Katie Starting from Scratch (10 page)

BOOK: Katie Starting from Scratch
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“What about tomorrow night?” Mia asked. “We really could use some help selling cupcakes. I have a feeling it's going to get crazy.”

I nodded. “That makes sense. I'll text her.”

I wiped my hands on a towel and texted Emily.

Can u help us sell cupcakes 2morrow night at the show?

She texted me back right away.

I just asked my mom and she said yes! Thanks!

I looked at Alexis. “Do we have any extra Cupcake T-shirts?” I asked. Mia had designed a logo for us that said
, and we had them put on T-shirts. They were really cute, and we wore them to different events.

Alexis nodded. “It was cheaper to order a large quantity, so I have extras.”

“Can Emily have one?” I asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Everyone who sells cupcakes should wear one. And we should also discuss giving Emily a portion of our profits tomorrow.”

Whenever we do an event, some of the money goes into a fund to buy supplies, some of it goes
into savings, and the rest of it gets divided between the four of us.

“It shouldn't be a full share since she's not baking,” Alexis said. “How about I give her half of my share, since I'm not selling?”

“That sounds good to me,” I said, and Emma and Mia nodded in agreement.

I quickly texted Emily.

You will get a T-shirt and we will pay you too.

And she texted back:

“She really is pretty nice,” I said. “I guess if I am going to have a little sister, she's not so bad. I just don't know if I'll ever get used to things. I mean, it's always just been me and my mom. Everything's different. It's like I'm starting my whole life from scratch.”

“Well, you know, stuff that's made from scratch is much better than stuff that comes from a box,” Alexis pointed out. “That's why we don't make cupcakes from a mix.”

“Speaking of cupcakes, we'd better get baking,” I said, stifling a yawn. “I know it's early now, but I don't want to be up all night doing this.”

It didn't end up taking us all night, but it did
take a long time, especially since we were doing the two-toned cupcakes. We had to pour one batter into the mold at a time, move the mold again, and pour again. Then we had to mix up more batter. We had a real assembly line going. By the time we had the last cupcake pan in the oven, we had been baking for three hours.

“You girls need a break,” insisted Mrs. Becker, Alexis's mom. She's very organized and focused, just like Alexis. “I have set up some sandwiches and salad for you in the dining room. Please have something to eat before you fall asleep in that batter.”

So we took a quick break to eat, and then Alexis and I got to work on the two batches of icing—yellow and blue—while Mia and Emma rolled out the fondant and cut out the stars. We all worked together to put the stars on the way Emily had suggested. They looked so good that I took a photo of them and sent it to her. I got three more
s back and a lot of exclamation points.

When the cupcakes were done, we carefully packed them into our carriers and extra boxes, because we didn't have enough carriers for all the cupcakes.

“We should probably invest in more carriers,” Alexis said, making a note on her tablet.

“Hey, we haven't done a test one,” Emma realized.

“Let me get my dad,” Alexis suggested.

Mr. Becker was yawning when Alexis brought him in. She handed him a cupcake covered with yellow frosting and decorated with yellow and blue stars. He immediately woke up.

“School colors,” he said. “Nice.”

Then he bit into it. He looked at the inside of the cupcake, and his eyes got wide.

“What do you know? Two different colors? How did you do that?” he asked. “That's pretty cool.”

“It's a trade secret,” Alexis told him.

“Well, I'm impressed,” he said. “Tastes good too. The lemon is very refreshing.”

“Refreshing,” Alexis repeated, typing into her tablet. (She took notes on just about everything, but they came in handy. If a client ever wanted us to describe our lemon cupcakes, we'd have been able to have said that they were “refreshing.”)

We were all pretty tired by the time we cleaned up.

“So, um, can one of you guys bring the cupcakes in tomorrow?” Alexis asked. “I'll be, um, kind of busy before the show.”

“I almost forgot!” I said. “I am so dying to know what you are going to do tomorrow.”

“You'll find out soon,” Alexis said with a grin.

“Fine.” I sighed. “I'll ask my mom if we can pick them up.”

“Maybe you can get me on the way, and I'll help carry,” Mia suggested.

“And I could meet you here,” Emma said.

I smiled at my friends. “You guys are the most awesome friends ever, you know that? I'm sorry if I acted like a jerk the other day.”

Mia hugged me. “Act like a jerk all you want. We will still love you.”

That night, I went to bed excited for the next day. It was the first time I had felt that way in a long time. It was a good feeling, and it was all thanks to my friends.

Lunch. School. Cupcake.

hen Mia and I got to Alexis's house the next day, her dad answered the door.

“Hey, girls,” he said. “The cupcake containers are inside.”

Emma ran up behind us. She lives a few houses away from Alexis.

“Can we see her?” Emma asked.

“As a matter of fact, I am under strict orders
to let you see her,” Mr. Becker replied with a twinkle in his eyes. “I believe she wants to keep everything a surprise.”

Emma walked to the bottom of the stairs. “Alexis, you have to at least show us what you're wearing!” she called up.

Alexis's big sister, Dylan, responded. “Alexis
can't talk right now. And her outfit is a surprise.”

I looked at Mia. “Is she wearing a chicken suit or something?”

Mia giggled. “Can you imagine?”

Emma looked at us. “I am going to go crazy! She has never kept a secret from me for this long before.”

“Do you girls need help carrying the cupcake carriers?” Mr. Becker interrupted. “I know Alexis wouldn't want you to be late.”

“Sure, thanks,” I said, and we carried all the cupcakes out to my mom's car and stacked them neatly in the hatch. She had one of those trunk organizers, so the carriers wouldn't slide around when the car moved.

When we pulled up to the school, Jeff and Emily were waiting for us by the front entrance. Emily was wearing her Cupcake Club T-shirt. Jeff had stopped by our house earlier that morning to pick it up.

“Hi!” she said. “Thanks for the shirt. It's really nice.”

Emma smiled at her. “Every official helper gets a shirt.”

“Gee, can't I get a shirt?” Jeff asked.

Emily rolled her eyes. “Dad, tasting doesn't count as helping!” she complained.

“Maybe if you help us carry in these cupcakes,” I said. “Although I'm not sure if we have a shirt in your size.”

Jeff laughed. “No problem. I'll carry cupcakes for you guys whenever you want.”

We carefully brought the carriers inside and set them down next to the folding table that had been set up for us right outside the entrance to the auditorium. Mia covered the table with a tablecloth she had made: blue with cut-out yellow stars glued to it.

“Ooh, that's so pretty!” Emma said.

Mia grinned. “And that's not all.” She opened up a box she had brought from the car. Inside were our cupcake display stands. We'd used some of our first profits to buy the stands. They were big, round plates set on top of posts. The posts were different heights, which made the display look more interesting.

The basic stands were white plastic. Mia figured out that we could customize them for different events by making little tablecloths and draping them over each post. She got big paper or plastic tablecloths and then cut them into smaller circles to fit over the stands. For the talent show, she'd made blue covers with yellow stars, and yellow covers with blue stars to match the cupcakes.

We helped Mia set up the stands, and then it was time to start placing the cupcakes. I was opening the first carrier when a woman in a red skirt and blazer walked up to us. Behind her was another woman with a big camera—the kind they use to record news events.

“You must be the Cupcake Club,” the woman said. “I'm Mary Chang.”

She had a perky voice and perfect, white teeth. Not one hair on her head was out of place. Even if she didn't have the camerawoman behind her, I would have guessed that she was a news reporter.

I felt nervous right away, but thankfully, Emma spoke up.

“Hi,” she said. “I'm Emma Taylor. Alexis told me to expect you.”

“Well, then we want to do a short feature on you girls,” she said. She nodded to the camerawoman. “Alexis filled us in on all the details, so Shannon here will film you while you're setting up. Then I'll ask you a few questions, if that's okay.”

Emma nodded. “That would be great. Thanks!”

So we started to put the cupcakes on the stands, but it was kind of weird with this big camera lens following us around and bright lights shining on us. I kept trying not to look at the camera, but I knew
I kept staring at it. It was really weird, and then all of the sudden I was self-conscious.

“Just be natural,” Mary Chang called out, and I had a feeling she was talking to me.

Finally, we had the stands covered with cupcakes. The extra cupcakes were still stashed safely in their carriers.

“Okay, great,” Mary said. “So, why don't you girls stand behind the table so we can see you and the cupcakes together, and I'll ask you some questions, okay?”

“Sounds good,” Mia replied. Like Emma, she sounded really confident. But my palms were starting to get all sweaty, which is not a good thing when you're selling cupcakes.

“So, how did you girls get the idea for the Cupcake Club?” Mary asked.

“It started on our first day of middle school, when Katie brought a cupcake to lunch,” Emma said, pointing to me.

“Um, right,” I said. “Lunch. School. Cupcake.” I had no idea what I was saying!

Mary put the microphone in front of Emily's face. “Aren't you adorable? So, tell me, how do you come up with your cupcake flavors?”

“Oh, I'm just a helper,” Emily replied. “Katie is a
total baking genius. You should talk to her.”

I was flattered Emily said that, but I was panicked, too.
Flavors? What are flavors?
It's like my mind went blank.

Luckily, Mia knows me really well. She saw the panicked expression on my face and jumped in.

“We all come up with flavor ideas,” Mia said. “And then we test them before we make them for real.”

I gave Mia a grateful look. The reporter talked to mostly Mia and Emma after that, and I was glad when it was all over and Mary put down the microphone.

“That was great,” Mary said. “I'll e-mail Alexis and let her know when it's going to air.”

BOOK: Katie Starting from Scratch
4.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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