Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Disastrous Cooking Class!

    There are moments of clarity in my life, that are not always heart warming.  I have a life goal of being a kind peaceful human being, like Buddha.  I would like my children when I am dead and gone to canonize me, Saint Momma.  Unfortunately I don't think that will happen.  No, I have realized (especially in light of the story I am about to share) that I really am a control freak, and that I need more patience.... oh yeah, and I think I'm o.k. with that.
    So here begins my epic story of self discovery...

    Grace had a French project.  Her project was to create a menu in French.  Groups were encouraged to bring in one item off of their menu.  Grace came home uber excited "I told my group that you would make calzones, everyone loves your calzones!"  My first thought should have been to spot the web, but no the flattery fooled me and I walked right into it.  Stupidly I had that delusional moment when I was possessed by that kind and gentle mother that I long to be.  "How many kids are in your group?"  I stupidly asked.  Grace's eyes brightened waiting to see what I was going to suggest.  "There are three other girls and myself."  "Did you want to invite the girls over and I will help you to make calzones?"  Her face lit up and I had that stupid moment of bliss, feeling like an amazing mother (this should have been my first alarm).
    As the day quickly approached I had that all too familiar, "Oh GOD what have I done?" moment.  When it was an event in the future it seemed like a wonderful idea, but as it approached... not so much. All too quickly the day came.  I had shopped, and washed veggies.  I set up two cutting boards, with washed veggies at the ready.  I had one place set with a cheese grater and bowl.  I was ready.
    I was still feeling like Mom of the year, ready to impart my cooking wisdom to the next generation.  I had sat the girls down and told them what we were going to do.  I showed them the proper way to cut the veggies safely, and in the sizes that I wanted.  I thought that I had been very clear.  I stood back, not wanting to hover, trying not to be too much of a control freak (like a leopard trying not to have spots).  I felt like I had been very specific, until I looked at the veggies that Grace and her friend had cut.  Obviously they had not been paying attention, they looked like they had been attacked by a lawnmower.  I took a deep breath.  It was o.k. it didn't matter if the veggies bits were perfect (or looked like something a cow had regurgitated).  I took a deep breath, trying to convince myself.  I told the girls to go hang out while I made the pizza dough and sauteed the hideous vegetables.
    I spent about 45 minutes making the pizza dough, cutting little squares of waxed paper, and rolling out perfect little circles of dough.  I set up three stations with pizza sauce, sauteed veggies, pepperoni and grated mozzarella cheese.  I called the girls down, and told them to wash up, it was time to make calzones.  When they were all washed up and seated I showed them what to do.  "Carefully spoon the pizza sauce in the middle of the dough.  Then you want to put your pepperoni and cheese not too much because I have to be able to close them.  Don't close them yourself, because there is a special way of doing it so that they don't leak".  Before I had even finished speaking, I looked over and one of the friends had a smug little look on her face with her folded over calzone.  "Look at mine Mom"  I looked over at Grace's. She had made a pizza.  Deep breath.  I repeated the same instructions, only to find Grace's one friend had once again folded hers over.  Extra deep breath.  I decided to just let them do what ever they wanted.  It was their project.  I stood there watching the calzone massacre unfold, horrified, ready to blow.   My carefully rolled dough was being smushed into balls.  The pizza dough spread everywhere.  Deep breath.
    The first batch of calzones came out of the oven, they looked like someone had jumped all over them.  In other words they were a disaster.  "Hey I think that you guys should eat these ones".  They were so excited to dig into their creations.  "Oh, why don't you guys just have fun, and I'll finish up the calzones!"  I thought I was being so sneaky, such a good actress, trying to hide the ever quickly hysteria that was at the edge of escaping.  "You just think we stink, and you want them to look good, don't you Mom."  Grace said with a smartie pants half smile.  "Oh Dear God YES, I just can't take it any more!"  Did I mention that during the course of the disastrous cooking class I may have lost my cool a few times.  I may have squealed "Why can't any of you listen?"  It was really not very pretty.  Luckily these are girls who know me, and I think truth be told half expected me to just shove them out of the kitchen and take over.

    This little trip down cooking Hell just proves to me that I was right not to go into the teaching profession.  It also confirms the fact that I so desperately struggle with and always lose at. I am a control freak! There I said it.  Everyone else knows, I don't know why I think I'm fooling anyone, most especially myself.  Wow, that feels much better.  I think I should hold off on the Saint Momma stationary.

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