Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Mom’s parting words as I stood alone in the kitchen. My young heart fluttered at the thought of being alone in the kitchen. Not that the kitchen was a particularly scary room. I just hadn’t ever been turned loose to create in that space without supervision.
Earlier in the day, I had asked mom if I could bake cookies all by myself. Due to my cautious nature, I don’t always like to do new projects all by myself, for fear of messing up. Looking back, I’m surprised at my proclaimed independence. Then again, this experience may have more deeply entrenched my perfectionistic, and thus fearful of failure tendencies.
I was alone in the kitchen to make cookies on an overcast day while Mom napped. Time to test my wings.
I decided applesauce chocolate chip cookies sounded delicious. I remember carefully pulling out all the ingredients and double-checking the recipe. Flour? Check. Sugar? Check. Spices? Check. I was all set.
Carefully, I creamed the sugar and the butter. I added the eggs. I remember intently putting each ingredient back as I went - just like Mom. I wanted her to be proud of me for doing this right all by myself. When at last all the ingredients were mixed, I started loading up the cookie sheets.
The smell that came from the oven was heavenly. The warm, welcoming smell of baked goods is still one that I associate with “home.” It makes you feel as if all is right in the world to enter a home that smells of homemade love. With my task in it’s final stages, I was feeling more confident by the minute. I’d helped mom load and unload cookie sheets before, and everything smelled so good. I just knew she’d be pleased with me.
Mom helped me finish cleaning up the kitchen after her nap. I think we even loaded a few plates up to give to neighbors. I was pleased with myself. After dinner, we all sat down with our glasses of milk and a cookie in hand. I bit into my cookie, anticipating the euphoric soft, chocolatey-goodness to melt over my tongue. Alas, I bit into something hard and not sweet at all. The grimace on dad’s face confirmed my heart’s dread.
My cookies were a failure. It turns out that when a recipe calls for cloves, it usually means ground cloves and not whole cloves. I wasn’t sure when I was reading the recipe. Lesson learned. We’ll just say that my husband is glad that I’ve become a more accomplished cook and baker since that day. Still, I don't think this will ever be anything more than a hobby for me.