Posts Tagged "baking"

And Reality Begins to Set In

Dear Kid,

countdown to college move in 3“Who wants to help me make cookies and then go for a long walk?” your sister asked.

Not a completely unreasonable suggestion (for it was more suggestion than question). Except that it was already 9:15pm when she asked.

In between watching the Olympic races (mostly swimming at that hour), Dad and Pi baked 4,892 chocolate chip cookies. Dad announced every few seconds that this was the first time he’d ever made cookies from scratch. It was kind of a sport in and of itself: mix cookie dough, race back into the family room to catch up on the Olympics, race back to the kitchen before the dough is overmixed, yell to find out who the announcers are talking about, scoot the cookies in the oven, pray that the next race will end prior to the timer going off. You get the picture.

By the time Pi and I set off for a walk it was next Tuesday. Who goes for a walk at 11pm? Your sister that’s who. Who thinks it’s a good idea to go for a walk at 11pm when it’s raining and the humidity is about a zillion percent? Your sister that’s who. And who accompanies her? You got it on the first guess.

We had took the Puppy with us on the first lap, but then he was smart enough to want to go inside where it was dry, there was a comfy pillow to sleep on, and someone might be talked into giving him a treat.

Pi and I and our umbrellas continued to walk. Our Fitbits appreciated it. We also got a bit of time to catch up which is always nice and frequently entertaining.

Today’s plan (if she ever decides to wake up) is a mad dash to get her ready for college.

Yikes! My baby goes to college this week.

I’d best go lie down for a bit.

Love, Mom

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Making Lists But Not About Red Coffee Cups

Dear Kid,

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when you go to work when it’s dark and come home when it’s dark. The time of year when bears and people would really rather think about hibernation.

The time of year when people worry about whether coffee tastes good out of red cups rather than worrying about the important things like war, famine, and whether it’s legal to play fantasy football.

It’s a list-making time of year. (OK, for me, it is always a list-making time of year, but right now it seems everyone is making lists. Some are even checking them twice.)

We’re making lists about who will do what chore when they come home from college. We’re making lists about menus and ingredients and who will eat what and do not get Aunt Martha started about her cataracts.

We’re making lists about emails to send and cards to write and decorations to purchase. We’re making lists about what we need to take when we travel and what time we absolutely, positively MUST leave the house in order to avoid traffic and make our connection. We’re making lists about getting the cleaning done and the baking done and do not talk about politics with Aunt Martha no matter what.

We’re making lists of what to be thankful for and what chapters to study and what homework is due. We’re making lists of what can be accomplished before the end of the year and what will have to wait until 2016. We’re making lists of home repairs and hoping the weather will read the list and not make things difficult.

We’re making lists of what’s on sale when and whether we can live without a muffin pan that lets you bake 48 mini muffins at once. We’re making lists of which doctor appointments have been scheduled and whether we can still get in for a teeth cleaning during winter break.

We make our lists, knowing that some of the things will get done and some will almost get done and some will not get done despite our best efforts. But we do what we can and decide to celebrate being with the people we love rather than fretting about whether we have enough decorations. (We still hope no one brings up the presidential debates with Aunt Martha.)

And for the record, coffee tastes the same no matter what color cup you drink from. Ditto for the design on the cup. To all those who are fretting about it, get over yourselves.

Love, Mom


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The Annual Great Pumpkin Muffin Bake (Yes, They’re That Good)

Dear Kid,

The Annual Great Pumpkin Muffin Bake has begun.

This year, since someone (not mentioning any names, but it’s you) requested 100 muffins to take back to school, there will be More Than The Usual Amount of Baking.

Last night I made 137 muffins (at which point I ran out of ingredients). Then Pi came home and 30 seconds later there were 6 muffins left. That’s why there aren’t any photos. Because there aren’t any muffins to take pix of.

Not to worry. Dad bought more ingredients and there will be more baking this week—and Pi will be given a muffin quota.

She has expressed sadness at the muffin quota.

The Puppy has also expressed sadness at the muffin quota because his quota is zero. Partly because there aren’t any muffins left, but mostly because these pumpkin muffins have raisins which is a huge canine no-no. He suggested (quite clearly) that I was more than welcome to pick out the raisins for him or—better yet—make a batch without raisins.

When I fell down on the floor laughing he licked my chin once, then went to his pillow in a huff. Apparently a nap cures all ill feeling because he’s once again my BFF.

I’m quite sure that he’ll continue supervising during the next batch of baking.

Love, Mom

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Wrangling the Wild Paperwork

Dear Kid,

It’s paperwork day.

Actually, it’s make cookies, go to a meeting, consider going to the gym, cook for the week, clean up the kitchen, brush the dog, write some blogs, and paperwork day, but it’s the paperwork that I am determined to confront head on.

The rest of it will happen. Probably. But the paperwork is likely to resist being completed.

Papers resist all efforts to corral them into one place. Their collective weight is like that of a black hole, just sucking energy from the surrounding area. DearKidLoveMom.comHave you ever tried to wrangle paperwork you’ve gotten behind on? Wild west movies and the stampede in the Lion King don’t prepare you for taking on the inertia of sulky paperwork.

First, the papers resist all efforts to corral them into one place. Their collective weight is like that of a black hole, just sucking energy from the surrounding area.

The paperwork raises baby papers (receipts and other small items) to act like spies and infiltrate seemingly benign piles of paper. They learn to hide, to blend in with the local scenery (You needed that scrap of paper? I recycled it last week!). The paperwork as a whole is strong enough for advanced mind control techniques (“Where is the receipt for X?” “I gave it to you.” “Nope, you didn’t.” “Well, I dunno.”).

Once you convince the majority of the papers to Sit! Stay! they call in reinforcements called “distractions.” (MOM!! The timer just beeped! MOM!! Can you help me with this? Sweetie! Phone is for you! Mom—rub my tummy!)

Some distractions are easier to ignore than others.

An amazing thing happens though once you record the important information and file each piece of paper. An amazing calm settles over each little scrap and each page. Once in their assigned folders, they stop calling out for chaos in the world and move to a life of retired peace.

It’s our job to help them move on to this happier state.

And today, I’m determined—bound, set, and determined—to make progress.


After the cookies.

And a few phone calls.

And a tummy rub for the puppy.

Love, Mom

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How to Make Zucchini Bread (Dear Kid Love Mom Style)

Dear Kid,

Dad has grown a bumper crop of zucchini this year. And by “bumper crop” I mean the zucchinis are big enough to be used as bumpers for Jeeps.

Faced with a giant number of giant-sized zucchini, I decided to make zucchini bread.

The good news is that the kitchen is still intact and even (mostly) cleaned up.

Also, the zucchini bread tastes good (even if it doesn’t taste overly zucchini-ed).

Being the kind of mom I am, I decided to share my methodology.

First look up a zucchini bread recipe. My Friend the Internet was happy to provide several options, and after considering the options for .000012 of a second I chose the first one that popped up.

Exactly what I DIDN'T look like while I was baking zucchini bread. DearKidLoveMom.comI am so predictable.

I then proceeded and continued (extra points if you get the reference) to collect the ingredients. I decided to make two loaves (did I mention the jumbo sized zucchinis?) so I doubled everything.

Six cups of flour is a fair amount of flour, and it seems like even more when you sift it and occasionally miss the bowl. Once again, the Puppy (who was hovering hopefully) turned slightly whiter than usual. The baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon all made it into the bowl.

Then I mixed six eggs with 2 cups of oil (holy cow that’s a lot of oil) and some sugar while we held a group discussion about whether or not to include walnuts (no nuts, final answer).

As I added the dry ingredients, I glanced at the recipe.

And realized the original recipe was for two loaves, so I was making enough for four.


I only own two loaf pans.

Ignore reality and continue.

The batter, however, didn’t ignore reality and it became pretty obvious that we were about to run out of space in the mixer.

Which meant we had partly mixed batter in one bowl, flour in another bowl, shredded zucchini pretty much everywhere, and I needed a plan to somehow convince everything to come together without exploding the mixer.

I tried talking to the batter. “Stay down. Stay. Down!” The batter ignored me and continued to climb the beaters.

I tried teeny bursts of power. The batter climbed in teeny bursts.

I gave up and stirred all ingredients in by hand.

I looked at the loaf pans, then at the batter. “You will fit. You WILL fit.”

Turns out I had larger than usual loaf pans. The loaves baked up and over but didn’t cause an oven disaster. An hour or so later, we had two HUGE zucchini breads. Another super yummy kitchen mess.

And with all that, we still had half a zucchini left over.

Did I mention the size of the zuchs?

Love, Mom

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