Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't Read This Cuz I'm Gunna Whine

Tis the season to be baking cookies and breads and fancy desserts.  Tis the season to fatten yourself and loved ones.  But for me, apparently tis the season to screw up everything I bake.  Yesterday it was the yellow cake intended for the raspberry trifle which has become a tradition at our house.  I have never been able to find a great yellow cake recipe, or even a yellow cake recipe that's pretty good.  So each year I  try a new recipe in my quest for the perfect trifle cake.  Yesterday I mixed up another yellow cake, poured it into two round baking pans, stuck it in the oven and hoped this would be the one.  About halfway through the baking process I peeked into the oven window only to see cake batter bubbling out over the top of the pans.......onto the bottom of the oven I had cleaned only three short days ago.  I let it finish baking hoping the issue was just that I should have used bigger pans but when we tried the bits leftover after prying it out of the pans there was no doubt that the cake was inedible.  Dean helpfully pointed out to me (several times) that 3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder seemed way too much for a cake..........he would never have used that much baking powder even if that was what the recipe called for.   Of course what my brain heard was You stupid idiot.  How could you not know that 3 1/2 teaspoons for one cake was a ridiculous amount and your cake would blow up in the oven?

Today, I attempted yeast bread twisted into cranberry/raisin/pecan filled candy canes.  The dough I had mixed up yesterday looked good, the filling looked good, everything seemed to be going good until I cut the strips of bread and twisted them into candy canes.  Something just didn't seem right.  If these canes still had to double in size before being baked they were going to look like they were meant for the jolly green giant.  However, I soldiered on, got them all cut, twisted and on the pans ready to bake and then did a quick review of the recipe.  Oops.  I was supposed to cut the dough in half and instead of 15 canes of gigantic proportions I should have had 30 normal people size bread canes.    So, rather than suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous teasing if I presented these for Christmas breakfast, I heaved them disgustedly in the trash where they are now rising and will soon be snaking out the sides and tops of the garbage drawer.

I would like to tell myself that I've screwed up royally this weekend because my laryngitis evolved into some kind of upper respiratory/bronchial illness.  That I have been tired because I spent several nights sleeping on the couch in order to save Dean listening to my 2-3 hour coughing fits.  I would like to say it's because I am still tired and recovering.  Or I'd like to think it was because I was rushing to get the cake done before Leslie and the grandkids came over for a day of fun.  Or I misread the bread recipe because I was rushing to complete it before we had to go usher at the symphony.  And in between I was running up and down the stairs switching laundry and ironing sheets.  Yes, ironing sheets.  The high-end sheets we bought a couple of years ago because they would be so great  were so stiff and came out of the dryer so wrinkled that I hated them.  The sheets that shrunk the first time I washed and dried them so that I have to sit on the floor, grab each corner of the bottom sheet and pull with all my might to get them over the 67-inch high mattress we have.  The sheets that Dean said recently were finally getting softer.  Yeah, buddy.  That's because I couldn't stand it anymore and started ironing them.

And the whole point of this whining, complaining, grumbling, pitiful post is this:  I quit. Maybe I'm past my baking prime.  Maybe it's time to pass the baton.  Maybe I'm too stupid to read a recipe.  I'm done baking. Who needs homemade Christmas sweets anyway?

So now I'm going to go usher at the symphony and spread some of my Christmas cheer.  How appropriate that we dress in black.

And I'm not even going to proofread this because nobody is reading it.◦


abby rose said...

Time to call Safeway for "home-made" treats?

Practice makes perfect. If you haven't thrown everything in the trash by Christmas, you may have made some progress.

And what's wrong with giant candy canes? Didn't you say at the begining that Christmas is the time to encourage a few extra pounds?

Take a break and try to feel better.

Leslie said...

I read it and it didn't even need proofread!
I have complete faith in your cooking abilities and I am not ready for that torch. :)

The Fuhrmans said...

I read every article and value your pursuit of tasty treats. Glad the symphony was what you needed to get back up on your horse er... mixing bowl