It’s no secret I love to bake. Even though I love this activity, sickness I’m not always the swiftest baker. I follow recipes to a tee, pill but I don’t have the luxury of adding a “splash of this” and a “dash of that” to in-progress dishes as some of my chef friends can do (Mat comes to mind). I envy that, being able to taste colorless dough and determining it “needs more salt” “could use more blending” or to “add some extra sugar”. I must have been devoid of this gene, just like when a 5’2 woman falls in love with playing basketball. It’s a lovely story, but unlikely to actually pan out for all those involved.
Going out for dinner last night we were tasked in bringing desert. I literally was licking my chops, as I don’t bake anywhere near the amount I would like to, partly because Jon and I would eat it all ourselves, and part because there isn’t really anyone to give it to. Apparently eating 24 cookies in one sitting isn’t good for training for triathlons… and as such, I have been careful not to dawn my apron and have been quietly pushing down the urge to whip up a quick batch of cookies.
I chose two deserts for dinner, one being a white chocolate cranberry bar (which ended up being quite simple and quite good) and carrot cake. With nine people at the dinner table, I figured the double should take care of all the big appetites.
Yesterday afternoon I started pulling items for the carrot cake and noticed we didn’t have eggs of butter. I was irritated at myself because I had JUST been at the grocery store purchasing items for baking. I hoped on my bike and spun down to Red Barn and grabbed said eggs and butter. I ran back inside, threw back on my apron and washed my hands.
At that very moment my cell phone rang- work. I sat down at the computer. A new email came in—right. I have to deal with that ticket today. Shoot, I was going to phone that guy in Denver about the rental. I start to frantically work through my half dozen work items that came up and ignore the carrot cake. I whip out in my jeep at a ridiculous speed to pick up Jon from his workout. We blow back to our place that is now a complete and utter mess. We quickly pull together the carrot cake, Jon taking charge, and we throw the cake into the oven.
But the cake was supposed to bake in three separate pie plates. The cake was supposed to bake for 35 minutes. As 40, 45, 50 minutes pass and the cake still shifts and wiggles around in its one large cake pan and refuses to brown I become enraged.
We proceed to dinner, and I let this anger quietly simmer on the back burner for the entire evening. We drive home, I arrive to the kitchen, a sheer and utter disaster zone: dirty dishes everywhere, cake batter splattered all over the walls, and that damn carrot cake, now fully baked.
Slowly I begin to clean up the kitchen and I can feel the incredible swell of anger coming through my body at an alarming rate. I can feel myself clenching my jaw and crying angry tears. I looked at the carrot cake and all I could see is myself, the carrot cake failure. I looked at the cake seething with resentment and I surprised myself with all the things that came rising to the surface. I have lived, traveled and worked all over the world, why can’t I seem to find my feet under me with this move? I found ease, comfort and a sense of home every place I have walked and lay my head down to sleep, why I have I lacked this feeling since arriving here? Just like my failed carrot cake, I let myself feel an acute sense of disappointment. I am disappointed in me.
Instead of really working with this thought, massaging it, thinking through it, I instead walked to the bedroom and proceeded to lay my anger out on Jon. We all know how this works: anger breeds anger, frustration, frustration, and instead of just loving myself and consoling myself I let the emotions brew and grow and turn into something ridiculous.
(How Holly could have handled the situation. 3pm: wow, as per usual my time management skills are totally off. How about I abandon the idea of trying a new and difficult recipe and just bake another simple cookie so I have enough deserts and don’t stress myself out completely? 5pm: arrive to pick up boyfriend showered, in cute dinner-out outfit, smiling, relaxed, have time for snuggling and sharing day over tea before leaving for dinner. 6pm: leave for dinner on time, arrive on time, cookies and squares in hand, completely devoid of anger, resentment, disappointment, and mentally beating self up for hours on end. 10pm: go to bed happy, tired, content from day. Wow, this looks much better than how I handled it).
But time is funny how time goes, Friday morning comes and sets of apologies are given. I take solace in the sunshine, the belief that each day is another chance, a new start, and new hope. And the hope I will handle this situation completely different next time.
Now if I could just do something about the absurd amount of carrot cake.