My amazing adventures in baking
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 12, 2011 | 1512 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
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I know my columns have been a little heavy lately. I think it’s time to take a break and share some of the stupid things I’ve been doing.

It has been well-established that I’m no Martha Stewart. So I don’t know what made me think I was capable of making baseball cookies two weeks ago.

I was excited when I came across the recipe in a magazine because our anniversary was coming up. Baseball cookies seemed like a perfect dessert for a couple who had a Cubs-themed wedding on a baseball field two years ago.

The recipe looked easy enough. It was short and I could pronounce all of the ingredients.

I just needed to set aside some free time to make the dough and let it chill for several hours before baking.

I decided to tackle the cookies the Saturday before our big day while Zac was at work. My plan was to surprise him with them when he got home.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I would be supervising Wyatt solo.

Our son is as mischievous as he is adorable. It takes a tag team to keep him out of trouble.

Wyatt’s antics provided comic relief during my cooking fiasco.

One of my first problems was how and where to roll out the dough. I didn’t want to make a gooey mess on my kitchen counters or table.

While I was devising my plan, Wyatt opened up a nearby cabinet and tried to pull out a pot that is bigger than he is.

After removing that from his death grip, I covered a plastic TV tray in aluminum foil and got ready to flatten some dough with my nifty new rolling pin.

Of course, most of the dough stuck to the foil and the rolling pin. I suddenly remembered this thing called parchment paper and wondered what it was for.

Disappointed but undeterred, I tore off the foil and started smashing the dough onto the tray with my hands.

Meanwhile, Wyatt had found a plastic cup I got at the hospital when he was born. He was really more interested in the straw once he discovered that it sounded like a train whistle when he blew across the top of it just right.

He sat at my feet blowing and giggling while I was at the table scooping and pounding.

Next I had to use a cookie cutter to make the baseballs. By the time I got through with them, they looked more like catchers mitts.

I baked them for five minutes like the recipe said but didn’t think they were done when I pulled them out.

I’m used to baking cakes until they turn golden brown. “What are sugar cookies supposed to look like?” I asked myself.

About this time, Wyatt ran past me holding one pot lid in each hand and clanging them together like cymbals.

Note to Zac: Finish baby-proofing kitchen cabinets ASAP.

I don’t know how long it took me to get the cookies brown on the bottom and solid in the center.

Could have been five minutes. Could have been five hours. I didn’t really care anymore at that point.

By the time Zac got home, I had thrown the white icing and red gel “stitching” on them and had moved on to doing the dishes.

“Did you make these yourself?” Zac asked as he hugged me from behind.

“Yes I did. Happy anniversary,” I said as unenthusiastically as possible.

The next morning, I got up to make one of our favorite breakfast foods — cheesy hashbrown casserole.

Zac had assured me when he was making out our grocery list several days before that we had the cream of chicken soup I needed. When I opened the cabinet Sunday morning, I discovered that we did not.

Shortly after he returned from the store with the soup, I realized that we didn’t have shredded cheese either. That’s a fairly important ingredient for cheesy hashbrown casserole.

I ended up angrily tearing apart several pieces of sliced cheese.

Before that though, I turned off the oven and stormed outside to count to 10. I must have still been too upset when I returned because I misjudged the height of the baby gate going into the kitchen. I nearly broke my neck and the gate.

When I was trying to get the casserole in the oven, the door sprung up unexpectedly and hit my arm. The burn is only now starting to disappear.

If Zac ever needs a break from cooking, I think I’m going to suggest take-out.