Let The Pranking Commence

Consider yourself duly warned.

If you fall victim to any pranks, jokes or other tomfoolery on Tuesday, you have only yourself to blame, as I have given you ample notice that April Fools’ Day is coming up.

As I have mentioned before, my late mother, Dorthy, was a master of April Fool pranking. Somehow she always managed to come up with a premise that was just plausible enough that she could hook her kids with an April 1 tale. She was also known to run an uncooked egg under hot water to pass for a hardboiled egg for April 1 breakfast (although she never served hardboiled eggs for breakfast any other time of year); and substitute salt for sugar or vice versa. But her true talent came in those April 1 fibs. I’m sure she spent days mulling over possible scenarios, coming up with just the right amount of embellishment to pull one over on us.

I did not inherit that talent, nor did either of my siblings, although I believe that sister Margaret might be the best candidate for filling DotMom’s pranking shoes. She has yet to try to pull one over on me on April 1, but I think she has a good enough imagination to do it. (Do not consider this a challenge, Margaret.) When I have tried to pull off such a prank, I always give it away with a laugh or a smirk.

I’m more apt to attempt the egg trick on Hubby Bryan, or maybe some other food-related fun? In researching April Fool foods online, I found the majority of the suggestions were for food imposters — something sweet that looks like something savory and vice versa. Here are two such recipes that would be fun to concoct with kids on April Fools’ Day.

Pizza Cake

Prepare 1 package yellow cake mix according to package directions. Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Place each cake on a plate or serving platter. Combine 1 cup white frosting with red liquid or paste food coloring until mixture resembles tomato sauce. Spread over the top of each cake to within ½ inch of edges.

Grate 3 ounces white baking chocolate; sprinkle over top of frosting to resemble cheese.

Unroll 2 strawberry fruit roll-ups (or other red fruit leather product). Use a 1½-inch round cutter to cut circles to resemble pepperoni. Arrange circles on top of cake. You can also add candied red and green fruits to resemble red and green peppers.

Meat Loaf Cupcakes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 regular-sized or 9 jumbo muffin cups with cooking spray.

In large bowl, thorougly combine 2 pounds ground beef, 2 eggs, beaten, 1 small onion, finely diced, 1 clove garlic, finely minced; 2/3 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups, pressing firmly.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly in cups.

While the meat muffins are baking, cook 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed, in salted water until tender. Drain; return to saucepan. Add 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks; 3 tablespoons butter and a little bit of milk. Mash until creamy and smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place potato mixture into decorating bag; pipe potato onto top of each “cupcake.”