Sunday, April 5, 2009

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better ...

We had a bit of a bake-off in our kitchen this week. Last Tuesday, I decided to bake an apple pie. It's been a long, long time since I baked an apple pie so I was a bit out of practice but I just did it. I put Chad to work peeling apples and Carmen stirred the flour/sugar/cinnamon mixture. Alec even tried the peeling apparatus (it's one of those crank-type things). By the time it went into the oven, the kitchen was a disaster and I was a floured mess. I couldn't get to the rolling pin (a long story) so I rolled out the pie crust with a large glass. This was nothing new as I went a long time without a rolling pin in my life and learned long ago how to roll out crust with just about anything. Anyway, it looked beautiful. It was so full of apples I could barely get the top crust over it. A few slits in the crust, a little water and sugar on top and into the oven it went. Just in time, as I had to get dinner going to feed Todd before he left for work. The pie boiled over onto the floor of the oven but it's self-cleaning - I just had to remember to start the cleaning cycle. More on that later. The pie came out and was wonderful. Everyone was pleased, especially me.

Todd bakes bread for our family every week. He has to time that baking with his work schedule. So, a few days ago (after the pie had been consumed), he decided to bake bread in the evening as he had to work the following night. He got everything ready and when he had the dough rising, he decided to bake a cake. Not any ol' cake, but a German chocolate cake. I stood in amazement. I am very leery of baking bread, which is why he does it, but to bake a cake WHILE one is baking bread - I just couldn't do it. I guess I can only focus on one baking task at a time. Todd, on the other hand, sees it as a time-saver (he's SO dang logical!) So, when he's all done, he has 5 loaves of bread, and a frosted chocolate cake, topped with coconut and surrounded with sliced almonds. He knows I'm a very simple dessert eater and he said, "I know, you're thinking it's too much, right?" Well, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking but I know other people don't always think like I do. Anyway, I was so impressed with all this baking he did and in the evening, too. I didn't even mind all the kitchen clean up. I'm so glad he knows how to do these things for our family. And the cake is delicious. I think there's still enough for a small sliver tomorrow for each of us. But I still don't like the almonds.

Now, back to the apple pie filling on the floor of the oven. At some point this week, I turned on the oven to preheat for dinner and shortly heard a sizzling - you guessed it, hot pie filling. Oops! That's not such a big deal except that a few weeks ago, I was baking meatballs in the oven and when I removed the pan, one rolled onto the floor of the oven. It was too hot to retrieve so I made a mental note to wait until the oven was cool and remove it. So much for mental notes. The next time the oven was used was when Todd had to do a baking of bread. He set the meatball on fire! We could see flames through the oven window! Alec freaked out (he does that occasionally). Carmen characteristically covered her ears (as if that's going to help!) Todd made his best "I'm so disgusted" face and took care of the situation. I meekly apologized. He told me firmly that I needed to clean the oven. I made another mental note. Well, I finally cleaned the oven last night - no more pie filling or charred remains of meatball.

I have to admit, it was kind of funny seeing that meatball explode into flames like that. Reminds me of the English muffin I set on fire in the toaster oven. Or that time my steak got too close to the broiler element. Do we see a pattern here?


jugglingpaynes said...

Maybe instead of mental notes you should try post-its. :o)

I use a bread machine to start my dough. It's my least favorite part of the whole process, so the bread machine has made bread making more fun. The only problem is fresh baked bread doesn't last more than a day around here, no matter how much I make!

And it is possible to do other things while you bake bread. I usually use the time to clean up the dishes and wipe down the counter. It's always better to be in the kitchen while something it in the oven. You know, just in case there's a fire... ;o) LOL! We have fire tales too. Usually because my husband reheats foods when he comes home late and forgets to take them out.

Peace and Laughter,

Mama Self said...

Too funny! Everything I need to do had better get written on my calendar, or there'll be no way it will get done, as I can't seem to remember anything nowadays. :)

Cate said...

Ok, so I am seriously impressed with a hubby who works and bakes for his family!

Would be very interested in his bread recipe - 5 loaves at once? I'm hard pushed getting one loaf to come out consistently right.

C x

Leingang Family said...

That happens around here quite often. The burning things, I mean. :o) Thanks for the giggle!
Have a blessed Easter!