Monday, January 7, 2008

Russian Tea Cakes Revisited - or What The Cat Knew

It all started very early this morning, the mournful wails of the cat throughout the house. It could have been that he was still traumatized from the powdered sugar accident with the Russian Tea Cakes we had yesterday. Then again - it may have been a foreboding that only cats know. No one will really ever know for sure.

The protesting became stronger when I entered the kitchen and started to put the ingredients out for the day’s carnage. Excuse me, my holiday baking. I thought to myself, he needs to be fed. I fed him not once, but twice, to no avail; he continued to carry on. I opened the front kitchen window that had no screens due to it being winter and set him in the window sill to look out at the birds he’s so pathetically terrified of and went about my business.

I started to measure the cream when I looked over in time to see the cat teetering on the window sill edge with a horrified look on his face. Sure enough, 22 lbs, end over end — he fell out. Doubled over in laughter, I peered out to see his disgruntled face which clearly said, “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT”, which was not an uncommon site the last few days. I figured, well he’s outside and he’ll be happy with that, as long as one of the sparrows or hummingbirds doesn’t attack him.

I continued to measure the cream to be heated in a saucepan so I could make a very large batch of chocolate truffles. Things were going well. I had just whipped the chocolate into the cream and was ready to place the large bowl of fluffy molten chocolate in the fridge to cool.

My daughter informed me that the cat was still outside so I asked her to check if he was ready to come back in. He gets irritated if you leave him out three seconds longer than he cares to spend in the great outdoors.

On the way to the fridge with the bowl of chocolate in hand, my sister called. I answered the corded phone en route to the fridge. In the meantime, my daughter had let in the disgruntled cat. Apparently he had been left unattended entirely too long and someone was going to PAY.

Upon re-entry, the cat careened through the house, screaming at the top of his lungs. I began to hear this out of the ‘corner of my ear’ as I conversed with my sis while walking towards the fridge. Just as I opened the refrigerator door, the phone cord reached its tether and the cat came screaming into the kitchen. Everything started moving in slow motion. Worlds collided as the phone and bowl of chocolate sprang out of my hands and into the air.

While I was being whip lashed backwards by the over-stretched phone cord, the bowl of chocolate headed straight for the refrigerator shelves. Upon impact, half the contents of the bowl mimicked a tidal wave as chocolate surged all over the newly minted Russian Tea Cakes on the shelf below. The bowl ricocheted backwards, splashing the other half of the chocolate on me, the floor, and of course the cat who had now progressed to the precise apex of the fiasco. He was apparently determined to make the most of this disaster. If we were filming a movie, Francis Ford Coppola himself could’ve spent six days shooting and still not pull this shot off. At my house it’s a given that it’s going to be the worst case scenario every single time.

After the last blob of chocolate fell, I bathed the cat, scrubbed the kitchen down once again, showered, washed my clothes, called my sister back, and re-made the Russian Tea Cakes. With the cat in hiding and everyone else soundly asleep, I whipped up a new batch of chocolate truffles. I have no plans to make anything else this holiday season.

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