Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Putting the Crock in Betty Crocker

Sweet baby Jesus, I was busy in the kitchen yesterday. It was cooking gone ADD.

I ran across a soup ladle that wasn't dirtied,
so we used it too.
I reminded myself yesterday how I self-sabotage my time management skills and add too many things at once, too late in the game. It's a layer. Special Agent says it is one of his LEAST favorite. My family calls it "Rosemary-ing"

Here's the sitch: The Baboos and I have been front runners in an annual cake event at their school, and so the pressure was on to come up with something;

a) no one else will come up with
b) something somewhat technical or neat-o
c) something my wildly uncreative layers can accomplish. (It will start with a box mix if that is any indicator.)

9:00 AM - school drop off. I bought approximately $1,100.00 (ok, exaggeration) worth of baking supplies, candy, frosting, cupcake liners and whatnot yesterday morning and a Starbucks Chai to make sure I had the energy to get' er done.

And lasagna noodles for an upcoming multi lasagna making project.
And some pita chips. You know you would too.

Then... I ran an errand or two...including the bank and a trip to the Mother in Law's (MIL) to get a cake board and some moral support for this project. For an hour. I had to, she is a cake expert. We discussed how I could have most everything baked and ready for when the kids came home. When I mentioned I had lunch plans, she only slightly raised her eyebrow. Just barely.

Then... I remembered I had to meet Twin for lunch to discuss plans for Texas Trip next week (lunchtime already?? - No prob, I will bake the cakes after a productive trip-planning lunch.). planning was accomplished, but we did chat with a few dudes (including Special Agent who stopped by), ate fried green tomatoes, cheddar herb biscuits, lovely brisket and cranberry vodka. Don't judge.

1:00 PM - I was all set to go home and get my Donna Reed on when the crack alarm went off, reminding me that I had an important appointment to stop by a beauty salon where one of my best girls was having her daughter primped for dance photos. We had serious things to talk about like...our husbands.

1:30 PM - I told myself I needed to go home
1:45 PM- I reminded myself that I needed to go home
2:00 PM - I yelled at myself - GO HOME!

So I went.

2:15 PM - Cake making frenzy! Thank God for Betty Crocker. I dumped the cake mixes in the mixer with eggs, oil, water and some love. I grabbed the Pam Cooking Spray to spray the pans...

Damn! No Pam Cooking Spray!
Institute operation Crisco.

Cake #1 in the oven. Reminded self not to jump around in the kitchen (as if I would jump at all, at my age).

Next up, cupcakes! Groceries were still all over the counter amidst the cake mixing frenzy. (This is when the trouble began.) I needed to consider dinner since the taller baboo had volleyball practice at 7 pm. While the mixer was mixing, I raced downstairs to get some lovely Spicy Shredded Pork I had in the back of my mind (and the back of the freezer) to go with the tortillas and tomatoes I had gotten in my food co op baskets.

And a beer. Don't judge.

Spicy Shredded Pork - Into red magic pot! (add smidge of beer)

I eyeballed some tomatoes and the lasagna noodles, stacked 6 high on the counter of doom. Hmmm.

((chopping onions and garlic next to poured-yet-not-baked cupcakes))

Onions and garlic into gigantic soup pot!!

3:30 - cake out of oven and on deck to cool.
(Is it raining? Shit, should have picked up kids. Oh well, they like rain.)

Cupcakes in oven. Stir sizzling onions and garlic. Attempt to break spicy pork into smaller frozen thawing hunks.

Taller Baboo calls - can she bring a friend to help with cake? SURE! Love that kid, love my kid. Love everyone. Did I mention i had a beer?

Ding! Cupcakes are done. Out to the deck to cool, hoping the wind doesn't blow dirt all over them.

Frenzied rush in preparation to act to Baboos and friend as if I had cakes all ready and waiting for them to decorate upon arrival because I started at 10:00 AM, not 2:00 PM. Hurriedly frosting cake, only tore off one chunk. Ate chunk and filled space with frosting.

Baboos arrive. I try to pull off the "((leaning on counter, yawning)) Geez, where ya guys been??" thing, but the kitchen now looks like this:

Not actually mine...but close

Ding-Dong... (Did I mention I invited my MIL over to check out the cake making? This was pre Spicy Pork and Lasagna preparations.) 

My MIL is the neatest, tidiest, organized person I know. She does one thing very well at a time, not 3 things haphazardly like I do.  See the photo summation above of my kitchen? Add 3 kids, 2 dogs, several open cans of soda, a beer (don't judge), and other general messiness. She is used to my layers too, and after 20 years I have stopped trying to pretend about them.    

Still, she looked nervous. The kids were in several stages of the cake decorating melee and i was trying to keep a lid on things. There was a lot of black frosting, onion and garlic sizzling, rice krispies, candy scattered all over the counter, lasagna noodles, and questions floating around. Dogs chased each other through the kitchen. It was controlled mayhem. 

MIL bailed in and helped Baboo and friend with some jelly bean decorating while the smaller Baboo and I worked on rice krispie treats (stay with me here, the treats are for the cake). 

We were getting it done, while I chopped tomatoes and herbs, opened cans and hid the beer behind the mixer. I kind of enjoyed the multi-tasking-ness. Thrice projects! 

The Baboos and friend each rolled candy hot dogs they had made from melted tootsie rolls and starbursts (don't ask - recipe link below) while I formed the Rice Krispie hamburgers and stirred the sauce. MIL kept us company and offered suggestions on hot dog color. We even had a Nutella tasting (It's like chocolate. Can't imagine putting it on toast, though.)

Yes, still talking about cake here.

Special Agent rolled in about now and took in the scene. He made a comment about the pork dinner, bubbling lasagna sauce and myriad of cake drama and why I was "doing all three at once?", but I just shrugged.

MIL wished us well and headed for the hills. Baboo's friend headed home too. I finished my beer.

The cake came together like buttah and here is the finished product. So what if it wouldn't fit in the refrigerator? 

Want to roll your own (hot dogs, that is)?
We ate the spicy pork on tortillas for dinner and I took the Baboo to practice. The kitchen had recovered only marginally by this point. 

7:00 PM - Baboo to practice

8:30 PM - to store for yet more frosting for touch-ups and mozzarella for the lasagnas to be layered. 

9:15: PM  - Three lasagna pans stuffed into the freezer. 

9:16 PM - Consider shoveling kitchen out, instead, throw in a match.

9:17 PM - ((Collapse))

We better win... 


Jones Family said...

Amazing! This sounds soooo like me! And people think we are off our rockers! NOT SO! At least not when we create masterpieces like this! To my credit I can brag (to this day almost 10+ years later I might add) about an AWESOME sleepover cake I made for my daughter's bday. It was shaped like a bed with little girls sleeping on it. The girls were made from twinkies and other things. It was amazing!


Danger Boy said...

That sounds CRAZY! That's the kind of controlled chaos we have on mass cooking day.
Now I'm going to have a beer with lunch. (Don't judge.)

Nicki said...


I want to buy you a cape and a monogrammed leotard.

Bushman said...

Too funny. You had me up on the chair and reading fast almost like I was there. Great job. What a rush though isn't it? I love to cook. It's a natural high. The comment is worthy enough!!!! And a beer? Nope I wouldn't judge!!

missusmom said...

OMG girl! You are a hoot! Also, this sounds JUST like me (except written with a lot more punch and skill)... "Since I'm already here in the kitchen and waiting on the ____ in the oven, I might as well start some ____ so I can have that for tomorrow, and some in the freezer....and there's a burner left open so I might as well start some ____ or throw a chicken in the know, since I'm already HERE..." Also, I have the cutting it right down to the Very Last Possible Minute to get started on a project. I think we have a problem. 12 step group for that?