Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bobby Friggin' Crocker Over Here . . .

Nervously, I browsed through the cook-book section of my favorite bookstore here in Wichita. I love reading cook books. I love shopping for them. I love cooking and I love to be in the kitchen and I love to feed people (blame my mother) but this trip was different . . .

My office is having a "Football Kickoff Tailgate Party" on Friday (they LOVE them some college football here in the plains) and I have volunteered to make cookies and brownies for all my rowdy peers.

I've done some baking since my surgery. A few birthday cakes. Some muffins. One failed attempt at a souffle. Some late-night Dutch Oven action to annoy and repulse my wife (don't ask if you don't get the joke). This was different though. I am baking for "strangers" (people that are not my family) and I, for the first time ever, can not sample the goods to make sure that they are, uh, GOODS before serving them to said "strangers."

I will not be detered though. I have my two faithful and expert taste testers at home (smile) so . . . game on.

I distracted Ava with the kid's section of the small store (she is currently obsessed and easily distracted/occupied by Fancy Nancy books and dress up stuff so it was not hard) and did a quick perusal of the cookie/baking books. I settled for the definitive source for all things delicious and appropriate . . . Martha Stewart . . . and Ava and I beat-foot over to Dillon's to do some grocery shopping before dinner time.

That is where it all got a little crazy and my life after surgery - where I actually stop and smell the roses (instead of just the fresh breads) in the grocery store kicked in. WHOA!

Did you know they have NINE types of sugar in the baking aisle at Dillon's? And TEN more options for sugar-free and artificial sweeteners? Did you know that flour comes in seven forms here in Wichita? Cocoa Powder in three different styles (and five brands)? What the hell do we need different TYPES of cocoa powder for? Did you know they sell, including store brand, THIRTY TWO types/flavors/sizes/styles of "chocolate" chips (using quotes because they have peanut butter/chocolate swirl, cinnamon and caramel chips (among others) on the shelves too). Once upon a time - sugar was sugar in my world/belly. Chips were always chocolate (and semi-sweet) and the world made sense. It was sweet and delicious. Last night it was confusing!

I spent over 30 minutes thumbing, anxiously, through the cookie book and looking for matching ingredients for the goodies I want to offer here in the office. In the meantime, Ava (hidden inside the "car" that is bolted to the front of our over-sized shopping cart) had grabbed and opened two bags of marshmallows and - randomly enough - a muffin mix and was just chomping away on the blueberry speckled powder and fluffy sweet chunks in the respective packages.

I waited until after Joy got home last night and she finally got Ava to sleep (I tried, to no victory, for an hour) and I banged out my double-fudge-peanut-butter brownies. I'm told they are delicious (they were sampled for breakfast). Tonight I'll do two more batches of brownies (plain and mint) and then I have pecan bars and four types of cookies (crisy chocolate chip, mini-whoopie pies, ginger horns and colored sugar cookies, I think) to do between now and Friday morning too.

All in all - I will bake and serve well over 20,000 calories worth of "goodness" to my co-workers between now and Friday. Not sampling a DROP, a TASTE, a SPOON or a LICK in the meantime. How can I be around that much sweetness and stay strong? It won't be hard.

I was discussing the "temptation" (or lack of) that came with me doing a one-man-bake-a-thon this week with my co-workers this morning. I realized a very simple thing . . . it is not that I don't miss sugar. It is not that I don't miss baked goods (my love of Murray's sugar free cookies is well documented on this blog). I live in FEAR of sugar and of slippery slopes.

Almost 18-months post sugery I have yet (knock on wood) to experience dumping and I have yet to give in to sugar at all (really - I don't even play the grams-per-serving game (consult your nutritionist for official game rules)) and I don't plan to.

1 comment:

This Show said...

Honestly . . . where do you find the will power and control? I'd love to hear more about that. I "graze" when I eat. I can't see it or I eat it. I'm having trouble with a 24 hour grocer on the corner.