buns in the oven

I have discovered recently that I am an overbaker. It comes by naturally – my mom is, too. I’m not sure if my dad or brother ever baked anything but I’m sure if they did, it was crumbly and dry. Never soft, chewy cookies in our household – always the crispy ones which are still better than No Cookies so we made do (did you know cookies should be taken out of the oven while they still look wet?). I have this fear of baking something with a gooey middle, but then I realize it has never happened in my life except that one time at the Farm when the gas oven assed-out on me. So the possibility enters my mind I need to take things out of the oven sooner.

So today I am making a Quick Plain Cake coupled with a rather fancy frosting – the “Best Chocolate Frosting” from Pasta & Co. Coupled on top of my efforts regarding overbaking I have managed to make the moronic error of putting too much flour in the batter, resulting in THREE cakes now cooling on my windowsill. The cake was originally intended for a friend whose dinner we are providing tomorrow; now I have two additional portions to attend to.

As I type this my son is climbing all over me me. He’s wearing nothing but his sister’s “Friday” panties, a drawn-on goatee he supplied himself with, and a smile.

np – Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” which I really can’t help but like. One of those overplayed songs that somehow hasn’t lost the charm for me.

another blessing: grandparents

This morning my parents, the dog Tuck, Nels and I walk Sophie to school. My son is sedate and measured in his walk – unlike his usual spastic running. The sun shines through the apple tree at my neighbors and my dad fetches my son an apple which he holds but won’t eat yet. After we get home I do the breakfast dishes. My mom and I are planning to do some canning (with the tongs, rack, and pot my father so sweetly bought me) so I’m getting my kitchen ready while my mom makes up a grocery list for my father. I ask my dad to take Nels to the store with him; he flat-out refuses. “He’d love to go!” I suggest. “No,” my dad flatly shakes his head. I head back into the kitchen and mutter, “They say it takes a village…” and my mom finishes, “Yeah, a village of girls.”

Soon my mom and I are in the kitchen, canning tomatoes from her garden and listening to “The Best of The Ronettes” while Nels totally fakes it as if he is perennially the Perfect Child – blissfully petting the cat up on the attic bed, putting his boots off and on, holding make-believe with his toys calmly in the corner, putting my buttons back in their glass jar after sorting them (I can only surmise he is keeping his image up for Grandma). Soon there are five pints of tomatoes on my counter and it’s time to get my daughter from school. Out to the beach where we have sandwiches and pickles and my kids run on the beach with their grandfather walking behind.

We get home to naps and some sewing on Nels’ Halloween costumes. Tonight we’ll be barbecuing dinner out at the beach with my folks, then Ralph and I get to have a date together.

but seriously, there is no passive-aggressive anger in this meatball sandwich i just made you

Well, I just snapped at a perfectly decent human being. And I think it was a pregnant one, carrying a gift for someone else. Yeah, I’m an asshole. See, I was dropping off a gift at a baby shower because I wasn’t able to attend and this nice-looking young woman who was dressed lovely and smelled like flowers asked me to park somewhere else, and I fixed her with the dead-eye and said, “I’m not staying”, practically hissing like some cretinous Gorgon sister. It wasn’t her or what she said; she caught me at a bad time. Then she proceeded to back down on the parking thing, she introduced herself, and then said, “It’s nice to meet you.” I felt about two inches tall and hideous.

Yes, today is one of those days you don’t want to cross me. Or don’t even want to try to say anything to me unless it’s something like, “Hey, can I help you carry that?” or “You look nice today.” That’s right, I’m being a bitch. Now I know I joke about being a bitch all the time but I never mean it, because anyone who knows me knows I’m not really. I guess I should stop saying it because it cheapens days like today where I’ve just about had enough and I extend my regrets to anyone who’s going to run across me and I really, really want people to give me a break and not annoy me. But they keep doing it.

Part of my problem may be a slightly heightened sense of schedule and responsibility. My brother is visiting. This is a good thing, except that it’s hard for me to have company. I mentally “hover” over the person(s), especially if they’re not someone I can trust to help me care for my kids. And it’s really a mental holdover of my own, not a reflection of the capabilities or willingness of my guest(s), who are always happy to help I’m sure. Whatever it is, it sucks.

Once in my life I have actually taken a “time out” from my visitor: I basically said, “You need to entertain yourself for a while. I’m going to sew.” In that case my friend was probably relieved to have a break. But it’s hard for me to do. As I type this now my brother and son are upstairs playing on the computer and I feel guilty. Not guilty for neglecting my son, which I do regularly, but guilty for not providing 100% appropriate entertainment for my guest. This is dumb because this guest, like most, does not need this from me.

An IM from my husband: he is going to be home late. He doesn’t know when. Yay! More good news.