Friday, December 19, 2008

Baking and (Teething) Babies Don't Mix

The best piece of advice my dad gave me in the kitchen was to be patient when you bake. I forgot that when I tried to make lemon drops for a church function last week. I wasn't at peace when I creamed the butter for these sugar cookies. The cookies spread way too much, and the dough was unsalvageable for cookies. I ended up bringing store bought cookies to church this past Sunday.

But the overcreamed dough was still sitting in my fridge until yesterday. My first fix were aluminum foil circles I fashioned, to keep the dough from spreading. It didn't work as well as I hoped. The mini-muffin pan I found in my pantry worked much better. When I upped the baking time by four minutes, my lemon muffkies were baked. It was a pretty good solution, and I didn't have to throw any of that cookie dough-turned-batter away.

Fast forward to yesterday...I am in the kitchen, again with the cookies. This time I'm making a test batch for the Christmas gifts my husband and I give each year. Talllu's two bottom front teeth are in, but she must be working on some more teeth. She's gnawing on toys, screaming, and crying, while I'm underworking the mixer. I'm growling at the mixer, asking it and the kitchen itself why my daughter refuses to let me get any work done in here? I let her cry a little, yelling: "I'm coming, I'm coming, just let me get the sugar in, okay?" I fling myself from the kitchen and swoop down to rescue Tallu from the playpen. She goes from "wah wah wah" to "ha ha ha" in five seconds. We hug, and I bring her chair and some toys into the kitchen, hoping this change in scenery would satisfy her.

I manage to beat in the egg, baking powder, salt, and baking soda before she starts screaming again. I push through to mixing in the flour, as I'm calling the recipients of these cookies all kinds of bitches and motherfuckers, I realize I needed to step away from the mixer. I get the baby. She calmed down, but I am not so eager to hug and smooch. I beg her to just let me stir in the chips and cherries and get one dozen in the oven. Tallu wasn't having it, and I barely get the mix-ins mixed in. Now I'm singing the "Me-Me-Me" song to Tallu as I rest her on my hip, turn off my preheated oven, and stash my parchment covered cookie sheet.

The "Me-Me-Me" song is an ad-lib, but it's chorus is the same: "Me Me Me Me Me Me MEEEEE!" Tallu thinks it's hilarious, and it reminds me that when I get upset because I can't get shit done, there is a good reason. I told my husband about my ordeal as I finally put a batch of cookies in the oven, and we agreed that this year's baking marathon will involve one person watching Tallu as the other one mixes and bakes.

The cookies held their shape, so there will be cookies for gifts after all. No thanks to Tallulah, my cranky, teething baking assistant :-D

No comments: