Monthly Archives: July 2008

Cookie v. The Coffee Cake

This morning at work I had to go to a kind of ‘get to know you’ meeting with a some new people in our group and our SVP. I decided that I would like to bake something to bring to the meeting (I wasn’t sucking up, I swear – I just like to bake.)

7:30pm: Shit. I shouldn’t have stayed at work so late. Now I have to go to the grocery store on my way home and then go home and then bake and I have to do some more stuff for that other meeting in the morning and I would really like to go to sleep early tonight since I was up so late last night.

7:35pm: Shit. Now I just drove right the hell past the grocery store. Idiot. Do not feel like turning around. Will make something with ingredients at home – I must have enough stuff to make SOMETHING.

7:45pm: Shit. Why are we out of peanut butter? And chocolate chips? And everything else that I need to make my favorite recipes. Fine. I will pull out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and find something.

7:50pm: Oh look! Here is a new coffee cake recipe. I think I have all the ingredients. And I can make it in my new fancy bundt pan and it will look all pretty.

7:51pm: I should double-check to make sure that I have everything I need.

7:51:30pm: Nah. I’ll just get started.

7:55pm: La la la. Where the heck is my whole wheat flour? Oh. That bag is almost empty. Well then, recipe, how do you feel about all-purpose flour? I think you’ll like it.

8:00pm: Um, recipe? Dark brown sugar? How about light brown sugar? It’s basically the same thing.

8:15pm: One and a half cups sour cream. Ok.

8:16pm: Shit. I could have sworn this container was almost full. How is there only a 1/2 cup in there? Recipe, you don’t look like you think a 1/2 cup is going to cut it.

8:17pm: Hello, Mr. Google. Please tell me some recipe substitutions for sour cream.

8:18pm: Yogurt, you say? I think I have some yogurt. Let me check.

8:19pm: Mr. Google, I understand that blueberry yogurt is not exactly what you meant, but surely we don’t have to be so literal, right? Besides, I think the fruit is on the bottom, which means that I can just take the stuff of the top, which is essentially plain yogurt anyway. Stop looking at me like that, it is totally NOT cheating.

8:20pm: WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE FRUIT IS NOT ON THE BOTTOM? On the plus side, yum, blueberry yogurt.

8:21pm: Ok, Mr. Google, how about some alternatives?

8:22pm: Buttermilk, you say? Mixed with butter? Hmmm. That might work, IF I HAD ANY BUTTERMILK. Shit.

8:23pm: I think I can just MAKE buttermilk! Brilliant! Quick, Mr. Google, tell me how.

8:24pm: Did you know that if you mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with a cup of milk, and then let it sit for 5 minutes, it will make an appropriate substitute for buttermilk? And did you know that if you mix one cup of buttermilk with 1/3 cup of butter, it will make a substitute for sour cream? AM GODDAMN RECIPE GENIUS! VICTORY IS MINE.

8:30pm: Get into the oven, Mr. Coffee Cake.

9:45pm: Time to come out of the oven, Mr. Coffee Cake. Don’t you look so pretty. Let’s let you cool in your pan for a few minutes.

9:55pm: Time to come out of the pan, Mr. Coffee Cake! Now you be good to momma, and come out easily and without leaving little chunks of yourself stuck to the pan.

9:56pm: Success! I’d like to thank the academy, and especially Pam for Baking.

10:15pm: Ok, Mr. Coffee Cake. Let’s glaze you. We’ll need 2-3 teaspoons of milk.

10:16pm: …Annnnd, it looks like it will be 2 teaspoons, since now we’re out of milk.

10:17pm: And now will put in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

10:18pm: Hmm. If I was powdered sugar, where would I be in this kitchen? Because it is most definitely not in the spot that it has been every single day since we moved here.

10:22pm: Um, powdered sugar? Could you stop hiding now? Please?

10:25pm: Oh, there you are. Why the hell are you in the cabinet with the vases? ‘Tis a mystery.

10:26pm: Now for the vanilla. And oh goodie, it looks like the bottle of vanilla has fallen over in the cabinet and spilled. At least there wasn’t that much left. And at least the cabinet smells kind of pretty now. And at least I had the foresight to realize that I was running low and buy another bottle. Whew.

10:30pm: Cake, you were a mighty contender, but I declare myself victorious. Now let’s just hope you taste good.

9:00am, at the meeting: Oh, don’t be silly. It was absolutely no problem at all!

(At least it tastes good.)

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Water, water everywhere (and a bonus hypothetical)

The town started doing construction on our street about a week or so before we left on vacation – we didn’t think much of it as it kind of looked like they were just laying giant pieces of pipes everywhere for the fun of it. But, it turns out that they were preparing to replace the water main on our street. We found this out when we were on vacation, and a friend from work stopped by our house to feed the lizard and bring in the mail. She found a note taped to our door that said that we need to call the water department by the end of the day on the day she found the note to schedule hook up to a ‘temporary water line’.

After figuring out that business from 3,000+ miles away, we arrived home from our red-eye flight to discover that we could not, in fact, drive down our street. The only way to get to our house was to drive through the neighboring town and go down the other end of the street. And then we found out that what ‘temporary water line’ actually means is ‘water line the size of a garden hose that will mean that you get exactly NO water pressure on a good day, and don’t even think about trying to take a shower while you’re running the dishwasher’.

It also means lots of air bubbles in the line, so every time I’m taking a shower (a very long one, because imagine trying to shower in a stream of water that is equivalent to your average kindergarten water fountain) and the thing very loudly starts spitting out air, I duck and cover like I’ve suddenly found myself facing a firing squad. What is it about that noise that startles me so much?

I guess my griping is late in coming, since it appears that the construction is almost completed, but I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to a shower that features a reasonable level of water pressure.

**Bonus hypothetical. Let’s say you work in an office building, and let’s say that people routinely leave leftover food (from catered lunches, birthday parties, etc) in the little copy rooms on each floor. It’s completely acceptable to take a food that’s left there. (I am totally not above cutting myself a slice of cake in celebration of Bob’s birthday, even if I don’t know who the hell Bob is.) But now let’s say that there is leftover pizza in there, and it’s not in a box, but sitting in the open on a bunch of paper towels. And it’s been there since yesterday (at least – possibly longer but I am not aware). Would you eat it?

I can say for absolute certainty that I would not – but my new cube neighbor seems to feel differently about the scenario and is presently munching away. Now, in his defense, I suppose he may not know that it has been there since yesterday (although I don’t see how because that is where the printer is, and he prints stuff all the time), but… still… gross, right?

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… Is this thing on?

Hi.

I didn’t mean to be gone so long.

And I really have no excuse.

Whoops.

First, I had a busy few weeks at work. And then I was having trouble logging into my WordPress account for some reason. (A problem which seems to have miraculously solved itself, which is the way I like my problems to be solved.) And then I started feeling guilty (stupid, I know!) for going all cold turkey on this blogging thing and I waaaaay over-thought it and was all, well, I can’t just SHOW UP someday and start blogging again, not when I just went away for so long, and – ACK. ENOUGH. AM HERE.

Perhaps some pictures will make up for my long absence? Pictures from vacation? In California? Pictures like this one?

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We also biked over the Golden Gate Bridge and saw views like this:

We went on a tour of Alcatraz Island:

And we were cheesy tourists on Fisherman’s Wharf:

We went to Napa and had lots of wine:

Lots and lots of delicious wine:

Then we went to Palo Alto for Liz’s wedding! Here is a picture of our dresses since I didn’t ask if it was OK to post a picture with actual people in it:

And yes, speaking of pictures with actual people in them, that IS me with the pirate up there. Hola! (Is that what you thought I looked like?)

So, there’s much more to update on but I’m afraid that’s it for now as it is, ahem, almost my bed time. (Sad! But true!) But, I promise – I’m back for good!

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