Baking… my kitchen, my rules. Or not.

Since I enjoy cooking I find myself in the kitchen preparing dinner quite often.  I am also very picky about the kitchen being kept in a certain semblance of order and this has resulted in the kitchen slowly becoming “mine”.  Over time, the more I pointed out any transgressions in the cleanliness rules I had arbitrarily instigated, the more “mine” the kitchen became.  I’m ok with that, although that brings us to baking.

One thing I never do is bake.  This means that my wife takes over the kitchen for the times that the sugary trades are required.  This of course is a very traumatic time for me, similar to riding with my daughters during the learner permit phase.  I sometimes find it hard to breathe.  Also of note, it is always pointed out that since I claimed the kitchen as my domain, cleanup is my problem.

Now since I don’t do the baking myself I need some help with the finer details from the experienced bakers out there.  I understand the principles but I am having trouble with the logistics.  Let’s use a simple cake for example.  I would suspect you would need a bowl and a pan.  Maybe a second bowl for icing.  Two spoons for stirring.  A measuring cup.  That’s it, right?  If you are being exact then possibly a measuring spoon as well?  Nothing to it.  Now when my wife bakes a cake I don’t think she follows the same directions that I envision.  I can usually tell when she has been baking by the pleasant aroma that hits my nose when I walk in the door.  This enjoyment is almost immediately erased by the sight of my beloved kitchen.  I am pretty sure that it would be cleaner and neater if you fed an entire kindergarten class skittles and coffee and then turned them loose with a bag of flour each, telling them they would get extra candy for every cupboard that was left empty.  I seriously didn’t know we owned that many dishes.
As I step over the piles on the floor I see two sinks stacked to overflowing with bowls, pans, cutting boards, cooling racks, spatulas, mixers and cups.  The counters are covered in towels, crumbs, sparkles, flour, toothpicks and paper plates.   The dogs are completely white and happily frolicking through the house trailing little paw prints like some strange episode of Blues Clues.

If you have a good imagination, I can best describe it like this: picture a traffic accident in which a travelling circus bus carrying 75 diabetic chimpanzees collides with a transport truck full of icing sugar… and then the firemen arrive, except instead of water their tanks are full of maple syrup.  As the monkeys fight over the powdered sugar spill the firemen frantically hose them down with syrup until a Starfritt demo truck loses its brakes and smashes into the whole mess, spewing forth utensils for the monkeys to fight with.  Now, i have been accused of exaggerating a tiny bit in the past, so perhaps that’s a wee bit too far.  Let’s scale that back to 25 monkeys.   Yeah, 25 is the right number.

Now that I have hopefully given you a basic understanding of the cleanup task I have been presented with there is one other thing you need to be made aware of:  in the middle of all of the calamity is a tiny pan of golden brown cupcakes, filled with more love than anyone ever thought possible.  And they are delicious.

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