Concerning the job(s) of parents (which alert readers know I am not,) and domestic juggling and web searches and The A.D.D. Person's Predilection Toward Faux Pas At Every Turn. Buckle in, babies. It's gonna' be a long one. Slightly, upon later reflection, reminiscent to this entry on cooking with a totally different A.D.D. chick.
Last week during the 4 day conference in Denver which took sis (Mr. Pie's Mom = MPM, for today's purposes,) away from her baby for the first time ever, (3) overnights, the birthday of Mr. Pie's dad (MPD) was fairly well overlooked in all the disruption.
Well, as I was keeping Mr. Pie again on Saturday, a plan emerged that I would at least start dinner that day, so we could have a bit of makeup celebration. And although the birthday dude had gotten a cake, (which is its own story which includes the sad detail that he ended up having to pick it up himself,) I was going to try and make a pound cake, too, which he quite enjoys. Maybe that plus homemade mac and cheese, also much beloved by said father, would help make up for the missed festivities on The Real Birthday.
If you're not a parent, let me ask you: have you ever watched an enthusiastic 13 month old while shredding cheese and making marinade and preparing a pound cake from scratch? No? Me neither. (When MPD arrived home, I was splattered with cake batter, more dishes than HE ever messes up at once were in the sink, the kid had taken that moment to try out a semi-meltdown, and my hair - formerly up in a comfy bun - had started to spill everywhere. I was, in a word, "frazzled.")
If you are a parent, here's a moment to say it again: For All The Kudos You Fail To Receive, We Laud You. Holy Crazy Day!!!
Well, here's the best part, and the spark for the first half of this entry's title. A couple of hours later, by which time MPM had arrived back home and I had returned with J. for dinner, I glanced into the kitchen, eyes all glinty with anticipation, and asked, "Where's the cake?!"
I should back up and add a bit more detail about why that cake mattered to me so much:
- I have no actual recollection of ever having made a pound cake from scratch. It's possible I have, since I've cooked and baked a decent amount in my life. But since my grandmother, Bigmama, and Great Aunt Evimae pretty well had that corner locked down, I don't actually think I ever bothered.
- MPM, however, makes a mean pound cake. Having picked up where our elder relatives left off, you might say. Using a recipe I was unable to locate, in spite of her fine instructions on the phone and the help of The Very Cool Baby who sat on the floor with me by the bookcase and helped me pull every single book he could reach off - for me!
- In the end, I printed from the internet, a total of 3 different pound cake recipes that were each described as The Best Pound Cake Ever (in spite of the fact that each one of them differed from the others.)
- The reason I printed 3 different ones is that I was cooking in someone else's kitchen using someone else's previously acquired ingredients. And in spite of the fact that the kitchen and its ingredients are, in fact, owned by my sister and are therefore in many ways similar to the ingredients my own kitchen would offer on a good day, she was missing 3 Very Key Ingredients.
- The main interchangeable ingredients, depending on which recipe you happened to have in front of you, were sour cream, shortening, and cream cheese. Nope. Not a one in her fridge.
- But they did have Laughing Cow spreadable cheese. A light version. In little 3/4 oz wedges. "Well!" thought I. "Maybe this will take the place of those other three, and even if it's not the best choice, it's really all I have!"
- So I'd made a cake batter using Laughing Cow, and on the way back for dinner had admitted my choice to J, The Boyfriend Who, Oh, By The Way Happened To Once Upon A Time Have Been An Executive Chef For A Very Impressive Resort. His response had been, "Laughing Cow doesn't have fat. You need fat for a pound cake."
- Well, before I knew you I would have just served it and I'll bet it won't be bad at all, even good maybe, 'cause maybe you don't know everything. And there's lots of butter which has plenty of fat. Only that wasn't said out loud, of course. 'Cause apparently he might. Know everything about cooking, that is.
- The recipe called for a bundt pan. Which sis apparently had but I didn't see. So I got out two loaf pans, but gave one to The Sultan of Cool, along with a wooden spoon. Which he quite enjoyed, because he's really quite rhythmic for a kid who's still really closer to a baby than a kid. MPD later pointed out that I was starting to exhibit tendancies of my other grandmother, Sally, which is sometimes alarming to hear, but on this occasion didn't bother me one bit 'cause in that way she was very much cool.
So now return with me to the re-arrival to the scene of the day's chaos and all my domestic bliss.
I walk into the house, we exchange our greetings, the guys sit down to talk, I join sis in the bathroom for Mr. Pie's quick bath, then we return to the kitchen where I want to know about the cake. Birthday Boy tells me we'll not be talking about the cake.
Seems I shouldn't have given that extra pan to the baby. Seems I should have split the batter in two. Seems the batter boiled over into the mac and cheese and a scene of True Frantic Proportions had greeted MPM when she'd arrived and MPD declared he'd done what I said and he does know how to cook, but not to bake and he didn't know what happened.
Lemme' tell you: that mac and cheese was divine. In spite of the fact that the pasta was really not macaroni at all but mini penne. And in spite of the fact that occasionally you tasted a gloriously sweet, crunchy bit that had, in fact, started out as a cake. We all agreed the cake would have been quite delicious. And it would have been too. Don't think I'm not going to make that recipe again, including the Laughing Cow ingredient 'cause I want to know how it tastes that way!!!
Okay. For the ironic explanation of the second part of this entry's title. On this, of all days, still reeling from Reason 743 it's best I don't have my own offspring, I found, in my website traffic stats, evidence that someone searched the words "how has parenting changed today?" via Ask.com. Take a look. No, really...I dare you. Click the link. Do you realize that this very phrase yields 450,000 results and my website comes up as number 12!!! More curiosities every single day, concerning this phenomenon of the 'net.
PS: Sis made a pound cake yesterday. Using her own recipe. Which had been there all along, but cleverly hidden beneath the one book Mr. Pie didn't help me look under. Laughing Cow was nowhere to be found in the list of ingredients. I'm told it turned out perfectly.