Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Flour Covering
Jennifer Flaten

I wish I could say my family knows when I’ve made a batch of cookies by the delicious aroma coming from the kitchen or from the huge pile of cookies in the cookie jar. Alas, the most likely reason they know I made cookies is I am, head to toe, covered in flour.

It doesn’t matter if I am making a quadruple batch of cookies or simply putting a tablespoon of flour into a pan somehow, I always end up with a cup of flour on me. It would be fine if it was an attractive little smudge of flour on my nose, but alas, it is usually a huge swath of flour covering my person.

Who cares if I spend the afternoon doing chores covered in flour, the problem is when I leave the house looking like I took a roll in the hay with King Arthur Flour. This occurs more than I care to admit. Not only have I answered the door looking like an explosion just occurred in my kitchen but I’ve ran out for last minute supplies sporting huge white hand prints all over my sweater.

All I can say is that other people give you space when look a powdery ghost manhandled you. Knowing my predilection for running out all floury, I should probably check my supplies before I start baking.

You see it on all the cooking shows, all the supplies neatly arranged in pretty glass dishes. Yeah, I’ll add that to my resolution list.

This holiday season, I’ve done a lot of baking. One, because I really like making homemade treats and two, because the kitchen is the perfect hiding spot from the kids and bonus, it comes with cookies.

The kids always want to help at the beginning of the baking project. Everyone loves to crack the eggs, but around the fiftieth scoop of cookie dough, they decide watching paint dry is more fascinating then baking cookies.

Surprise, they do show back up when it is time to sample the cookies. Of course, we sample the cookies. It would be remiss to send them out to friends and family without taste testing them first. Occasionally, a whole batch must be quality checked with a tall glass of icy cold milk.

The winter break this year is two weeks long. Yes, it's two long cold weeks. I honestly thought the kids went back to school on the second. I had my day all planned out, it involved nothing but total silence. Then I checked the school calendar and discovered they didn’t go back until the sixth. After sobbing quietly, for five minutes I decided I needed things for us to do.

There are only so many baked goods to cook. That leaves a whole lot of free time. Unfortunately, in the winter we are not an outdoorsy family. We don’t do any cool winter things like skiing or skating. We do sled; I mean who can’t master heaving themselves down a snow-covered hill? We also make a wicked snow angel, but that’s about it.

Problem is, while my kids like playing outside there is only so much time they can spend outside when it is below zero. Add in a couple days of freezing rain and you have a powder keg of pent up kid energy

Even the dog knows to hide then otherwise she will end up dressed in the latest fashions and walking a catwalk. The cats on the other hand, being much smarter, go into the Witness Protection program over school breaks. We only see them at feeding time after that they vanish for the remainder of the day. Think if I ask nicely they will let me into their hideout.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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