May 21, 2009

Field Trip Sweets


The Boy is going with his class on a field trip tomorrow. His class has four boys, ranging from fifth grade to eighth grade. The elementary class is also going on the trip - but you only get to go if you have at least 80% compliance with your behavior. The Boy made the cut, as did one other child in his class. I don't know how many elementary kids are going, nor how many adults (teachers, aides, etc.). They are going to a St. Louis park for a picnic, a day of fun and frivolity. A week or so ago when the permission slip showed up at home, I said I'd make cookies. I totally forgot about that promise until 7pm this evening.

I've already spent hours and hours in the kitchen today - in addition to the pulled pork (previous post), I also made some yummalicious Olive Cheese Bread, a recipe I found on another blog I found recently, and enjoy reading: The Pioneer Woman. I also cut up strawberries for strawberry shortcake for our dessert. I did multiple sinksful of dishes, and chopped and stirred and simmered my way to near exhaustion. And I did laundry. Come on, I'm not Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons, nor am I Hazel the maid. This ole woman is tired.

But a promise is a promise. And The Boy's teacher and classroom aide have been WONDERFUL - there's no way I would disappoint them.

I made Alton Brown's chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, from the Chips for Sister Martha episode. In the episode, he uses the exact same ingredients, but mixes them together differently, to produce either a thin, chewy, or puffy cookie. Of course, if I had cable, and had actually watched the show, I could tell you all of the wonderful chemistry that is going on when you use melted butter in the dough, instead of creaming the butter fresh out of the fridge. Anyway...

The Boy had said he would help me make the cookies. The Boy's definition of help is to stand and block whatever forward progress I want to make, all the while complaining that he is tired, or hungry, or bored. It's tough being 13. After about five minutes of his brand of "help", I cut him loose from kitchen duty...until I realized the chocolate chips were not sitting cheerfully in the cabinet. Then I had him looking high and low for the errant chips. Apparently, they've left the building, much like Elvis, and are nowhere to be found.

It's 8 pm now, a full 12 hours since I started cooking this morning. I'm beginning to dislike the kitchen. The Mister appeared, and climbed on the magic stepstool to look on top of the kitchen cabinets, but alas, no chips. We had been using that location as a hiding place for the chocolate after The Boy and a neighbor kid took a bite out of the block of baking chocolate, and then put it back in the package. Then they spit out the bitter chunks in the bathroom sink, leaving their telltale trail of chocolate guilt for me to find (and clean up) after the fact. But, I digress...

The Mister announced that we were officially out of chips, and that he guessed that someone was going to have to get some...this last part uttered as he was returning to the computer room to continue his rousing game of fighting zombies and other ne'er-do-wells. From his retreating backside, I assumed that "somebody" really meant "June Freaking Cleaver". So I left the dough in the mixer, and hightailed it to the store.

Ok, it's 8:30 pm when I return. I stir in the chips, and a partial bag of semisweet mini M&Ms for color, and start baking. And while I was typing the previous paragraph, I realized the last cookie sheet full went in the oven without my having set the timer. My bad. But all is not lost, I rescued them before they resembled charcoal hockey pucks. You can see their George Hamilton tan in the pic.

The dishes are done (AGAIN), the class cookies are packed and ready to go. It's 9:23 pm, and I am one tired little hausfrau. I think I'll retire for the evening, and read a bit before I nod off to dreamland.

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