I read the back of the box of the cake mix. Awww, crap! I don’t have a mixer. So I climbed back up the step stool so I could see the top shelf, where I stash all of the stuff I intend to bake but barely get to, and grab a different cake mix. Oh, good. This one says beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or 450 strokes by hand. Guess I will have to do it the hard way. I stirred, and stirred some more… I counted until about 150 and gave up on the counting. I really wish I had a mixer.
I counted aloud to the kids. I did a little dance as I stirred. I thought about all the arm muscles I was working out. Bradley was racing cars across the kitchen floor. Elsie was trying to eat one. Mallie was tugging on my skirt. “O.kay, kids. Mommy needs to concentrate and read the directions,” I say to them and continue reading the back of the cake box aloud. I have my doubts. I’m making two cakes just in case. I have my anxiety. I will feel horrible if there is no cake to eat. I really hope it turns out.
Why do I have this job anyway? Do you not know my credentials or cooking/baking background?
But I do like the idea of baking for the kids and that motherly kind of stuff. I’m just not good at the food part of it. I’m excellent at the making a mess part of it. I can do science experiments and arts and crafts, but for me to make pancakes can be a challenge. I can’t flip them. More ends up on the spatula. They are burnt on one side and barely browned on the other. They can be soggy in the middle. I try to blame it on the pans. I try to blame it on the electric stove because I rather have a gas one. But it is all the same. I’m just not a cookie baking mom. I’m a cereal mom. (Even though I can make some good jell-o and a mean meatloaf).
I called my mom, “Hey, I’m making Cedrik’s birthday cake.”
She immediately interrupts me, “Oh, by yourself?”
“Yes,” I say, trying not to laugh. See, even my own mother knows. She had to throw a cookie sheet away once because no matter how much scrubbing or scraping my Snickerdoodles were stuck like glue to the cookie sheet.
“Why didn’t you have Hannah (my 13 year old niece) help you?”
“I didn’t think of that,” I say. “Well, it doesn’t matter because I made the first one, but I forgot the oil. Will it still turn out? I was making the second cake and after putting the oil in that one, I realized I didn’t do it for the first one,” I whined. “I’m making two, just in case one doesn’t turn out.”
“Well, I’m not sure,” mom says. “It might be kind of dry.”
“As long as it’s edible,” I say hopefully.
The house filled with a delicious smell, which usually only happens when I light a candle. I watched the clock so I wouldn’t burn them.
I pulled them out of the oven. They looked pretty. They didn’t collapse. AND they tasted good. Nobody complained, anyway.
I just need to practice more. 🙂