Friday, September 12, 2014

Ramblings of a Klutzy Cook

I just made a rather extraordinary mess in my kitchen, and that is saying something considering I am kind of a master at extraordinary kitchen messes and disasters. In my sad history of kitchen messes, this one probably tops it. First, this kitchen in the house we are renting at the moment was truly not designed for someone who cooks much or for a big family. It’s a small kitchen, too small, with almost no counter space whatsoever and really awkward positioning is what I am saying. We live in a house that was built in 1931, and, like all the houses in this neighborhood, it was designed to be a two-family house - with one family living on the entire bottom floor, and the other family on the top two floors, while sharing the basement. Our family currently lives on the top two floors of this wonderfully creaky, nooks-and-crannies house. You can see why I’ve mentioned before how thankful I am for a good downstairs neighbor, yes?

Anyway, I was attempting to salvage the pitiful bananas that were not going to survive one more day on the counter, so I started up a batch of two loaves of banana bread. I won’t attempt to describe what happened when the too-full bowl of batter tipped over, dumping melted butter all over the counter and dripping to the floor. I managed to rescue enough of it to continue baking, but, well, I’m glad my dog likes butter and I hope I got enough of it mopped up before he came running in to lick up the rest or his evening walk may be kind of…..interesting……tonight. I’m thinking I don’t really want to be the dog-walker tonight. :-) 

So, there are two loaves of banana bread just freshly out of the oven, and I am once again reminded that I truly need to start wearing an apron, especially when I spur-of-the-moment decide to bake banana bread while wearing my favorite Cedar Point Snoopy sweatshirt. Did I mention it’s nice and cool out today, finally? Another quirky thing about this house is….no central AC. This Florida girl is NOT used to that. So, I’m enjoying the natural AC today. NICE. Speaking of which, yesterday while driving to pick up my son from high school, I saw a guy waiting to cross the road wearing a heavy winter coat, knit cap, hood, scarf up over his nose and mouth, hunched over with hands in his pockets like it was the blizzard of 2014 or something. It was 62 degrees out. I was just finally feeling cooled off from the stifling, sweltering heat of no AC in my house for the past several hot days. Dude, if you’re that cold now, winter is going to be rough. Or so, I’m constantly being told. I met a new friend the other day, and as we were chatting she asked where I was from originally. I told her I grew up in Florida. She grinned ruefully and said, “You’re really not going to like winter here….” Yes, I hear that a lot. I can only imagine the tundra-like conditions awaiting us here this winter. And my brother-in-law told me once that we won’t see the sun after Labor Day. Turns out he wasn’t actually kidding. Gray and drizzly again today….

But, I digress. Back to my kitchen adventures, while I was cleaning up my colossal, greasy, buttery mess, I was reflecting on how I really wasn’t in the mood for baking today, and maybe I should have just stayed with that thought and let the bananas go rather than get into this this afternoon. So, word to the wise Sweet Tea people in my home, the proper response to this freshly baked banana bread this afternoon will be, “Why, Mother! You made our favorite! This is the most wonderful banana bread in all the world!” Even if it isn’t. :-)

Then I got to wondering if I really and truly had the energy to go on to the next cooking project on my agenda for today……homemade salsa. I really didn’t. But, my 10th-grade son made the comment the other day that for some reason he always craves salsa and chips when he comes home. “Spanish is last period, isn’t it?” I said. Little grin and, “Yes. Yes it is,” he answered. Then he made the comment that he hoped I would make more of my salsa soon because we were almost out and mine is just the best, so much better than the store-bought kind. How can I refuse that? So, salsa is simmering on the stove now, too. And I managed not to make a mess with it. Yet. The day is still young.

Now that I’m done cooking for a bit, I think I’m going to take a break and read a book. I’ve got some good ones going. I just finished True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith by Paul Copan. Now I’m reading something purely for fun because my 8th-grader and I were super happy that the seventh book in Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Missing series, The Revealed, came out this month. It arrived at our house on Wednesday in a little box of happiness from Amazon, and I am reading it and loving it as much as I’ve loved the rest of the series. And, yes, I’m reading it first. Kiddo has to read a lot for school. I do not. I get to read it first. And I can hardly put it down. Next I’m planning to read Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. This one my high school boy had to read for school and he wants me to read it so he can discuss it with me. I love that. I’ve also got Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel and The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung waiting in the wings. And all of them are real books, not on my Kindle, so I could actually call this a what’s on my nightstand paragraph. The books really are stacked around the house. It’s been a while since I’ve read non-Kindle books. 

So, that’s a glimpse at my Friday. Hope you’re having a good Friday, too. :-)

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