Having a fun lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, when Kenny and I run into a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in years. After several minutes of “OMG, you look GREAT!” “Really? Your kids are HOW old??” and “Remember when we…” we decided to get together at our house the next night for dinner and a merry trip down memory lane through our high school years.
Kenny, of course, was manning the menu and the bbq’er, and he suggested I handle dessert. Getting into the spirit of “Welcome to our home,” I decided to bake something. Reassuring a panicked Hubs that I was referring to something like Slice-n-Bake cookies, we picked up a tube on the way home and I got to work.
Poured a glass of great Cabernet, found a cookie sheet, tore open the container, and happily began slicing. Popped a dough slice in my mouth, followed by a sip of wine, got Pandora rocking to a little Blake Shelton, popped back another dough slice, had another sip of wine, and hey, this is fun! Dance, pop, sip. Dance, pop, sip. By the time the oven preheat light went off, I was out of wine and cookie dough. Uh oh. Called out to Kenny that I needed more dough (“Can’t drive. Don’t ask”), so he returned shortly with a second tube. Somehow managing to get all the slices actually onto the cookie sheet (apparently one tube of cookie dough is my limit. Who knew?), I slid it into the oven and happily waited for my “homemade cookies” to bake.
12 minutes later, I opened the oven door to find a dozen or so mushy-on-top, Chicago-charred on the bottom melted messes. WTH?? Kenny peeked into the oven and promptly dissolved into a fit of merriment, somehow managing to choke out, “Why is your rack on the bottom shelf? Cookies go in the middle of the oven.” I rifled through the garbage until I found the dough wrapper and demanded, “Show me where it says ‘Place on MIDDLE RACK.'” “It doesn’t, sweetie,” as he tried, unsuccessfully, to keep a straight face, “But I guess most people just kind of know this stuff.” Well, ouch.
Determined to contribute something to this dinner, I dumped my dozen hockey pucks into the garbage and searched for Plan B. Years ago, my mother (in a maternal flash of foresight about my future talents, or lack thereof) presented me with cookbook titled “5 Ingredients or Less.” I tore the kitchen apart until I found it, and looked up “Desserts.” Aha. Found a yummy sounding, E-Z Bake recipe for a bundt cake with glazed topping. Showed Kenny the picture (apparently the writers knew “bundt” was going to require a visual for anyone needing this particular cookbook), with instructions to get me that funny round pan, pre-mixed cinnamon balls, and a can of glaze (TWO recipes is one more than I want to deal with, so store-bought glaze it was going to be). Poured another glass of wine, turned up the music for some solo kitchen dancing, and waited for him to return.
THIS recipe was a piece of cake (ba ha!). Tore the little pre-made cinnaballs into pieces and stuffed them into the round pan. Decided the pan looked a little empty, so doubled up and packed them in good and tight. (If a little is good, a lot is BETTER.) Placed a damp rag over the top, and left it alone to do its thing until the next morning.
Got up early and ran out to check my bundt pan like a kid on Christmas morning. Oh. My. God. It had swollen until it virtually exploded, cascading up and over the pan, down my cupboards, and across the floor. SERIOUSLY?? By now, Kenny was standing behind me, naked and doubled over in laughter, and I was practically teary.
That afternoon, we picked up some Frosted Lemon Squares from the bakery. Kenny put them on a plate and told our new/old friends that they were “my specialty.” As long as they never read my blog, I’m good.