Friday, August 03, 2007

Becky the Non-Baker

(I wrote this over the summer and never ended up posting for some reason. Nevertheless, please accept this as my attempt to catch up the Blog from the silent summer months...)

I love my husband. I do. I really do. So when we're at Borders one day reading magazines (a favorite past time of ours), Kevin spies the cover of July's Martha Stewart Living (see exhibit A below).

"I want that!" he cried. "We neeeeeed that!" He uses this same voice at the grocery store when trying to convince me that we need cinnamon rolls. So I coyly brush him off, thinking I'll make it for him as surprise later on.

So attempt number 1...I go to the grocery store and purchase all of these ingredients only Martha could love: buttermilk, whipping cream, and parchment paper (are we baking here or drafting historical documents?) The one illusive element left is the star cookie cutter. After three trips to three different stores, I just give up and decide to cut my own stars.

That weekend, I deliberated over whether or not I had the time to create this culinary masterpiece. Plus the goal was to make it a surprise to my timing had to be precise. I tarried in my decision making, and Monday came upon me. Obviously, there's no time to bake during the working week, so my toque once again found its home on my pantry shelf.

Weekend two roles around, and who's surprised that all my ingredients have gone bad. Oh bother! To the store again I go for round two of purchasing. This time, I even have an excuse to make my dessert (as if blessing my sweet husband with sweets wasn't excuse enough). Our small group from church was having a BBQ party that evening. Perfect! I'll dazzle them all with my kitchen prowess. Hardly...

Sunday afternoon (two hours before we have to leave I might add) I make the shortbread with no problem. Though it is noteworthy to say that when Martha says use a food processor, one should probably heed such wisdom. A blender is not the same thing. But nevertheless, I've got two perfectly formed shortcakes which will most definitely stack on top of each other in dainty Martha Stewart style. In they go and the waiting begins. Minutes stretch on like hours until finally the debut big, mushy blob of shortbread mess.

Maybe it was the tight schedule. Maybe it was the money I had already sunk into this project. Maybe it was the fact that I wanted a fun surprise for Kevin. Whatever the reason, the tears come and the emotions peak. Kevin comes to check on me, and I exclaim all these tragedies to him, finally reaching the pinnacle declaration: "I hate Martha Stewart! She makes impossible things look doable!"

So Martha and I are no longer on speaking terms. I'm not looking to reconcile anytime soon either. Until then, I think I'll leave the baking to my oh-so talented sis-in-law Sarah!