Today is the last day in the office for a girl I work with, and because (1) I like her very much and wish her well and (2) I like baking, I decided to bake her cupcakes for her last day.

I whipped up a batch of my favorite cake batter (Cooks Illustrated fluffy yellow cake), baked the cupcakes, and set about to make my most favoritest caramel frosting to put on top. (Okay, fine, there was probably also a reason (3) for this baking expedition, and that reason was probably hormonal. Sometimes, only a caramel-frosted yellow cupcake will do.)

I finished putting together the frosting and swiped my finger along the side of the bowl to taste the insane deliciousness and got….

Onions. The frosting tasted like onions. Just a hint, really, and the flavor was of caramelized onions, which are pretty good, but still. ONIONS.

Some investigatory sniffing of various pots, pans, and utensils revealed the culprit: the wooden spoon I’d used to stir the caramel was used a few days ago to make a tomato sauce and appears, (despite thorough washing) to have stubbornly held on to eau des oignions, transferring the flavor to the finished frosting.

In short, I had to start over. Not ideal. But at least I figured it out before I frosted the cupcakes. End of story, right?

Except, um, the onion frosting was sort of good, though, in its own onion-y way, and I am sort of embarrassed to admit this, but it is still sitting in my fridge because I couldn’t bear to throw it away. (I have to throw it away, right? There is no use for vaguely onion-scented frosting? None at all? Anyone?)