Friday, September 15, 2006

Cinnamon Autumn With a Pinch of Molasses Drama

Last weekend, in my mind, was the beginning of Autumn. Mostly because I was able to do this.

Well, maybe not gingerbread cookies, but it was the first opportunity to bake in the new kitchen. Notice how tiny the old kitchen looked... I can't believe that I ever survived nine years with so little counter space. And my head is extremely happy, too. I can't tell you how often I've bumped my noggin on those old cabinets above that penisula.

Now when we bake or cook, it resembles this:

Last weekend was action packed--and baking cookies was the perfect way to begin. Friday night I had decided what cookies to make (chocolate chip, peanut butter, and some sort of molasses cookie). I made sure that I had unsalted butter (the only ingredient I wasn't sure was in the freezer) and went to bed.

Saturday morning I retrieved said butter and pulled out the stand mixer [insert sounds of angels singing here] only to find that it needed to be thoroughly washed. It had been stored under the computer desk in the living room for three months and had accumulated several ickies inside the bowl. Sigh. I methodically washed the bowl, the stand, and any other little bit that connected to the mixer.

With the butter melting on the stove, I began pulling out all of the flours and sugars needed for Alton's recipe. And then went looking for the flour sifter... Not where it used to be, snuggled down with the measuring cups. Found it one drawer down from there. Sifted the flour and went to add baking soda. No measuring spoons with the measuring cups. Found them somewhere else. Are you beginning to see just how much bigger our kitchen is?

The first batch of cookie dough went into the fridge while I pondered which kind of molasses cookie I wanted to make. Time to get The Book. Which was not on the new bookshelf we purchased for the living room. Nor was it in the cookie cutter drawer (yes--we have a drawer for cookie cutters!). Nor was it nestled among the DVDs and computer games on the large oak shelf from Mr. GoGoGo's old law office.

I believe at this point I suffered a minor heart attack.

After several deep breaths I was able to locate a hand-written molasses cookie recipe. That called for shortening. Which we hardly ever buy. Sigh. I had just enough for the recipe and was able to store that in the fridge.

Then a quick shower, lunch of mac and fromage, and we were off to see Wicked at the Keller Auditorium. Wicked is the story of Oz happenings before Dorothy was blown in from Kansas, centering on two girls who become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. The women had incredible storylines, fantastic songs, snappy lines, and great costumes. I'd highly recommend seeing it if you have the chance. Critter enjoyed it, too, saying it was "almost better than Hairspray" which she attended with the Social Butterfly and myself.

After the show, we went to New Seasons Market and bought flavored brauts and garlic chicken for dinner. Once home, the baking began. If only I could find the parchment paper to line the cookie sheets.

I foraged up in the attic and found two rolls of it. Unfortunately, they were in two more boxes that were destined for the kitchen. Sigh. We thought we had unboxed everything when I brought the eight other boxes down in August.

And no sign of The Book, either.

At the end of the evening the whole house smelled of molasses. And a bit of peanut butter (which used up the last of the shortening!).

Sunday morning we baked the last of the cookies and headed off to the Scrap Maven's house for a day of scrap booking. I brought cookies and a borrowed laptop. CrafterKat had the remainder of our Disneyland photos to paste. Huggy Girl brought her daughter and many cute "nekked baby" photos. The day was spent in scrapbooking and cookie bliss. With a few dashes of garlic and rosemary brauts on the side.

And after a week I still have not found The Book...