Before I “retired” from broadcasting, people sent me stuff. I got sent towels, mugs, puzzles, games, cards, gift certificates (which I always returned), t-shirts (which never fit), works of art and books. By far, the books came most frequently. Some books were great. Some were interesting. Some sucked out loud, and some, I just didn’t understand. An example of each? OK.
Robert Guillaume’s autobiography was the best book I got. My interview with him goes down amongst the top ten. The man was 72 years old and suffered a major stroke, but he sure made me weak in the knees. He was the Phantom on Broadway after all. Hubba. The book was a real page turner.
I somehow got sent a series of books that looked at regional postcards from the 19th century. Those sepia photos were a fascinating look at a narrow slice of life in various counties around the South. Neat, but not germane to my reporting.
1001 self help books crossed my desk. No one needs to help themselves to that much help. No one. People who need that much help surf the Internet studying the term cybercondria.
And, finally, there were books that baffled me. One of the books I didn’t understand was called Small Batch Baking. It was one of the last books to cross my desk before I left. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me who would want to go to the trouble to make a cake that only serves two people. It’s the same amount of trouble to make a big pie as as small one. It makes the same number of dirty dishes and spoons, so why go small? I hated the idea of this book, and thought the author was bonkers, but I kept the book anyway. (MOST of the books that crossed my desk ended up at various charity book sales or as gifts for friends. Nobody tell me how wrong I am for this, OK?)
In the last few weeks, I have found that I REALLY like this cookbook. Take tonight’s venture into oatmeal cranberry cookies. See, I’ve been annoyed with Eleanor lately. I want her to go to the potty regularly, and she’s obviously not ready to be regulated. Tonight, I wanted to get off the angry train with my girl at Grand Cookie Station. So I asked her to make cookies with me.
We got Small Batch Baking off the shelf, and picked which cookie we wanted to make. I measured. She stirred. We baked five cookies in the toaster oven. We played Super Why on the computer and waited for the cookies to bake.
It was nice. We giggled. We nibbled together in the armchair and shared a cold glass of milk.
I am totally not angry, which is quite a switch for me lately. We worked together better than we ever have. I want to be this supermom that shows her kid everything and gets the kid to listen every time. I think I hate that mom now. I have to stop pushing so hard on the immovable will that is my daughter and just do stuff with her and see what happens. I need to give up. Maybe I’ll get somewhere, then.