Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why Licking the Bowl Doesn't Count



Yeah, that's me at Christmas at my in-laws last year. Farmer Brown is notorious for not being especially thoughtful when it comes to gifts. (He gets it from his mom who once gave me a trashcan for my birthday.) But he really outdid himself. I was truly surprised. Of course, I had been dropping hints for awhile, but he usually doesn't catch on. The mixer had to ride around in the car for a couple of days while we made the holiday circuit. When we got home, I ripped that thing open and opened the pantry. I tried a cake mix. Didn't want to ruin any labor-of-love recipe from the file. I knew that this piece of machinery was going to revolutionize the way I baked. The K-A was awesome, mixed quickly and efficiently. Farmer Brown was ecstatic with the huge beater to lick. Cleanup was minimal. I kept waiting for the shinning beam of light to illuminate this masterpiece on my counter top.

But it didn't happen. Something wasn't right. I didn't like it. This wasn't what cooking was about for me. I wasn't a part of the process. The machine was doing all the work for me. I stood idly by, cleaning the counter top. When I bake something for someone, it is out of love. I put myself into it. Dumping and measuring and mixing is all part of it. Now, the K-A sits under the counter, out of the way, and I still bake the way I always did. Whisking until my wrist feels like limp noodles. Stirring until my fingers are tight like lobster claws. Mixing with the hand mixer until my arm muscles are curling up like cut green onions in ice water. Kneading until my shoulders are as tough as cheap cuts of meat. Throughout the whole thing, I lick and taste to see if it is all coming together. It is all out of love for whomever it is for. You get a little piece of me in that Bundt or brownies or bread or whatever.

Which all leads to why licking the bowl doesn't count in Weight Watchers. After all that exertion, those activity points I'm gaining are canceling out the calories and fat in the batter. So mix by hand, burn some calories, and eat some batter.

*Now if this should ever come up in conversation with Farmer Brown, just mention how much I love my K-A. Let him know that it is so handy to use when I am trying to do three things at once, like when it mashes the potatoes while I finish up the rest of the dinner while entertaining Frick and Frack. This has been one of his finest gifts to me. And while you are on the subject, go ahead and drop the hint that I really would like an i-Pod for my birthday.

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