frogg files

"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." --Flannery O' Connor

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Adventures in the Cowgirl's Kitchen, Part 2

When I left off my last post, my sister the cowgirl and I were taking a break from the gingerbread house we were making so that she could help her husband put hay into a barn. This took a lot longer than I anticipated. I resume the saga a few hours later...

3:15 p.m. With help from the cowboy, the cowgirl remeasures the cardboard template pieces for the house and scales everything down. Way down. The goal, as I understand it, is to avoid having to make another whole batch of dough—a goal that I very heartily support. Not that making gingerbread dough from scratch isn't more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but I'm ready to move on to the next part of the process, whatever that might be.

The cowgirl lays out the cardboard pieces on the three giant slabs of gingerbread we've already prepared. A few moments later she says, "We have to do another batch."

Maybe I shouldn't have sampled so much dough when the cowgirl wasn't looking.

4:00 Round 2 of dough-making begins. For the record, my right arm still hasn't forgiven me for all the whisking I had to do in the first round.

4:05 "No wonder they sell kits for this," the cowgirl says.

4:15 - 6:15 A lot happens, including the preparation of a butternut squash soup while we are still in the middle of baking what are starting to seem like an endless parade of gingerbread pieces. I feel like I've fallen into some surreal dream, or maybe a Disney's Fantasia! segment, where kitchen implements come to life and dance around and food bursts into song and the whole world trips out. Worst of all, I can't stop myself from snacking on scraps of gingerbread, which is giving me a stomachache. Plus, it taste weird when eaten while the scent of the sauteed onions fills the air, which it does because of the soup.

At some point I realize I have not left the house all day. At another point, I pour myself a stiff drink.

The cowgirl wonders who first had the bright idea of making gingerbread houses. I suggest—or blame—the Swiss. I'm wrong, as it turns out, but I don't care.

6:15 If I never eat gingerbread again as long as I live, I'll be fine.

6:20 The cowgirl valiantly keeps trying to give me tips on making the butternut squash soup, so I can do it on my own in the future. Her confidence in my potential for domestication is rather endearing, really. Especially given her close proximity to me in the kitchen all day today.

6:55 The butternut squash soup is nearly ready! I think we are also still baking gingerbread, but I really have no idea anymore what's going on. Everything's a bit of a blur. And no, it's not because of the stiff drink. Even though I had another one.

8:00 Dinner's finished. The gingerbread house pieces are all cooked and laid out on racks on the dining room table. Are we almost done? No. We still have to make frosting tomorrow, once again from scratch. Why, I want to say, or, more accurately, scream. Why why why, when someone so cleverly invented ready-made frosting in a little tub that you can buy from the grocery store! (I'm sure it comes as a big surprise that between the two of us, the cowgirl is the one who's married.)

9:00 After cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming, and starting a load of laundry, the cowgirl mixes a pomegranate martini for each of us. At least one of us has earned it.

9:10 I show the cowgirl what I've written here, before I post it to the blog.. When she gets to the part about the frosting, she says, "It's a different kind of frosting." Of course it is.

"And you earned it too," she adds, referring to the martini.

I laugh. "No, I didn't."

"You were standing up almost as long as I was!" She pauses. "You didn't drag hay into the barn, but..." I laugh again. A few minutes later, she asks if I want a refill. I say sure. Then she realizes there's only enough left in the shaker for one more drink.

I tell her to go ahead.


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