'm sure Icy will love it!"

      A little over an hour later the turkey was set on the kitchen table, the aroma wafting around the kitchen, making Searklarry run out of the room, once more green. Sugar poured glasses of ice water for the family and sat down in an empty chair to wait for her owner and Star.

      The grating of a key in the lock caused the Neopet to jump out of her chair and race to open the door. "You're home!" she cried joyously. "How did it go today?"

      The starry Elephante smiled tiredly. "I placed first again," she said, sitting down wearily on the couch. "There was some really heavy competition though."

      "But Star did great," praised Icy, her brown eyes twinkling happily. "What were you and Searklarry up to while we were gone?" the owner asked, turning to her eldest pet.

      "We made dinner! I hope you like it…"

      "I'm sure I will," Icy said with a smile. Inside though she thought, I think I'm going to need some of that stomach medication I bought…

      The Moehog brought her sibling and owner into the brightly lit kitchen and sat them down at the table. "Dig in!" she exclaimed, sitting down in her chair. Searklarry entered the room a minute later to see how much Icy liked his food.

      Star waited patiently to see what her owner thought of the meal before she sampled any herself. Delicately, Icy cut off a piece of the turkey and set it on her plate. A piece of cake, one which she had to cut off the top of the dessert, followed.

      Raising a bite of the turkey to her mouth, she chewed cautiously, an expression of horror coming over her face before Icy managed to swallow it. "…delicious," she gagged, forcing another bite into her mouth.

      After eating all of the turkey the slightly ill looking girl took a nibble of the cake. "It's wonderful," she gasped, forcing the rest into her mouth. The things I do for my pets…

      Quickly the girl took a sip of the water, a relived smile on her face. "Wonderful!" she exclaimed, finally having found something edible.

      "The water took us the most time," announced Searklarry. "We had to make it just right…"

      "And you did a very nice job," Icy complimented. "For dinner next time, both you and Sugar will make the water, okay?"

      "Sounds good," said the Moehog "Can we make the meal, too?"

      "Let's leave that to me," the owner said with a smile. "You two deserve a break for all the work you've done."

      "We like cooking, Icy," protested Sugar. "We'll make dinner tomorrow night, too!"

      The Elephante had noticed the pained expression on her owner's face and realized what the problem was. In a whisper Star leaned over and said to Icy, "We pick up take-out tomorrow night, right?"

      Icy only nodded weakly.

The End     

 
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