I was blending the butter and sugar for cookies when younger son wandered into the kitchen.
“Where’s that neck thing of Dad’s?” he asked.
“Sore neck?” I pointed to the drawer under the microwave where I knew my husband stored a fabric neck wrap. He would toss it in the microwave for a minute or two and then pull out a warm cloth that felt heavenly on sore muscles.
“No, it just feels good.” So Son began rummaging through drawers while I continued to toss ingredients into the mixer for cookies.
I had just finished adding the flour when he floated another question my direction. “How long do you set the timer for?”
I placed the cookie sheets on the counter, surprised that he hadn’t already snitched a spoonful of the dough. “Eleven minutes.”
The oven was warming and I quickly dropped cookie dough onto the sheets, ready to push them into the oven.
I sometimes suffer from squirrelitis, that ailment which causes me to be distracted by every movement or sound. But apparently not when I’m making cookies.
I didn’t notice the microwave running until I had the last cookie in place.
I hadn’t noticed the smell, either.
“What—“ The microwave timer still had 5 minutes on it and burnt rice smell was wafting into the kitchen, overpowering cookie dough scent.
My husband had come in search of the stink. He scooped up the neck warmer with a wooden spoon and threw it out the front door onto a snow pile.
“What were you doing?” I turned to our son, who was standing with wide eyes. “You’re supposed to heat that neck warmer for maybe two minutes. How long did you set it for?”
Huh? We stared at each other for a moment. “I thought you meant the cookies,” I said.
We laughed then. But I’m sorry to say that even the smell of freshly baked cookies couldn’t overpower the smell of burnt rice.
Communication is such a fragile thing.