We had a small fatality over the Christmas holiday. My pastry board. So very sad. And the worst of it is that it was entirely my fault. Butterfingers!! Nobody to blame but myself.
On Friday of last week and in plenty of time for Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a perfectly splendid idea to make a centerpiece for our holiday dinner. And knowing me as we all do, of course I wanted to make the centerpiece out of cookies!!! You see, middle son and his lovely bride gave me these 3-D cookie cutters that I had been dying to try out. Honestly, it was just an excuse. But a great one.
So I made my favorite sugar cookie recipe, rolled out the dough, and duly cut all the various pieces and baked them. While all these adorable little bits and pieces were cooking on the racks I began cleaning up so that I could move on to part two of the mess making which would be making the icing and decorating said bits and pieces. I fussed and I tidied and I cleaned and the last thing I did was clean my pastry board. I'm very particular about how I clean my pastry board but finally it was done and ready to be put away.
I tend to move quickly. Especially in a multi-step process (which most cooking and baking is). While doing one thing, my brain is always several steps ahead and that is the only thing I can think of that made it happen. Somehow while lifting the pastry board from the counter and turning and beginning to walk back to the pantry where the pastry board lives between projects, I dropped it. It was in my hands and then it was on the floor in 3, fairly neatly broken pieces.
The noise it made reverberated through the house and through my head. I just stood their stupidly starring at the pieces on the floor as if it was a puzzle of unfathomable solution. The sound was alarming enough that it brought Tim rushing out of his office to be sure I was all right. He starred at me and then the broken pieces on the floor and then at me again. "Are you okay?" he asked. "I'm fine," I croaked, "And it looks like a clean break. Do you think it will heal?" We both cracked up and I picked the pieces up and stacked them by the utility room door in a practical fashion but I was actually very sad.
First of all, I had more Christmas baking plans. I was going to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning for one thing. What's Christmas morning without home made cinnamon buns?? It's a long standing tradition in our family. It's sad, that's what it is. And I thought about all the many things that board had helped me make.
Countless dozens of cookies of course. Sugar cookies, molasses cookies, butter cookies and gingerbread men among others. But also pie crusts of every stripe; fruit pies, chocolate pies and chicken pot pies my dears. We won't even try to count the batches of various sorts of biscuits and rolls. And the sheer volume of loaves of bread. Oatmeal bread, whole wheat bread, white bread and pepperoni bread me oh my the list goes on and on. It's like losing a faithful servant or your most worthy assistant. I felt worse about the end of my pastry board than I ever did about a vacuum cleaner dying (which also happened last week).
I went ahead and finished the cookies. The centerpiece was darling by the way. I am not a great cookie decorator but it was still adorable.
So, no matter how sad I was about the loss of my beloved pastry board life moves forward and we move with it. Especially during a busy busy time of year like Christmas. So much to do, so much to do.
Well, Christmas morning finally came. We slept late, had muffins for breakfast. It's not cinnamon rolls, but not bad. Finally we sat under the tree like little kids and opened our gifts to each other. As I've said here before, we only do stocking gifts for each other. Although, we do play a little fast and loose with the rules on that and generally speaking, there is always something that doesn't fit in the stocking. So we finished opening everything and I started cleaning up when Tim says that there is one more gift for me. "Oh?" I said, my interest piqued. I looked around under the tree. and see nothing but bits of wrapping paper and ribbon. "It's in this room" Tim said with a grin, "And it's actually been in this room since Saturday afternoon" I looked around the room and see, well the things that always are in the room. I looked at Tim with confusion. "I guess I'm a terrible housekeeper" I laughed, "Because I cleaned yesterday and I didn't see anything different than usual". I looked more intently around the room with narrowed eyes.
Finally Tim took pity on me and from behind an end table he pulls out an enormous box. With great excitement I opened the box and, well, let me introduce you to my new favorite inhabitant of my pantry:
It is ENORMOUS! Thick, heavy and with this terribly clever lip that fits over the edge of the countertop to hold it in place. I LOVE my new pastry board. I can't wait to take it on it's maiden voyage. What a wonderful surprise. It turns out that when Tim walked back into his office after seeing that I was fine and only the old pastry board took a header, he immediately ordered me a new one. My hero!
I am still a little sad about my old pastry board but I am so excited about my new one. Does that mean I'm fickle? Or just practical? Regardless, I'm happyhappy. And I bet that I will be making those cinnamon rolls after all but for New Years breakfast instead. New Traditions!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.