Wednesday, October 25, 2006

and I got ready for the future to arrive

Something I neglected to admit about Sunday is this- knowing maisnon was coming over, and realizing that it has been a light year since I regularly turned on my oven, I toyed with making some confection. There were a few problems. First, it was about 80 degrees outside as we were having our annual October Indian summer weekend in San Francisco. Second, it was about 95 degrees in my heat-trap of a crack shack. Turning on my oven struck me as an extra-large sized pair of Bad Idea jeans. Third, my attempt to make no-bake pecan bon bons failed miserably. Really miserably. So miserably that I cannot even offer up photographic evidence.

But the heat wave is dying down, and it is getting to be the right season for regular baking. I realized last night that the last time I had dipped a toe back in the baking pool was mediocre at best. It was also two months ago. I am suddenly aware that, in the big push towards The Goal, I left a few things behind. And without those things, I become disconnected from myself.

Also, on Monday night, I had a typical response to disappointing news- I tried to eat the contents of my refrigerator. So, last night, I took Coach Taylor's advice, and tried to channel my disappointment into a more productive pursuit than that of sending myself into a diabetic coma. I decided to bake the contents of my kitchen. Okay, maybe it was not that extreme. Still. During the commercial breaks for FNL, I surveyed the kitchen, taking stock, figuring out what I had and what was missing, what I absolutely needed and where I could compensate. So, after FNL, I set about making this:

This is supposedly an oatmeal cake. I tried to spice it up with a good amount of cinnamon, ginger and allspice, but I still got the sense that it was a little bland. I was preparing to chuck the whole thing. I am okay with that, and don't consider it wasteful. Here's why. I consider it wasteful to throw away food that you made for the purpose of consuming. However, I was baking for experimentation purposes, for the soothing nature of the process of it. Sacrifices have to be made in experimentation, failures have to be discarded. You move on. But. I deemed this to not be an incomplete failure. I diagnosed the problem as potential blandness. Solution: more cowbellspice it up. Implementing this solution involved concocting a way to make cinnamon frosting. And so, I wound up with this:

As you can see, I was still unsure of myself. Usually, I just bring in what I have hatched in the kitchen and unleash it on my coworkers because I do not care for the majority of them and they seem willing to eat pretty much anything left in the break room. However, I really did not know what to make of this. The cake part of it was a little crumbly, and tasted a little like the inside of a cake donut. The cinnamon frosting, on the other hand, was exactly what I wanted it to be.

RR tasted it this morning. His evaluation: "not your best work". I agree. But it did not feel like a fiasco.

It did not feel like a fiasco because last night I had a modest dose of good television. Last night, I tinkered in the kitchen until the whole apartment smelled of cinnamon. Last night, after all of that, I walked to the grocery store because I had run out of milk. And last night, I slept like a baby, and woke up prepared to deal decisively with all the unnecessary drama and disappointment that comes with waking up every morning.

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