A Story of Culinary Woe (or how I went from Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte to a box cake)

April 28, 2006

I started off this morning knowing that I had a big day in the kitchen: I wanted to try a new recipe for lunch, we needed bringing dessert to our neighbour’s dinner tonight, and I needed to make a dozen banana muffins for tomorrow’s bake sale.

I also had to go to the store to begin the day.

Before starting any baking we took a 10am break and met our friends at the park, as one of us was already tired of being in the house. It’s a good thing we went out because I had forgotten to buy flour (how did I plan to bake without flour?) and the grocery was a short walk from the park and not far out of our way back home.

Feeling like the domestic goddess that I am when the real one is off-duty, I was on top of the world. Little Red napped while I tried out our new treat for lunch which came out perfectly and I was proud. I had the eggs and the butter out in preparation for the flourless chocolate cake, I was cleaning up after myself, and Little Red awoke just as I took the taco cheese swirls out of the oven and my husband walked in the door.

I could not have timed everything more perfectly.

While we snacked on the taco swirls we set to work on dessert. It’s been years since we’ve made it because it’s so rich, but we thought with six adults at dinner we could share it without indulging too much. I was already salivating in anticipation.

Because of our emergency trip to the park the eggs had not quite reached room temperature, and because my husband’s lunch break is only so long, he didn’t have time to wait.

Oops! We curdled the eggs.

The fancy butter and special chocolate, the baker’s sugar, and six eggs were all ruined. (As a major milestone for me, it was hours before I tallied up how much money we wasted; I was truly sad at the beginning just that we wouldn’t have the flourless chocolate cake for dessert.)

My husband was even more despondant than I, but what could we do?

We did what any rational couple with two minutes left of lunch did… we got over it, sorted the dry cleaning and got into the car.

“I’ll make Carol’s scones,” I said. “They aren’t chocolate, but they’re good.”

And I did. It was my first time making her scones and they came out very nicely, very fluffy and yummy, but they paled in comparison to the grand dessert I had told our neighbours we’d bring. I packed them into an airtight container for tomorrow’s breakfast –scones really are more breakfasty than desserty to me anyway– and opened the cupboard door.

Without even reading much more than the word “chocolate” I selected a box cake. Certainly nothing exotic or new, certainly nothing special, but at least it was chocolate. Unfortunately, once the cake was in the oven I realized that we had no icing sugar. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of going to the grocer for a third time in one day, especially as I’d have to wait for the cake to come out of the oven before I did so. Little Red was just tired of the whole kitchen idea, by this point. I called my next door neighbour who commiserated with me but had borrowed our sugar the last time she needed it and had not yet replaced her supply. I called my neighbour who was hosting the soiree, and when she got off work and returned my call, brought me a bag of sugar.

At least now everyone who thought they’d be regailed with some five star dessert knows the truth: eat more chicken, I’m not the pastry chef they think I am.

As for the muffins? Well, I promised Little Red I wouldn’t do them until after he went to bed, or at least until after his Dad came home. I can totally make them and get a good night’s sleep and be at the sale at six am tomorrow to set up — can’t I?

Well, anyway, I need to open more windows, our entire apartment is 350 degrees.


For No One

April 26, 2006

Hey Jude,
You’ve got to hide your love away,
Oh! Darling
I don’t want to spoil the party.
I’ll be back,
Back in the USSR,
(The magical mystery tour)
I will.
We can work it out.

Tomorrow never knows
She loves you–
She came in through the bathroom window.

Got to get you into my life
In my life
We can work it out.

Love to you.

GoofyJ said…
I love how you left all the titles intact. A very cool found poem. 🙂

fourth_fret said…
this was awesome… and i only want to steal your idea now. but i will not… i will go forth and seek out my own found poem.

Weekly Anamnesis #20

April 25, 2006


Sometimes the most natural things are the ones that require the biggest learning curve. In the grand scheme of things breastfeeding a baby is an ancient tenet of human survival, but to a new mother it’s a huge hurdle and there’s so much to know and figure out. It doesn’t help that neither the baby nor the mother is born knowing what to do.

The best advice I ever heard was to surround myself with other breastfeeding mothers. With that circle of experience a new mother can get the support she needs. The unsaid reason is that we can learn how to do it modestly without embarassing ourselves or making anyone else uncomfortable.

Yesterday in playgroup a very new mother came for the first time. At once she said, “oops, I forgot I’m not at home and here I am dripping all over the place and flashing you all.”

It hadn’t registered with any of us, breastfeeding and bottlefeeding mothers alike.

“Nipples are like wallpaper, no one notices.”

Curiosity Killed … Me?

April 24, 2006

I can’t resist asking (and believe me, I’ve been fighting it) …
How many of you have figured out which dead person is me from that high school art project?

Second Hand Sunday Post

April 23, 2006

Yesterday in the car home from the grocery store Little Red wanted to pray — probably to bless the baguette he was so carefully holding. After my husband prayed with him he wanted to pray again. Without waiting for Daddy he folded his arms and said, “pray pray pray pray pray, amen.”

I’m so sorry I missed it, but so glad he has such a sweet spirit.

Edit: Apparently I misheard the story. Before he snacked on the baguette he prayed, “bread bread bread bread bread amen.”

Come and Gone

April 23, 2006

I missed the boat; my twohunnert post went unmarked. I must have been distracted. This is post 202.

Admire Me No More, My Friends

April 22, 2006

This has got to stop.
It’s been a year and a half (almost) that our friends have admired the locking glass doors on the tv cabinet that houses our dvd player, vcr, stereo, and movies. It’s been a year and a half that people say, “what a good idea” and “you’re so smart.”

Please stop.

We picked the cabinet because it was the only tv cabinet that was in the right finish to match the bookcases we found in the As-Is department at Ikea. The locking glass doors were a fluke. And, we’re not smart.

Smart would be separating the two keys that come with the case instead of keeping them on the same ring. Smart would be not letting the toddler who loves to drop things into the fingerholes used for opening the doors once unlocked play with the keys, or at least putting the keys on a keychain so that they are too big to fall through the hole into the cabinet.

But as I just said, we’re not smart.

“If I was Little Red, and played with the keys, and got bored, where would I leave the keys?” I asked last night as I wanted to get into the cabinet. I looked at the cabinet for answers, and there, behind the glass, were both keys.

It was a lengthy and elaborate process that involved straightening a hanger and trying to maneuver through the small hole at the top, past the shelf that juts almost out against the glass, to the bottom shelf, finding some heavy duty magnets, and possibly uttering a hasty prayer when things got crazy, but we managed to rescue the keys.

We have learned our lesson. The keys are separated and both are on a keychain too large to fit through the fingerhole. Lesson learned, time wasted, hanger ruined.

I love having a toddler — every day is a new adventure!