Most of my friends love having their kids in the kitchen to help them bake, often planning special recipes just so little hands can be involved. Not me. I love my kitchen to be my me-time. I have a very precise way of doing things and when that order is messed with, things go bad. Terribly bad. I really WANT to be that fun mom, but, I just can’t be in the kitchen, and I’m totally OK with that…I’m the fun mom that is a monster behind the couch, or the mom in need of rescuing by a superhero or one that shoots dinosaurs…but, leave.my.kitchen.alone.
Last week, we had a handful of amazingly HOT, 80+degree days, full of sunshine and the days just flew by. I think we’re on day 5 of back to cold, dreary, pouring down rain, gross weather. For this lives for summer gal, it’s miserable. Not to mention, all three boys have snotty noses and Benjamin has a croupy cough.
A friend of mine posted a recipe for some super-yummy looking cookies. My first thought was, “I’ll make those during nap time…” Then as the boys are running around screaming, whining, asking, “Can we go outside NOW?!” I thought, “No! I’m going to be fun mom today…WE are going to make cookies.” Note to my brain: stop working next time that thought crosses my mind.
So, I gathered the big boys (Caedmon is miserable and had just gone down for an early nap) and said, “We’re going to make cookies! I’ll bake them while you take naps and then we can eat them for snack when you wake up from your naps!” I could see their love for me sparkling in their eyes – I had come to save the day!
Heading into the kitchen, I knew that we were short on chocolate chips, but I had an ingenuous idea that I would chop up bite-sized caramel pieces. Note (to only myself I’m sure) : Caramel pieces and a food processor do not mix. So, I grabbed a knife to start chopping, “When can I help??” “What you doin’ mama?” “I want to go play….” “NO, sit down, mommy is almost done and then I REALLY need your help!” Pieces were chopped…next step…whisk together flour, baking soda and salt – check, check and check. Put that bowl over there to add later… In this bowl cream butter and mix all other ingredients.
Back story: When we were pregnant with Keaton, one of my proudest moments was when it was our turn to provide snacks for our childbirth class. Everyone raved about my perfect, circular cookies (yes, I meticulously made cookies by hand and WITH my hands, rolling them into perfect sized balls of dough, that flattened and baked to golden brown perfection)….
I grabbed the ice cream scooper, because long gone are the days of perfect shaped cookies 😉 I looked at Keaton, and then at Benjamin, both wiping their snotty noses with the backs of their hands…
Keaton looks at me, sneezes and says, “I’m ready to help now, mama…”
I look at Benjamin, picking his nose, “Me help toooooooo…”, little Yoda.
I hesitate. I’ve had enough of snot since last Thursday night…the germ war is winning, I’m gagging…I’m picturing snot in all my cookies…
“Well boys, here’s where I really need your help…”
“The recipe says it will make about 16 cookies, so I REALLY need your help counting these with me….”
You would have thought I had given them an endless supply of dinosaurs, “YAYY!!!!! WE GET TO COUNT!!!!!!”
So we count all the cookies. We had 15. That’s about 16. “We did it!!”
So I put the cookies in the oven and send them off to play for a few more minutes.
I keep checking, I don’t want them to burn.
But all they are doing is running, filling the cookie sheets with goo.
Was it the caramels? No, those are still chunked.
Did we have a weird kind of chocolate chips that aren’t for baking? No. That’s a dumb idea.
I stood bewildered in the kitchen, but decide to stop staring and start cleaning up. I grab the first bowl I see.
It’s filled with flour, salt and baking soda.
I grab oven mitts, pull the “cookies” out, grab two spatulas and start “scooping” up the runny mess into a bowl, all while saying (out loud), “They will have cookies today! They WILL!”
I threw the flour mixture in the cookie goo and return it to the stand mixer. All while watching the beautiful golden cookie dough turn to a dark chocolate color.
I grab the scooper and dish out the cookies again (totaling 17 cookies this time…score).
10 minutes later, bliss comes out of the oven.
Some of THE best tasting cookies I have EVER had in my entire life. Instead of chocolate chips interspersed, the cookies are pure chocolate (did I mention I have the world’s worst sweet tooth?) and from what I can tell, caramel is in every cookie, too…
So while my initial thought was, “World’s Worst Mom”, I think I will have REALLY made their day once they get up from naps.
Hopefully they won’t remember that the cookies weren’t pure chocolate before they went into the oven 😉 I’m sure Keaton will ask…I’ll just tell him we have a magic oven 😉
But, no more cooking with the kids. I can’t handle a panic attack like that for a good, long while.