I've written before about my distinct lack of the domestic gene. I'm sure it's somewhere in my DNA, but it rarely takes the initiative in day-to-day living.
This was once again brought glaringly to light when I attempted to make sugar cookies last night. My last attempt in this field - nearly a year ago to the day - yielded brittle, overcooked product. This year I consulted the guru of domesticity, my boss Sue.
See? Already, I'm thinking ahead.
Sue regularly wakes up in the morning and cranks out two or three versions of bread (corn, peanut, cinnamon, etc.) or she may choose to wallpaper or paint a wall, or pick some other massive undertaking that would take me a week to recover from, conservatively. She usually slides these tasks in before arriving at the office where she often meets my astonishment with "it's not really that difficult." And she may be right. But as I can mess up instant soup, I'm in awe.
I have a shamrock shaped cookie cutter, and around this time in recent years, I have found myself with an urge to make cookies and employ said cutter. I will spend tomorrow night in Italian class, so I'm limited in my St. Paddy's Day celebration options this year. I decided, ergo, to make shamrock cookies to share at my desk as an alternative. Not, perhaps, as enchanting as green beer (or my usual celebration libation of a shot of Jamesons chased by a pint of cider or Guinness), but with a little bit of luck (Ha! See what I did there?) tasty just the same.
Fortunately, I had the sense to consult the guru ahead of time and thanks to a gaggle of Sunday text messages from Sue, had the recipe for her sinfully moist and creamy sugar cookies in hand. I even remembered to ask about ingredients and quantities while at the store and had the foresight to leave the margarine and cream cheese out to soften so that they'd be malleable when it came time to cream them together. Icing and green jimmies didn't escape my shopping cart either. AND I had the presence of mind to begin prep on Sunday so that the dough could refrigerate overnight and thus be even more likely to succeed.
Hear me roar.
There I was, last night around 9pm, mashing my ingredients together, mixing in the egg and vanilla and cannily adding the flour mix. It was going so well, I had to pause and rest my unaccustomed stirring arm. I scanned e-mails for 10 minutes and then returned to the fray, eager to finish off the dough and get that much closer to bedtime.
I picked up the mixing bowl filled with flour and prepared to continue when I noticed some flecks of dirt in the bowl that I hadn't seen before.
"What the -"
Jiggling the bowl revealed even more flecks. Had something fallen into the bowl while I was on the computer? Maybe something from the nearby dish drainer had trickled in.
No - wait - the flecks were moving.
There were worms burrowing in my flour! Flipping around from side to side like inchworms on a hot sidewalk.
Total. Gross. Out.
See?! There's a reason I don't do this sort of thing! Talk about scarring a person for life! Never mind that the flour's lack of use and freshness alone lead me to this end, a state that can be laid firmly at my microwaveable door. This? Shouldn't happen! If I were less - well - me - it could have been enough to scare me away from cookies for life!
But let's not get too crazy about it.
I think it's safe to say that I am officially a domestic catastrophe. A cautionary tale as to why they invented bakeries and restaurants. And still the worst, the very worst part about it was that for just a fraction of a second there, bogged down with the frustration of another kitchen failure, I had a quick moment, barely a nanosecond, where I honestly wondered, albeit sheepishly, "maybe no one will notice."
Needless to say I threw the whole thing out, kit and caboodle along with the remaining flour in the pantry, the baking soda, and even the plastic flour canister itself, just to be on the safe side (my mother's helpful tip "they may have laid eggs" spurred me towards that last one). I am still waayyyy skeeved out over the matter, even as I plan to pick up more ingredients tonight and start again. Be sure I'll be inspecting every crumb along the way. And still, even then, on Tuesday? I guarantee that I'll be eyeing the final product with one thought firmly front of mind.
I should've stuck with the damn beer.