Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Which My Husband Discovers the Baking Cupboard

I should preface this by saying Mr. McGee is an excellent cook, and when we got married, he could cook and I could not. I baked, but I didn't cook. So it's not like he's not in the kitchen fully as often as I am doing fully as much of the cooking.

Last night we're watching television, and I see cookies on TV, and, as I now do every time I see food on television, I said, "Mmm, I want cookies." (I even want vile and disgusting things I would never actually eat. All food is appetizing now!)

Mr. McGee said, and this is not all verbatim, but pretty close: "I was just thinking that too. I really wish we had some cookies."

"Why don't you go make some?"

"Do we have the stuff to make cookies?"

"Flour, sugar, butter ... yeah, I'm pretty sure we even have brown sugar and baking soda!"

"But don't you need special stuff?"

"Dear, we always have the stuff to make cookies. I just hate making them, cakes are easier."

"Well if I'd known we had the stuff, I would have made some!"

"Why don't you go make some now?" I asked.

"Oh," he said, "I've never made cookies from scratch."

Long pause. "Are you screwing with me?" (Only I didn't say screwing.)

"No, I've never made them."

"Wait here." I go in the kitchen, find the Nestle semi-sweet morsels, and come back with the chocolate chips and the mixer attachment. "Here's the recipe. Here's the right attachment for the mixer. Go nuts."

He goes in the kitchen and makes the cookies, with lots of lawyerly over-exactness, which is why I have to be in the other room so I don't feel the burning urge to micromanage when he bakes. When I (and every girlfriend I asked) make the Nestle chocolate chip cookies, I just throw everything in one bowl and turn on the mixer. (As one friend said, "If the butter isn't frozen solid, I call it a win!") He's in there softening the butter, creaming it with the sugar, pre-mixing the salt, baking soda, and flour in a whole separate bowl (extra dishes! Ack!). In his own defense, he pointed out that I always tell him to read the recipe before he starts cooking, since he has in the past started a recipe before realizing he doesn't have all the ingredients, and that he's just doing what I said and following the directions. This is true.

He successfully bakes the cookies, with much fretting over uneven browning of the bottoms, are how do I get them done without burning, and taste testing of each batch. We're sitting on the couch enjoying his very tasty cookies, and I ask, "Now that you've made cookies, aren't you proud you can make them whenever you want?"

"No, now I'm wondering why you haven't been making me cookies all the time!"

"Because I hate baking cookies! I make you cakes!"

Now my big fear is that since he's discovered the existence of the baking cupboard, I will never, ever again have baking stuff on hand, since I replace the brown sugar when there's a cup left or the baking soda when it's getting low -- when there's enough for one more recipe but not two more recipes. He tends to not replace things until they're entirely run out. I foresee a future devoid of vanilla extract.


mom said...

At least now I know what you need for your birthday!

Jennifer said...

I love to bake cookies and I'm a bit rigorous about the details. Room temp butter should be right around 65 degrees for maximum aeration. Plus I weigh my flour. (4.4-4.5 ounces per cup of AP flour).
And, yes, the cookies turn out fine (usually) without the precision, but I enjoy it.

Eyebrows McGee said...

I'll be like that for cakes, but I hate the whole putting in/taking out batches thing for cookies that keeps you stuck in the kitchen for an hour. So I tend to throw them together quickly. Cakes I take my time with and want them to turn out perfect so I'll put the butter out to warm to room temp, etc.