These Ancient Eyes: Adventures In Baking

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have learned a valuable lesson today. Put simply, it is do not attempt to bake while one of your core soulbonds is grieving. I can’t think of any other reason why I would have failed my attempt to make cookies quite so badly tonight.

The truth is, I’m good at baking! No, really, I am. I make yummy things. I have recipes, I follow them, and edible things come out at the end of the process. Usually fairly tasty edible things.

Tonight, however, I made burned “flats” (they do not in any way qualify as cookies), and… warm mush.

Appetizing, eh?

Yeah, well… For the last 3 days, I’ve been wanting to make peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips in them. I finally got around to doing it tonight when I was pretty much the only one home, and had nothing to do other than game and TV. So I decided to bake. Thing is, I couldn’t find a peanut butter cookie recipe that I liked. So I printed four of them, picked what I felt were the best things of each, and combined them into a WHOLE NEW COOKIE EXPERIMENT!!! I was very excited about them at the time.

Now, through all of this, I’m listening to the Doctor in my head, who’s… well, listening to this song over and over again, flipping randomly through the incarnations who knew Sarah Jane, and just generally being morose. I’m trying hard not to let it effect me, but it isn’t really easy to separate that far from someone who’s become such a core piece of my inner-workings. The sad thing is that I’ve come to depend on his bouncy, happy personality in the last year or so, and having him upset is effecting me a bit more than I’d really like it to. Though I’m not going to let it make me lose my positive. That’s for sure. However, I did have a bit of a break down tonight.

See, our oven door has had one hinge that’s been threatening to break for awhile. You had to lift carefully and set the door on it’s hinges every time you closed it, or else it might not close all the way. I made my EXPERIMENTAL COOKIES, and put a batch in the oven, closing the door like normal. Twelve minutes later, I returned to find that my EXPERIMENTAL COOKIES had turned into… well… a flat pan of slightly burned mush. But I was able to cut them apart and put them on a cooling rack. I realized that I hadn’t put enough flour into the batter. However, I had already fixed a second pan with the current mixture.

Looking back on it, I could’ve just scooped them back into the bowl, put more flour in, and then tried to bake another pan full. However, what I DID was go ahead and put the pan in, figuring I’d add more flour to the rest of the batter, and the next batches would come out good.

I put the pan in the oven, and as I went to close the door, the blasted hinge finally broke. The door fell. The 375 degree door, fell. The 375 degree door fell into my hands. My unprotected hands – because I’d been putting a cold pan into an oven on which I thought I only needed to touch the door handle.

I yelped, cursed, grabbed a pot holder with one hand and then the oven door, transferring my other hand to the handle… and shouted for Mom to come help. It took the two of us together to wrestle the oven door back into some resembalence of normal position (and it was leaning against the wall on the side with the broken hinge, just to keep it from hanging off and breaking the OTHER hinge). We turned the oven off, and decided to come back and check on it when it had cooled.

I left the not-cookies in there, hoping the residual heat would do something. An hour later (and four renditions of Stairway To Heaven, and Bright Eyes from the Doctor), I went back and checked. I had… slightly warm, flattening mush. Yum.

I couldn’t even get those off the pan. In frustration, I grabbed the bowl of dough, the flour, and started mixing, trying to make something I’d be able to cook once the oven door was fixed. I stirred too violently. I slammed my elbow into the cooling rack that housed the “flats” I’d made earlier, and sent them cascading onto the floor in a very dramatic way.

Upon hitting the floor, they shattered. They didn’t break – they SHATTERED. And I found myself barefoot in the kitchen, surrounded by cookie shards that looked DANGEROUS. I carefully put the bowl back on the counter, cursed, and then carefully picked my way around the cookie spikes on the ground into the laundry room, where I grabbed a broom and a dust pan, and proceeded to carefully clean up my now dangerous COOKIE EXPERIMENT. Which, I believe, we all can now safely agree was a FAILED COOKIE EXPERIMENT.

Mom came in as I was finishing putting the “fixed” dough in the fridge, having cleaned up the floor, and asked where the flats went and if I was OK, because… well, when I said I cursed, I kind of meant that I shouted a curse and hit my fist on the counter. My burned fist. Yeah, I was a bit frustrated.

We worked together to try and fix the oven door a bit more, but it still isn’t… ah… right. No. It won’t close. So… no more baking for me tonight. My hands hurt, my back hurts, and I still have a bond in mourning in my head.

However! Despite these set-backs, and the day just not going the way I planned – I DID do really well on my Anthropology Lab exam today, and I found out that I aced the multiple choice portion of the Anthropology exam that I took on Monday. So today has been wonderful and amazing, despite the setbacks that came at the end of it.

Now, I’m going to relax for an hour before I have to do dishes and finish cleaning up the mess I made in the kitchen with my not-cookie-splosion. And you know what? I’m still ok. And that is fantastic.