Being someone who has always loved to bake, has naturally led me to creating some wonderful confections which my husband Skip has enjoyed on his frequent trips through the kitchen. For example, a malformed cookie's life expectation is 3 minutes on the cooling rack. A muffin is approximately 5 minutes unless it has cinnamon in it, then it is most likely less than a minute. I cannot frost, ice or garnish without finding something amiss.
"Where's that cookie I set aside?" I ask Skip as he wanders back into the kitchen for another perusal of the baked assortment.
"Which one? You mean the one with the oblong edge?"
"Oh. I ate it," he answers without any hesitation.
"I was saving that one as a sample once I tried the royal icing flooding technique," I complain. "Now I'll have to practice on one of the good ones." This makes no impression on Skip who is still smacking his lips and brushing cookie crumbs from his shirt.
I am about to make caramel corn and ask him where he is going to be since I know that I would prefer that he remain in his office while I am working. The thing about Caramel Corn is that once the caramel is cooked it must be spread on the naked popcorn very quickly before it cools too much. I can't navigate the pot, the spatula, and sauce around his sampling fingers too successfully. Skip's flash and grab approach works with some things but not others. In the instance where the hot caramel is still bubbling as I pour it, he's liable to get burned. I shoot him a warning glance that says, "If you value your life, you will leave the kitchen NOW!"
Hurt, but not frightened, Skip extricates himself from further dire warnings telling me that he is going outside to mow. Now's my chance. I rush to start the process hoping to be finished before he returns. Before I can remove the pots and pans, he has returned to deliver one small jab back at me. This no doubt comes from the banishment pronouncement that I laid on him minutes earlier.
"As long as you're baking and such, you should make more dog bones for Kira."
I look up from what I am doing and remind him that I have the leftover dough from the last batch I made. It is still in the freezer.
"She doesn't like those," He reminds me.
"Yeah. I know. That's why I haven't made any more for her," I reply.
"You need to make the ones with more peanut butter, he tells me.
"Those are the ones with more peanut butter!" I answer defensively. "They're the same ones she has always enjoyed."
Skip shakes his head. "No. I couldn't taste the peanut butter in this last batch."
This news is disturbing on so many levels.
1) Skip is perhaps losing his sense of taste.
2) Skip is giving baking advice
3) Skip is giving advice on how to bake dog biscuits
and finally...the most disturbing of all...
4) Skip is eating dog biscuits!
Let me paint you a picture of what has happened over the years. I decided to bake gourmet dog biscuits because our Siberian Husky is finicky and frankly, in her mind, she deserves homemade dog biscuits. So I found a good recipe to which I added an extra dollop of peanut butter, some vanilla extract, and even a teaspoon of hazelnut extract. I cut the dough into small rectangles so that the treats could be used as small rewards. The aroma was intoxicating as they baked to crispy perfection. Kira awaited the cooling process for her moment to sample, and when that moment finally arrived, she pushed her way to the front of the line past Skip whose chin was elevated and whose nose was twitching right along with our dog's. Kira ate her small sample with gusto begging for more. Skip quickly volunteered to throw her another piece. His hands grabbed a small fistful somewhat like one might grab cocktail peanuts. He shook his closed palm and tossed one to Kira and then tossed one in his mouth crunching loudly. "Mmm. He proclaimed. These are really good."
"Stop that!" I yelled. "Those are for Kira." I might as well have shouted in the wind.
Skip continued this practice throughout the entire supply of treats. I would hear him rummaging in the plastic container for treats for Kira two, three, four times a day. Then I would hear both of them crunching.
"One for you and two for me!" He would tell her.
Kira glowered at her master and retreated to the family room. Then one day, she seemed to lose interest in the treats altogether. I wonder if it had something to do with not wanting to share. Perhaps if I added ground liver and fish oil, Skip might stay away from them and she will go back to enjoying doggie treats again. Anyway, for now, I am trying to decide if I should bake some of the doggie treats for Skip after I finish the caramel corn recipe. No doubt he will be back in the kitchen in a half an hour so I better get a move on! The man will be hungry as a DOG, and I will need to toss him a snack or two or three.