Too Much!

July 25, 2010

Snickerdoodles: YIKES! Too big!

The home-y aroma of warm cinnamon mixed with real butter should’ve been what was permeating the air downstairs in our house. And it did. At first. Until the too-close and too-many balls of Snickerdoodle dough began to spill over the cookie sheet and attach themselves as blobs onto the floor and walls of my oven. When that happened, the sweet smell of home, mom and apple pie went out the window. And the boiling, burning bumps of charred dough said, “Got ‘cha,” instead. And so another chapter in my Cheryl-cookbook was created.

I’m afraid this is a recurring theme in my life–this theme of being too big at the wrong times. Now it can be a good thing…if you’re on the stage, or if you’re faced with the challenge of doing something you’ve never done before, or if in front of a dozen 2’s and 3’s at Story Time, or if you’re lost in downtown D.C. with nary a clue about where you are or what to do next. But it can have it’s down side… with Doodles (as in Snickerdoodles) or Daughters….

My cereal bowl has always needed to be filled up to the tippy top; the first batches of cupcake batter that I have always spooned into the cupcake pans have always needed to be level with the top edge of each cup, and I have always thought that there’d be room for just one more row of cookie dough balls or blops on the cookie sheet.

BUT you see the picture of the Snickerdoodles. Oh, they’ll still be quite yummy; it won’t change the rich, delightful Snickerdoodle essence that is synonymous with the identity of the cookie. And nobody will mind as soon as he bites into the mishapen quadrilaterals that they turned out as. With cookies, this is a truism that one can count on. However, with daughters, well…. I think the truth gets a little smeary, let’s say. Doodles are not the same as daughters. Both are wonderful and warm and just right, no matter if their edges do get a little squared off instead of being perfectly rounded. Let’s just say that it’s all simpler with cookies.

When I asked our older daughter a few months ago this question, “If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?” she showed great courage and candor in giving me her response. She said, “If you could better control your emotions.” You see, that’s the too-big, recurring theme thing.

I was the crusader-mom. The savior-mom. The marching mom–you know the one. The one who would march into the school, or the whatever, whenever there was a problem related to our girls feeling safe. Or you name it. So there I’d go. And then there I was. Ironically, what happened next was that the very ones I’d wanted to protect were the ones who, at that point, then felt doubly unsafe. (You’ve heard of Shakespeare’s “twice-blest”? This was the opposite.) They never knew what I might do next–I was a loose cannon–especially when I knew so WELL that I was RIGHT and that my cause was just. Ouch. Like I said, it’s less tricky with cookies.

However, even with all this said, I STILL haven’t mastered the too much, too big principle of baking. What is that all about??? I would stop baking IF I thought the last Cheryl-chapter of baking had been written. But I really don’t think it is. At least, that’s what I’m counting on.


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