Martha–It’s Not A Good Thing

I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but I’m a pretty good cook. Cooking, baking, cassaroling, I can do it all. I take pride in my yummy cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Just ask Justin. Every time I make them he mumbles, “These are the best yet!” And then he scarfs down 4 of them. That recipe isn’t for the weak. It takes prep time. So if you’ve got 2-3 hours on a weekend morning, just ask and I’ll give it to you for a small charge.

However, there is a difference between cooking and baking. The microwave cooks it doesn’t bake. Jessi cooks and bakes but that isn’t the difference. You bake things like cakes, rolls or cinnamon rolls. You cook things like steaks, beef stew and noodles. I’ve associated it with baking yummy sweet things and cooking hearty dinner type foods. I’ve never messed up cooking. But I have had 2 incidents while baking. My self-esteem was shot there for a while after those incidents, but I got the nerve to bake again–with counseling. As part of my therapy I will tell you what they were and how they affected me.

1) I wanted a bagel. I didn’t have a job but I had a cookbook. Betty Crocker made it look so easy as she does with everything. So with plenty of time on my hands I decided to make some bagels. In hindsight, I should have just scrounged up the 95 cents and just bought one, but I was a doe head and confident enough to think I could do it. I made the dough and everything was working great. The excitement was growing. Until the instructions said broil for 2-5 minutes. Um, I’d never broiled before and I didn’t even know what it was. I assumed it was some baking term for ‘bake really close to the oven unit.’ So that’s what I did. Almost choking to death with blackened bagel smoke, I scrapped bagel making forever. Boy does Einstein and his brother have a tough job.

2) I wanted to be Martha Stewart one Halloween. No not be her, but I wanted to be crafty and creative like her. I found a recipe on her website for a pumpkin shaped cake. Oh it looked so good and I thought to myself ‘everyone at work will just love me if I waltz in with this.’ “Yes, yes I made it. Oh it was very simple!”

But it wasn’t and I should have written to her and complained that her recipes aren’t up to the standard of me, putting all the blame on her where it belonged. I also should have known that her recipes are for women who don’t work and have a kitchen the size of Wyoming. I had to buy all the ingredients because I didn’t own any of them. This wasn’t the standard chocolate chip cookies, this monster pumpkin was bigger than any chocolate chip cookie.

I started off great, following the directions. But I had two different pans so my final product didn’t line up. And the amount of chocolate that was supposed to be between the layers was well, too much. What a waste. And I should have just bought frosting, that’s a whole other disappointment. Basically the cake looked horrendous. But if you just cut it into slices, it tasted surprisingly good. Ok Martha, I give you that and that’s it!

So the second failure had a better ending, I could still eat it. And thinking back I remember Justin mumbling, “Hey, it still tastes great.” With his loving comments, food in his mouth or not, I have been able to get past my 2 failures with baking. Maybe I should give my cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe to Martha for payback for the cake fiasco. “Try to make those Missy!” Then we are even.


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