Friday, December 16, 2005

Kitchen Klutz

There are some who claim (right or wrong) to be the "Queen of the Kitchen", a "Kitchen Goddess", even a "Culinary Elf". I proclaim quite loudly, for all the world to hear, that while I have at one time or another been all of the aforementioned, today I was a Kitchen Klutz. Of course, today was also the day that I decided for some reason MUST BE THE DAY TO BAKE! So, I kidnapped Queenie from her comfortable home nest, whisked her through 2 grocery stores and one antique store (it was on the way! they had new stuff!) and we came home to my place to bake.

First up was testing our recently discovered "Easy Monkey Bread" recipe. We had been talking with MizL about it while we painted pottery (she and her husband, MrR, own the shop. HI GUYS!), and decided to make some. The recipe is based on your standard monkey bread, but instead of making a bread dough, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise, punching it... etc. it uses canned biscuit dough. We used Grand's biscuits, cutting them into pieces, coating with sugary stuff, packing them into my silicone bundt pan, and drenching them with sugary glaze. We baked it as directed, pulled it out of the oven, let it cool (with only a few TINY pieces finding their way... elsewhere), and then prepared to flip it over. Now, so far in the day, my klutziness had only appeared when I kept sloshing bits of glaze over the edge of my saucepan onto the hot burner. HOWEVER, when the time came to flip the monkey bread onto a plate, we carefully put the plate over the pan, each took half, and flipped.... and the silicone pan went sliding straight onto the floor. The bread itself never TOUCHED the floor, didn't even come close, the pan just sorta slid from our hands across the floor between us and came to a rest in perfect condition, right side up, about 2 feet away. Of course, since we didn't LOSE the bread (it even still had a lid on it. hehe), this situation cracked us up. We rescued the slippery pan, grabbed it with a towel to minimized the slip-n-slide action, and securely transferred it to a plate.

Next up was to make scotcheroos and holiday crunch to include in the Box 'O Baked Goodness that I am sending hubband. Scotcheroos are a family tradition for him, so they were a no brainer. In the course of the making of those 2 things, I burned myself twice, dropped the peanut butter on the floor, and somehow threw my whisk with melted karo syrup and sugar all over it across half the kitchen, where it came to rest squarely on the recipe card. Thinking perhaps I needed a break, we covered the still warm plate with the monkey bread and hauled ourselves over to MizL and MrR's shop, where they made all kinds of properly excited and awed squishy noises about the monkey bread we made for them. They kindly allowed us to taste it and we liked it so much we stopped on the way home and picked up ingredients for another batch, this one to KEEP.

We started the next batch (well, Q did. I did dishes) and then once it was in the oven (in a METAL bundt this time, since the silicone one... didn't work so hot with the slipping and the sliding and the overflooring juices during cooking and the center being a bit squishy when all was said and done) I broke in my new kitchenaid mixer and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. By the time those were done, all the rest of our things were cooled to an agreeable temperature, so we called Q's hub-unit and made a pot of coffee and just continued with the tasting.

Now, if you read that last paragraph, it sounds mildly as if my klutziness had ended. It HADNT. During the course of all of that, I burned myself again, cut my finger on a stray bit of SOMETHING (Im not sure what), threw cookie on the floor, poured water all over the counter instead of into my coffee maker, set a cookie sheet down on the spoon rest on my stove and thereby coated the bottom of it with sugar sauce drippings from the spoons and whisks used on the previously cooked items, and dropped the first cookie of the day on the floor when trying to transport it to the cooling rack. After that, I was banned from cutting the scotcheroos into squares without supervision because I kept cutting toward myself and Q and H-U weren't quite sure they would be able to deal with the blood and trauma if I happened to cut myself. I also was not allowed to transport cookies, insteaad, Q brought the rack to me and then transported the full rack to the safety of the counter...taking a route that might have been a bit out of her way but steered VERY clear of me. Oh, and did I mention that I almost cut my own finger off while trying to clean up the flour I spilled all over the mixer when I tried to make the cookies?

So. Some women are kitchen goddesses, some are queens, and some are elves. Im just a kitchen klutz with bits of all of the above, and a nice dose of blood, sweat, and tears with everything produced. But it all tastes GREAT by GOLLY, because along with the klutziness, there are occasional moments of brilliance...

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