Saturday, September 27, 2008

Attack of the Stupids

Today is sunny when I get out of bed. Sunshine just lifts the spirits. It's Mom's birthday today, and I will phone her after I am awake and have had my breakfast. Richard works 9 to 5 today, so I hope to do some baking later. Use some of that fresh yeast Bente aquired for me last week. Sounds like a plan. And y'all know me and plans...

I call Mom to wish her Happy Birthday and she sounds really perky. She had had a card from a childhood friend who now lives up in Spirit River. She was so pleased, and talked about things the two of them used to do as children. She also mention they had two sets of unexpected visitors this week. First was a surprise visit from their Nephew Jim VanDewark and his wife Shirley from Fort St. John BC. They had a great chat over coffee. Next was an appearance by Niece Yvonne Pollack and her husband Bob. How good of them all to stop in. Mom and Dad really appreciated it.

The dogs and I go out into the garden yard after my phone visit with Mom and Dad. I make a mental note to take photo's of the Rhubarb to mail to Dad to show him how his tiny piece of root that he sent to me is doing. I weeble across the yard to the garden boat and roll up the beach mats and shower curtain, noting that it rained again overnight. My inattention nearly gets me a really cold shower as the water that has collected on the tarp over the bunk bed frame cascades down the front of the boat.

I make another mental note to come out later and pick the ripening Bull's Heart Tomato to take into the house. Above me in the Gravenstein apple tree, the Starling is trilling her love song again. Robins are calling in the trees across the drive and a couple of Canada Geese arrow their way, honking across the yard. The dogs are happily hooting at people down on the road, just past our driveway. The air is warm and smells of dill and lemon geranium. It is supposed to be warmer and sunnier tomorrow. Perhaps we can barbecue.

Back inside I start to gather ingredients to make some Rye Bread in my Stand Mixer. It is a recipe I haven't tried before, so as usual, the first time is a test. Soon the kitchen is redolent with the scent of melted butter, warm honey, molasses and caraway. I add the first lot of flour like the recipe calls for, mix it in, then start to add the rest of the flour, one half cup at a time, while the mixer is running.
All goes well at the first, with me pouring the flour in from the right side of the bowl. Then I decide to pour the last bit into the left side of the bowl and things go to hell, real fast.

My hand twitched. The measuring cup hit the rotating planetary dough hook. Flour flew. Everywhere. All over me. All over the counter the machine sits on. All over the small kitchen television which sits next to the mixer. All over the floor. Curses flew. All over the kitchen. Yup, I says a swear.

I can't clean it up yet as I have to finish mixing the dough. Finally it is done, and I proceed with the cleanup. How can a previously tidy kitchen take on the appearance of a hurricane site so quickly?

An hour later, the kitchen is tidy, I am cleaned up, the flour is mostly out of the vents in the television, and the dough is rising in a large bowl inside a clear plastic bag. Time for an ice tea and reading my book.

Richard comes home for lunch and checks the water level in the tank, deciding he will go and get another load from the farm after picking us up A&W Papa Burgers for dinner. Sounds good to me.
Soon it is time to divide the dough into two pans, letting it rise one more time before putting it in to bake.

After he leaves for work again, I decide I haven't tortured myself enough today with baking and decide to make a loaf of vanilla quick bread in my bread maker. This is the lazy man's way of doing it, using a store bought cake mix. To fancy it up, I go to the dog's room and get 5 purple Italian Prune Plums. I am going to cut them in half, removing the pits and after the cake is finished mixing, I will drop them in on top to bake with the cake.

All goes well, and in 5 minutes it is mixing merrily. I drop in the plums, close the lid. Turning to the bread loaves, I place them in the oven and set the timer. Then return to my book. About 10 minutes goes by, and for some reason I have a sometimers moment. Looking up from my book, that I have been thoroughly engrossed in, I
suddenly decide that I left the breadmaker on after mixing the bread dough - remember now, I DID NOT mix the dough in the machine but in the Stand Mixer - and need to turn it off. I jump up, unplug the machine and as the power is fading from the digital read out on the bread maker, through the window in the top of the lid I see my raw, unbaked cake. I make a triple scrunchy face.


The air turns blue with my language, which is definitely not the Queen's English.

"Don't panic" I think to myself, as my eyes go slitty. "Grab a pan, quick." I line a bread pan with parchment, thinking I have chosen a large enough one. Nope, batter comes right to the top and still more in the bread machine pan. Grab another, larger, in fact the largest bread pan I have. Line it with parchement paper. Pour in the cake batter. Plums of course are all mixed in and sink right to the bottom. Fills the pan 3/4 of the way. Quickly place it in the oven, noting the time remaining on the timer - 25 minutes. The cake mix box says 25 to 35 minutes depending on the pan size. Scrunchy face.

Placing the cake in the oven along side the two loaves of bread extended their baking time an added 5 minutes. They come out of the oven and the cake bakes another 5 minutes beyond that. All looks good, despite my stupidity. Even with the plums sitting on the bottom of the cake.

What did we learn from all this? PAY ATTENTION LINDA! Think before you act. Don't pull that plug until you look through the window in the lid. Ok, so you usually have been mixing dough in the bread machine lately, that's still no excuse for your stupidity. Slitty-eyed scrunchy face. Good thing cake and bread look good.

After dinner I take the dogs out in the garden yard one more time while I put the boat to bed. They wander to the far fence, looking down to the creek, sniffing the breeze. Far away, across the creek, I can see the tiny moving dots that are the Cute Little Island Doe Mule Deer and her twins, eating their way towards us. The light wind is blowing our way and I know the dogs have their scent. Mom and the twins will soon be enjoying their apple treats. The dogs will soon be barking and spitting all over the patio door.

And me...I am going to have a piece of that troublesome cake with some vanilla ice cream. I was thinking about baking some cookies tomorrow, and maybe some Brioche.

Now I am not so sure.

Lord knows what I will do next time.

But hey, I have a plan...


Kate said...

Snicker/hoot/kneeslap/wipe eyes....oh gosh, I LOVE you, sister dear!!

Linda VanDewark Stoodley said...

Thanks sister, glad you love this dopey ole girl, grin.