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Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Valentine cupcakes come in different shapes and sizes

One year on Valentine’s Day, when I was teaching an elementary class in the lower grades, a classroom mother walked into the room carrying a large box. She appeared quite distraught and said, “I am just sick having to bring these weird-looking cupcakes for the Valentine Party, but I didn’t have time to remake them. I did bring some valentine candy and another room mother will be bringing punch.”

I looked in the box and the cupcakes did look different.

“They are awful, aren’t they?” the room mother asked, almost in tears.

“Maybe I can figure something out,” I said, looking at the strange shapes.

“You see,” she began, “the other room mother said she would make the punch and I could do the cupcakes. I agreed, but I have never made cupcakes. When I put the cupcake baking cups on a cookie sheet and poured the cake batter into them, those accordion-pleated cups moved into all sorts of directions. I quickly put them in the oven thinking they might straighten up, but they came out the same way they went in. I tried to make them look normal with the icing, but they still look awful.”

“I think putting the paper cups in muffin tins before pouring in the batter helps to hold their shape,” I said, “but I am sure these are delicious and we will be having a lot of other things going on.”

“I know my son is going to be so embarrassed,” she said, sadly.

“We are going to have fun,” I said, smiling while walking her to the door.

After the class exchanged valentines, I began putting the cupcakes on their desks and told my students not to eat them right now because we were going to play a game.

I announced the game was an arithmetic game called Valentine Geometrics. Then, I went to the chalk board and began drawing geometric figures.

After my students went around the room making comparisons as they played their highly competitive game, they ate their cupcakes. That afternoon when I returned home, my telephone was ringing when I walked in the door.

The call was from the mother who had made the cupcakes.

“I am so excited,” she said. “My son came home and he can’t stop talking about the new game his class played with the valentine cupcakes. He said the triangles came in second, the rectangles were third; there weren’t any round ones, but his group took first place — the parallelograms.


Keep Argyle Beautiful will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St. Keep Argyle Beautiful preserves and enhances the town’s natural environment through educational and motivational programs and special events. For more information, visit or email Deborah Cottle at

The Argyle Lions Club meets at noon on the first Tuesday of every month at Coffee Tree Café, 144 Old Town Blvd. in Argyle, and at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month following a board meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St.

For more information, contact Deborah Cottle via email at

The Argyle Chamber of Commerce meets the third Tuesday of every month for breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Lantana Golf Club, 800 Golf Club Drive. The chamber office is in Point Bank, 302 U.S. Highway 377.

For more information, visit or call 940-464-9990.

The Argyle Senior Center meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St. with exercise beginning at 10 a.m. followed by card games at 11 a.m.

The ASC has a monthly luncheon on the third Friday of every month at noon. Those attending are asked to bring a side dish. Anyone age 55 and older is welcome to attend.

For more information, call Stella at 940-464-7438 or Karen at 940-464-0506.

LYNN SHEFFIELD SIMMONS is the founder and past president of the North Texas Book Festival Inc. She is the author of 10 children’s books and two history books on Argyle. Her website is She can be reached at