Friday, January 13, 2017

Creativity Manifests in Ways Unexpected

I've been feeling uninspired this past week. Nothing I think of writing seems worth the bother. So, with no creative pistons firing I decided to at least get some drudge work done yesterday. I hemmed a new pair of sports trousers for the OC. They'd only been sitting for three, maybe four, months waiting for me to spend twenty minutes stitching them into wearability. When it was done I felt ridiculously triumphant! Yeah! One tiny space cleared in my sewing room!  

Casting about for the next thing that would jusify the space I occupy on the planet, I decided to bake Irish soda bread. With the bread in the oven and buttermilk to spare, I measured out ingredients for scones. If I couldn't be artistically creative I could at least play house. As soon as the bread was done, and the kitchen smelling divine, I popped the scones into the oven, set the timer and got busy cleaning up my mess.

"Was I born yesterday?" I groaned when the scones had been in the oven at least six minutes. My eyes had just fallen on a small bowl on the counter containing --- you guessed it! --- something that should have been mixed in with the the other scone ingredients --- but wasn't. Because I'm a scatterbrain.

 "Fine waste of one and a half sticks of butter!" I thought, but then --- an idea! Maybe I can salvage them! You know how they say when faced with sudden death your whole life flashes before you? Well, what flashed through my head in a nanosecond was the memory of me and Eve McDonnald baking a cake at her house when her mother wasn't home. We didn't have a recipe but hey! We were ten years old. We knew how to make cakes. Hadn't we seen our mothers do it plenty of times? Flour, sugar, butter, eggs --- we could do this, no problem!

We scooped, we stirred, we whisked, we poured. Feeling very satisfied, we opened the oven and slid our creation in, two uber-chefs in the making.

After what seemed like a reasonable amount of time, the aroma of baking cake sending our salivary glands into overdrive, we decided to have a peek.....


Our batter had turned, not into the delightful spongy confection we were anticipating, but into a swimming lake of liquid, buttery mess. 

What had gone wrong? And then we saw it - the bag of flour, sitting untouched on the kitchen table. We had meant to add some flour, but, obviously had forgotten. All was not lost however. We were creative children. We could do damage control. We took the offending cake pan out of the oven, stirred in a goodly helping of flour and popped it right back in.

When it emerged some twenty minutes later, looking all golden and puffy as a good cake should, we were overjoyed and agreed it was the best cake we'd ever eaten.

With this flashing through my brain I wondered what damage control could be exercised in this situation, and how I had progressed not one inch from when I was ten. The scones were already starting to crisp up on the bottom. Hardly thinking what I was doing, I grabbed each one and tossed it in the bowl of --- sugar, unsure if I had mixed the baking power and baking soda in there too. Working frantically I pummeled each little scone a few times to work in the missing ingredients, plopped them back on the baking sheet, shoved the whole thing back in the oven and, as the last vestiges of my inner domestic goddess evaporated, crossed my fingers that those poor little scones would survive.
When my mother made scones she never let us have one straight from the oven.

"They'll sit like stones in your stomach," she told us. We had to wait until they cooled. And so, dancing with impatience, we waited. Mum's not around anymore R.I.P. I think, with no disrespect, that she was full of what we call here "bokum halah!" I think it was her ploy to protect the scones from the ravages of the savages so there'd be some left for supper. I always eat one straight out of the oven now and it hasn't killed me yet, though this batch might be about to change all that.

So there's my tale. Turned out there was at least a thread of creativity in the whole business 'cause my first reaction was to dump the lot right into the bin. I will admit they're not the tastiest or the fluffiest scones I've ever made, but unless you have a very delicate stomach they're still edible, if a little dense! The OC's stomach is made of cast iron so he had a few with his cuppa last night. He did not however go into raptures, just choked 'em down without comment and I knew better than to ask. 

The Irish soda bread, on the other hand, was delicious!

Lesson learned: I am not genetically wired for multi-tasking. Take note me!


Elephant's Child said...

Sounds like a triumph to me. My biggest baking disaster (replacing cinnamon with ground cloves in a cake) was not salvagable.
Mind you one phrase from this post 'Casting about for the next thing that would jusify the space I occupy on the planet,' has me thinking hard. Not pleasant thoughts either. Sigh.

Colette said...

I am happy to read that others do this, too.

Sabine said...

I call this very creative and now I am hungry.

Molly Bon said...

EC --- I think your work with that hotline makes your spot secure!

Colette --- I do such things with alarming regularity! Keep telling myself to "Focus! One thing at a time!"

Sabine --- Well that's good news. A good appetite is a sure sign of health!

Marigold Jam said...

Wonderful - waste not want not and all that and you were indeed very creative with your cookery. I am sure most of us can identify with your forgetfulness and it's good to know we are not alone but whereas you had some edible scones in the end I suspect that I might have had nothing but recycling for the food bin not being as quick to see the remedy. I too find doing more than one thing at a time these days often results in mistakes being made.

Molly Bon said...

MJ --- I keep reading about mindfulness. Now I just need to actually live each moment mindfully! Which for starters would mean no more multi tasking.....I'm not so sure it was a remedy, nor do I think they'd be classified as edible --- maybe if you were really hungry or you were one of those four legged creatures who delight in scarfing down anything they perceive as human food!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Well caught !
And I'm delighted to hear that a good appetite is a sure sign of health ... thankyou , that's made my day .

Molly Bon said...

S&S --- Happy to oblige!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I have left out an ingredient cooking more times than I can count!