And so, a new adventure begins with a bang, crash, boom, and squish. I began making the annual Christmas treats for the neighbors by dropping one loaf pan of pumpkin bread batter, which ricocheted off the edge of the counter, coated the fronts of the cabinets and drawers, then landed, bottom-side down on the floor. There was lustrous applause for this stunt, or there should have been. It has never been so masterfully done. I scraped down the side of the pan, noticed that we could still use what was left and put it in the oven.
Earlier today, my wife Ann had told me that she was glad she won the Ghirardelli Brownie mix because we could use it for part of our goodies to the neighbors plates. I gave her a sidelong glance, "No, I said, I won't make something out of a box to give to the neighbors." It's a pet peeve of mine, for me only--I don't mind if the neighbors give me something made from a box or nothing at all, I just don't like to do it myself. Of course, the neighbors of years ago who got our sugar cookies with the glossy frosting (made glossy by our children licking frosting off their little fingers and then spreading the remaining frosting around...sorry neighbors, we didn't find out until later), would beg to differ. "Please, give us something made from a box," they might say, or better yet, "just give us the box. We'll make our own." Not me. I'm not making anything from a box.
My next act was to begin figuring out how to ruin more treats. Maybe I could mix Red Hots in with the marshmallow for the Rice Krispy treats, or perhaps add Red Hots to the next batch of pumpkin bread. I like cinnamon, but Red Hots do not qualify.
I'm thinking if I keep my head in the game, I can accomplish with aplomb, burning at least one batch of chocolate chip cookies, scorching the fudge, or carmelizing something that needed to be taffyized.
Really, I need to focus on one thing at a time. If I try to make tacos at the same time as I'm doing a batch of sugar cookies, I'll end up with chili powder flavored frosting on the cookies, and Christmas tree-shaped tortillas. Actually, the tortillas shaped like Christmas trees do not sound too bad, but while I'm creating those, I'll end up with lettuce embedded in the frosting instead of red and green sprinkles. A multi-tasker, I am not.
When I became the chief cook and bottle washer a few years ago, I never knew the trouble it would be--for me, and for everyone else. One thing I can say though, those treats are going to be made with love, even if not with kid's saliva.