The Horror!, or Holiday Baking
Posted December 16, 2009on:
It’s that time of year.
Time to fire up the oven and burn the hell out of everything I put inside.
Call it a yuletide tradition.
(I burn hard-boiled EGGS, for cryin’ out loud.)
I LOVE to bake, I really do.
I just really suck at it.
The problem is that I LOVE to do a million other little things while I have sumpin’ in the oven.
Without fail, my scatterbrain gets distracted by…oh, I dunno…straightening out the fringies on the front door rug, or maybe Lysoling every doorknob, lightswitch, hand-held device, vacuum-handle and pencil and pen in the house. It’s a big job. (I DO draw the line on paperclips, though).
I can tune that out almost as easily as I can the M & Ms’ cryin’ & whinin’ (especially since they sometimes hit decibels only our canine & orca friends can enjoy).
Before I know it, my lovely banana bread becomes my signature ‘Banana BRICK’.
Now, I must give myself just a little credit; my fruit pies are beautiful — and oh!-so-yummy! Keep in mind: The Viv’s got a 1/2 ” of ceramic and a crust guard — even SHE can’t fuck that up).
Last night, (after 8 pm!) I decided it was time to start a’bakin’. I’d promised the M & Ms’ we’d make cookies, and by Jehosephat, we were goin’ duit.
Back when I was a newlywed, I dutifully, happily, ATTEMPTED to make everything ‘from scratch’.
Now that I’m middle-aged and jaded — I just make a nice slice through Betty’s pretty face (that brain-washin’ bitch) as I open up a bag of pre-mixed dough.
I can’t wait ’til they come up with a mix that requires me to add only air.
We decided to make those Peanut Butter Blossoms (with the Hershey kiss atop). They are the M & Ms’ favorite (as long as someone other than SassyMama makes them).
After they scrubbed their little hands raw and donned their kiddie-aprons, I set the girls to work on peeling the wrappers from the kisses.
Every third one unwrapped actually made it into the bowl.
Then we all took turns adding egg, water and oil and stirring the batter (God Forbid one M get a longer stirring session than the other).
SassyMama made the dough balls (NO WAY would she let them in M2’s hands — no telling WHAT may end up mixed in — Jesus! Then The Viv would have to Lysol the damn cookies).
SassyMama plopped the balls into a bowl of sugar, and the girls rolled them around (USING SPOONS, NO FINGERS!), argued about who’s ball was whose, and finally spooned them onto the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
(Yep, The Viv uses parchment, and she STILL burns ’em!)
Then the girls plunked some kisses on the dough balls. We all ‘ooohed‘ and ‘aaahhhed‘ over how pretty the cookies were. The girls were SO proud of those first two trays!
The Viv deftly slid the trays into the oven, set the timer-schmimer for 10 minutes and set about making the next batch of beauties.
After about five minutes, little M2 wanted to take a peek at the baking cookies. The three of us huddled around the oven.
To our horror, there were no Peanut Butter Blossoms in there.
There were, however, Peanut Butter BLOBS.
***Note to SassyMama self:
Chocolate MELTS, DUMBASS.
Add Hershey Kisses AFTER baking cookies.
After that initial meltdown, we got into the groove.
We ladies had quite the cookie factory goin’ on; the M & Ms did a great job! And, Toby got in on the action, too, as he ‘rescued’ a coupl’a casualties off the floor.
We had finished about 5 dozen when M2 said,
“Mama, is the oven supposed to GLOW like that?”
To our collective horror, the floor of my oven was afire.
Not a bonfire, mind you; more like the start-up flame of a gas grill. The flame actually seemed to be concentrated in one particular spot, but still, it was a bit unsettling.
I DO have a small extinguisher, although, my humble abode would burn to the ground before I could dig it out from behind myriad cleaning supplies under the sink.
Amid the screams and shrieks and
“Mama, are we going to DIE?!”
from the M & Ms,
I prepared to battle the fire monster.
A rundown of my quick-thinkin’:
“What’ll I DO? Water or flour? Do I have enough flour? If I throw water on it, will my cookies be ruined? If I open the oven door, will there be one of those ‘backdrafts’ like in the movie? Oh, I just love that cutie Kurt Russell, but that photo I saw of Goldie without makeup was HEINOUS! Water…definitely water. Where the FUCK is The Dingus? Will we blow up? Will tomorrow’s papers post ‘Kisses Kill ‘?”
What DID I do?
I grabbed my trusty kitchen tongs, held my breath, opened the oven, reached in and got ahold of the fiery beast that was terrorizing my cookies…and, oh, my children, too, yeah…and I ran to the sink with the flaming offender firmly in the jaws of my tongs.
I doused that bugger under cold water, and when I had extinguished it, I held the tongs high in the air.
MamaBeowulf had conquered the beast!
I am WOMAN!
I have saved the day!
(and my damn cookies)
That scary beast turned out to be a charred
WalMart Great Value tater tot.