The oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that I use says, “Bake for 10-12 minutes”.
When I bake cookies, I play the role of efficiency expert. I carefully plan my paths (my cooking triangle is dysfunctional) getting out and putting away ingredients along the way. By the time I add the raisins, most of my ingredients are put away and much of the mess already cleaned up. I’m ready for the next stage of efficiency with scooping, cooking trays and cooling racks.
I only recently noticed this about my baking habit. I get quite a bit of amusement from both the determination my subconscious has contributed to my baking life, and the results of a fairly clean kitchen.
During a recent baking spree, my four year old was entertaining another four year old. They were having a difficult time getting along. So as I put one tray of cookies into the oven, I grabbed a compilation of Beatrix Potter and sat them down to read. We read Peter Rabbit, complete with voices, dramatic pauses, and conversation about some of the beautiful illustrations. Satisfied and settled down the girls were off to play, and I stood up to go check on my cookies which were surely ready to come out soon.
Six minutes remained on the timer. Six minutes. We had read, Read not breezed through quickly, a whole story. Not a Sandra Boynton (though I LOVE her), but a Beatrix Potter. And I had six minutes left.
As I have begun to use a timer for some of my other household chores, I have been continually amazed at how my perceptions about time are so askew. There are so many chores that I put off knowing that I ‘don’t have the time’ only to find that they are completed easily and quickly.
The Cookie Bake was another opportunity for learning the truth about time. How many times do I miss the opportunity to fully engage with my kids or husband because I perceive that “I don’t have enough time”. In an era of time consciousness and management, of boundaries and careful planning, maybe our premium commodity has become a little inflated. Instead of remembering the value of a penny, let’s remember the value of a minute, or six. Let’s stimulate our families, and start spending.
Now, pass the cookies.
by Emily Pitman
Photo graciously provided by the author, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved