Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gordon Ramsay meets The Swedish Chef

Master J has been watching and helping me bake since he was old enough to drag his chair in front of the oven to keep an eye on the cookies.

He knows how to read a recipe (and actually does). He is capable of doubling or halving a recipe as needed. But most importantly, he knows how I do things in my kitchen and generally follows suit.

The first thing I do is read the recipe. Even if I've made something a hundred times, I scan over the recipe as a reminder of the order of things. Then, based on the recipe, I turn the oven on to preheat while I pull out all of the ingredients I will need. I get together any mixing bowls that will be used as well as all of my measuring implements. Once I have everything together and start putting it together, I put away each ingredient as I use it. I do this for two reasons: first, it makes clean up easier and second, it guarantees that I don't forget to add anything. If it's still sitting out, I haven't used it. Simple, right?

Master J does a pretty good job of doing things this way. He's like Gordon Ramsay without the f-bombs. He enjoys a well run operation and the products one produces. So when he asked if he could make cookies the other day, I said that although I was still too sick to help, that if his dad would help him, he could.

Mister C agreed to help him. Mister C is not a baker. His baking style is reminiscent of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets. Minus the apron.

I sat on the couch watching in horror as Mister C casually destroyed my kitchen and my belief in his intelligence. Master J stood next to him trying to circumvent further damage. The conversation is loosely translated here:

Mister C: Okay, get me the measuring cup so I can add the flour
Master J: Uhhh, Dad? Wait...
Mirth: Don't do that. Have you read the recipe yet?
MC: No, it's cookies. How hard can it be?
M: Read the recipe, the flour doesn't go in yet.
MC: What? It says "stir together in a small bowl flour, baking soda, salt" What's the problem?
M: Keep reading.
MC: Oh. (He proceeds to follow this direction) Where's the butter?
MJ: I put it in this bowl. You need to soften it so set the microwave for ten seconds but check after five.
MC: K. (He sets the microwave for twenty)
MJ: Uhhh, Dad? Wait...(panicked look at me)
MC: What now? It's soft.
MJ: It's melted. This isn't going to come out right.
MC: It'll be fine.
(He throws it in the mixing bowl with white sugar. Master J tries to hand him the brown sugar.)
MC: Why do I need brown sugar? I already have white sugar.
M: Read the recipe.
MC: Fine. (eye-roll) Oh.
MJ: We need to soften the brown sugar, it's hard.
MC: It's fine (he tosses it in)
MJ: Uhhh, Dad? Wait...
Mister C flips the mixer on and looks at me smugly. About fifteen seconds later a golf ball size chunk of brown sugar comes flying out of the mixer and skitters across the kitchen floor toward a waiting dog.
MJ: Uhhh, Dad? That's not supposed to happen.
MC: Huh, wonder why that happened?
M: How hard was that brown sugar?
MJ: And why is the batter white?
MC: I don't know. (he now pours the rest of the hard, crunchy brown sugar from the bag into the mixing bowl without measuring while I try to pull my eyebrows out of my hairline.)

They stumble through the rest of the recipe until it's time to put the cookies on the cookie sheet. This is where the difference in style becomes really obvious.

MJ: Uhhh, Dad? You're doing that all wrong. They need to be evenly space, they're not going to cook properly. They'll be uneven and melt together.
MC: It's fine! (Slop! Slop! Squish!) They'll turn out fine!
MJ: No. No they won't. This is not going to work!
MC: (putting pan in the oven) You'll see, they'll be great.

Five minutes later Master J checks the oven...

MJ: Oh this is bad! I told you they were going to melt together!
MC: It can't be that bad! (Looks in the oven) Huh, maybe I did put them too close together.
MJ: That's it. I've had enough! No more baking with you!
MC: Well, it's not how they look that matters, it's how they taste!

As soon as the misshapen, melted together atrocities are done and cool enough to eat, everyone grabs one.

MC: See, they're not that bad!
MJ: They're not that good. Oh, yuck! I just got a big chunk of brown sugar! Can I spit that part out?
M: Yeah, go ahead. Thank your dad for helping you make cookies.
MJ: Really?

So, yeah, they were pretty tough to eat. And running across large chunks of brown sugar was the norm, not the exception.

Also, had it really been the Swedish Chef and Gordon Ramsay in my kitchen the conversation would have been the following.

SC: First, you put de fleur in the bowl!
GR: Hold on mate! What the f*&^ do you think you're doing?
SC: Then you add de melted butter and you stir it like dis!
GR: No man! F*&^! You can't melt the f(&^ing butter!
SC: Whoopsie! De brown sugar seem to ave flied out of de bowl!
GR: Oh my gawd! What the hell kind of place are you running here?
SC: Now, put it all on de baking sheet, like dis!
GR: Ah hell, man! Don't you have any pride? F*&^! No wonder you don't have any customers!
SC: And den, you take de cookies out of de oven and you eat! Bork! Bork! Bork!
GR: I quit! I can't work with such incompetence! Good luck mate!

The end.


Anonymous said...

OMG,even sick you can still produce the wit:-) I got tears running down my face,did you get any pics of this operation? Poor Master J,it would have been priceless to see his face while watching what his dad was doing:-) Thank you for making my day even if it was 11:50 pm,it was worth it to stay up and read it. Thank you,thank you for not letting me waste my points on brown sugar chunks cookies..