These Things Don’t Just Appear Out of Nowhere, You Know, Part I: What Goes In…

Gaming Weekend is nearly upon us, and you know what that means. The humans are running around like headless poultry. The male is making lists of games he wants to play and the female is worrying about what to feed people. We didn’t do this whole rigamarole last year because of The Plague, so everyone wants this year to be special.

The order of business today includes Gingerbread. I have spoken of the human female’s gingerbread before, and noted how popular it is. Don’t tell her I said it, but the stuff is addicting. And unfortnately, if people want to eat them, she has to spend a good chunk of the day making them. They don’t just appear out of nowhere. Believe me, I’ve tried, and it’s one thing my magic just can’t do.

This time, Sigyn and I are going to help make them. Well, Sigyn is going to help (and hopefully learn how to make them so that we’re not dependent on the human female for our fix), and I am going to meddle. Not too much, because I still want there to be cookies at the end of the day, but enough so that I get banished from the kitchen before it’s time to wash the dishes.

The recipe lives on the computer, so the human female has scribbled it down on scratch paper she can take to the kitchen.

She has amounts written out for both a single and a double batch. Today, I think we’re going for a double batch. A single batch takes less than a jar of molasses, and double batch takes less than two but more than one. Unless she’s willing to do Weird Math and make something like a batch and a half, the molasses never comes out even. (Most people do not suspect my seat on the board of the National Molasses Marketing Association, but it’s a role I dearly cherish.)

Sigyn, I know you’re contemplating diving in and drinking your way out, but I beg you to reconsider.

Next, we need sugar. Plain old white sugar.

You’d think that she’d just use brown sugar—which is white sugar with some molasses added in—instead of white sugar and molasses, but apparently the tang of molasses is what makes these cookies Extra Good, so not even I will muck about with this part of the recipe.

If Sigyn falls in, the cookies will be even sweeter. (But I’ll make sure she doesn’t!)

Shortening is next. The human female refuses to scoop and measure the stuff anymore because it’s so messy. Now she just buys sticks that are exactly a cup. I’ve seen to it that she has two partial sticks and will have to figure out if that’s enough or too much.

And she’ll be all greasy by the end anyway, so mess will not have been averted after all. *I* don’t plan to do the clean-up, so I am more than all right with this!

The bowl is filling rapidly. Are we sure there’s going to be room for the rest of the ingredients?

Eggs hold everything together.

Ehehehee! I jiggled the bowl while the human female was running the mixer, and there are now greasy-eggy-molasses-y splatters all over the vicinity!

Time for the dry ingredients. The human female likes to start with the spices and whatnot, to make sure they are well mixed in. I distracted her while she was copying the recipe and she left out the cinnamon. Let’s see if she remembers!

Salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda… She did remember! (Giggle)

Sigyn has turned the jar around and foiled my next little joke.

Well, they’re both brown and fragrant, so what’s the diff?

Just kidding! I wasn’t really going to let the human female put in cumin rather than cinnamon. As I said, I have a vested interest in these cookies coming out right.

Now, we’re not just going to start dumping these in, are we? I’m usually all about the the chaos, but in this case, I do believe some precision is called for…

Precision, of course, does not always equal neatness. This is a double batch, so we need 2 tsp of cloves. The human female is using the half-teaspoon measure because it fits in the jar better. Watch this. “Hey! Woman! Did you count to four half teaspoons, or did your tiny mortal brain just count to two for a double batch?” Ehehehhehe! She thought she knew, but now she’s not sure. If she only put two, the cookies won’t taste right. If she put in four and adds two more, they’ll be equally awful. “Stupid woman! Maybe you should add one more, just in case, and they’ll only be a little awful.”

In the end, she has decided that she had only put in two and has added two more. Don’t tell her, but that was the right answer. Time for flour! It is even easier to make her lose count of how many cups of flour, since she has to go all the way to eight.

Scoop, level, pour. Scoop, level, pour. Mix. Scoop, level, pour. Scoop, level, pour. Mix. Scoop, level, pour. Scoop, level—

Now is this cup number six, or number five? Five or six? *I* know, but I’m not telling…

To be continued…

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