Monday, August 8, 2011
It was going to be 108 in the shade that day…again, so we were trying to come up with something new to do inside besides play video games. Jamison, my six-year-old grandson, had come to spend a couple days, and it had fallen on me to keep him entertained…and uninjured. He's one of those little guys who likes to keep things moving; not only his body, but his mind. In both cases it's a struggle for me to keep up with him.
Catch was out because of some stupid woman rule about not throwing a ball in the house; checkers had already drawn to a Mexican standoff; the 550 piece puzzle we'd picked up at Bass Pro a few days prior (a big-mouthed fish leaping in sunset waters) was completed on the dining table; that is, all except for one piece, which we suspected Jamison's little brother had confiscated, and possibly eaten. We'd already done the theater scene, and we both agreed there's just so much you can watch involving animated yard gnomes and/or six inch blue beings.
So we were at our wit's end…almost.
"Let's make something" he said.
"What do you want to make?" I asked, thinking along the lines of Lego structures.
"Cookies," came his immediate response.
"Cookies?" I said aghast. "I don't know nothin' about bakin' no cookies."
"We can do it, Grampy," he assured me. "Call Mooma (a.k.a. Grandmother). She'll tell us what to do."
As an aside, Mooma is a holdover moniker from Jamison's baby-talk years of which he hasn't yet let go, much to my wife's chagrin. I'm glad I got away with just "Grampy."
So we got phone support from Mooma. Fortunately, she wasn't in New Delhi, so I understood most of what she told me to do. Jamison and I managed to get everything mixed up and put on cookie sheets, although most of his contribution involved licking utensils and sticking his (licked) fingers in the dough. And one egg fell to the floor instead of the bowl, much to the dog's delight. Grover is always happy when the boys come to visit, as he knows he's likely to get food windfalls.
Our cookie of choice was your peanut butter, and therefore had to be "mashed" prior to baking. According to our support technician, this is where you dip a fork in water and press the tines onto the cookie dough ball. This flattens the pre-cookie and creates those hash marks you often see on that denomination of cookie. Jamison insisted he be in charge of that task, and despite my repeated order not to lick the fork between mashings, he did it anyway.
After all was said and done, we managed to bake up a good batch of pretty tasty, non-health code compliant, PB cookies. But, hey, I figure at 375 degrees for ten minutes, any cooties imparted would've been cooked well beyond virulence.
And did you know cookie dough, even mashed, will turn out bigger baked than raw? Go figure. We found one big cookie per sheet, and had to cut them into squares to get them off it. Didn't upset the taste, though. They were pretty dang good, even if we do say so. However, I think Jamison's mom was upset with me that his lunch that day consisted of half a dozen cookies. But I did, I told her, throw in a nectarine so she and Mrs. Obama wouldn't think totally ill of me.
My name is Phil Truman and I write novels.
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