Cookies (it’s a hard life)

Although I was very happy to welcome my child into the world, I did feel a little hard done by.

The reason for this was that last Sunday I bought my wife an oven, (not because I’m trying desperately to reinforce 1950s gender stereotypes, but because she kept asking for it) but with labour commencing on Monday night, it only got used once. The ginger cookies my wife baked were very good, but they weren’t quite $700 worth of cookies, and Foremandaddy is all about return on investment in 2013. (When I’m not watching Justin Timberlake videos on Youtube, which takes up about half of my days.)

Now, you can’t expect a woman who’s under general anaesthetic to bake anything spectacular, and I accept that. But still, I hungered for cake, but was damned by societal expectations that I should allow my wife to bond with her newborn rather than slave away in the kitchen producing gateaux for her lazy husband.

So I waited, and my wife also began to wish to heat up some more mixtures of gluten, fat and sugar. Unfortunately, we were suffering from a paucity of baking utensils. There was one glass basin that she managed to bake a fine concoction of oats, bananas and blueberries in, but it was clear that wasn’t enough.

I knew it wasn’t enough because my wife took to holding Foremanbaby up in front of the oven and telling her to look at “the food TV”. Ok, our oven does resemble my childhood telly, and does have a glass window behind which food glows and tempts, but when Foremanbaby isn’t even familiar with the idea of a normal TV, talking about food TVs is only going to plant dangerous seeds in her mind. And suggest her parents are going loopy.

I figured the way to fix this was to buy some cake tins. For what problems cannot be solved by cake?* So, allowing my wife a short nap between feeds of Foremanbaby, I went to the shops in search of tins and trays.

I was disappointed. Our local supermarket stocks barbecue equipment, a must-have when absolutely nobody has a garden, but no baking trays. I went to the overpriced kitchen shop on Club Street, but it had vanished, gone out of business so comprehensively that there was no trace of it.

I walked home, carrying only some kitchen roll and a roast chicken for my wife’s dinner. She was fast asleep, so I woke her up to tell her how great I was at shopping, and then went out to go to the kitchen superstore on the other side of the island.

My wife had a bright idea, and a few minutes after I had persuaded the taxi driver of our destination, she called to tell me to go to Ikea instead of the top dollar tin tray shop. Taxi Uncle was a little bit annoyed, but changed course and we arrived at Ikea shortly.

Where I discovered to my chagrin that Ikea doesn’t carry cookie sheets, or muffin trays that will fit inside our oven (our oven’s internal size is 13 by 11 inches, and the muffin tray, designed for gargantuan Swedish ovens, was 15 by 11 inches, and that led to one of those satisfying conversations where my wife kept saying, ever more exasperatedly, “15” and in response I would reply, more and more testily, “no, 13”) I realised I would have to go to the super priced cookery shop instead.

I fled Ikea, packed on a Sunday afternoon with every citizen of Singapore, and somehow managed to snag a taxi that was heading towards Clementi. It turns out that most taxi drivers don’t believe a cookery shop exists in Singapore, but they’re all aspirational BMW drivers, and luckily the Beemer showroom is right by the kitchen shop. Thus after ten minutes furious driving, I fell dizzy and nauseous into the kitchen shop.

It took me an hour to find the things I was looking for. I got lost in the novelty muffin tray section for far too long, bewitched by maple leaf shaped muffin trays that cost four times the reasonable price for such a thing, and only after asking for help three times did I find what I was looking for.

And so it was, having lost half the day to shopping, I took a third taxi home, bearing loaf tins and a square cake tin with a lifetime guarantee (if we hand it down to little Felicity, that cake tin could outlive me) and fell into the waiting arms of my wife. I lay upon the sofa, wheezing and eating barbecue flavour crisps, while my wife baked no less than 48 chocolate chip cookies, and I began to worry that my reach was greater than my grasp, that I had bitten off more than I could chew, that consuming the results of this baking might be harder than I had expected. There’s more than one channel on the Food TV, but they’re all showing you what to eat.

* Don’t say diabetes, that was a rhetorical question.

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