Monday, February 13, 2006

Stir crazy

What is it with men and directions? After spending four days with the PH (one of them snowed into my apartment), I feel I have a special insight into what makes men tick.
Yesterday was the perfect day to continue to pack up my apartment for my impending move. Other than having to unbury our cars and move them for the plow, there wasn’t much else on the agenda. I learned in a very short time that the PH is a worse procrastinator than I am as he came up with something new to do every time I mentioned packing… but that’s another story.
In the evening, when I finally settled into my packing, sorting and organizing, the PH decided to help me use up some of the food in the cabinets by baking chocolate chip cookies (I will pause for everyone to think, “Aww, how sweet.” OK? Great.) I gave him all of the ingredients, the measuring cups and a recipe. They were all accepted graciously… except for the recipe, which received an “I’ll just throw a bunch of stuff together. I’ll figure it out.”
Keep in mind, this is from a guy who managed to kill not one, but two batches of those Hershey’s kiss peanut butter cookies at Christmastime. Don’t those have, like, three ingredients?
Anyway, he set to work and did well until I noticed the sound of the mixer straining to combine all the ingredients. For some reason (he says I told him to do it!), the PH combined all of the dry ingredients without adding the eggs. When he did add them, they did little to break up the massive ball of dough, but the recipe still seemed salvageable.
The kicker came a few minutes later when I heard him say, “Oops.” Not a word I wanted to hear when he was using my kitchen and I was trying to finish my packing project! It turned out that he didn’t have enough chocolate chips and decided to improvise by adding cocoa to the recipe. I give him big points for the idea, but he didn’t realize that a little cocoa goes a long way and added more than necessary (I finally got him to admit to an entire cup, but I suspect it may have been double that).
We ended up tossing another egg into the mix (at that point, I figured the only place we had to go was up… besides, how bad can it be if it’s made of chocolate?) The “cookie” mix had more of a brownie or cake texture and, in the end, we cooked up a bunch of little brownie bites that looked a little funny, but were delicious with ice cream.
The Blizzard of ’06 will hold two lessons for me: the PH and I can spend four days together without anyone getting killed or maimed, and when in doubt, add ice cream.


sj said...

i have to stick up for the ph here and just say that from what i recall, one of those cookie batches at christmas were not his fault....

i can appreciate his zest for baking, but it's definitely more of an exact science than cooking.

stac said...

Yeah - I've tried the "substitution baking" technique and it never works. The worst was the time I substituted molasses for corn syrup (hey, they're both syrup-y and sweet, so I figured what the heck?) Those ended up being the hardest muffins I've ever made. Jonathan accidently dropped one and it sounded like a rock fell off the counter.