Tonight I am baking the worst batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, ever. I thought I had this recipe perfected. It is so simple, only bad butter could make it go bad. But it is bad.
Usually I don't bother with baking because my ass really needn't get any fatter. However, I was attempting a little civic duty, or kindness. Last Friday evening, as we were about to take Chloe to Ice Age 2, we were stopped in the hall by a loud alarm and strange smell. My building is almost all timber, and very old timber, so these kinds of things scare me.
The fire panel was clear, but I wasn't about to abandon my cats or my computer in such an uncertain predicament. I called 911.
Blaring firetrucks are so common on my block. The sirens are largely ignored until they stop - which usually means an alarm was mistakenly tripped nearby. (In fact, I hear one coming as I write - hmmm, sounds like it turned on Harrison, maybe.) Occasionally someone will step to the windows to check it out - then we know they are new around here. Or that someone is me because I always go to the window.
The truck arrived. The firefighters boldly marched in, bypassing me (even though I'm the one who called) to talk with my husband, the MAN. We found it was the CO alarm in the basement - and boy was it hot down there. After taking a quick reading, they returned in full gear and gas masks. Yikes.
Now, I know that I have truly grown as a person when I could tear myself away from a group of hunky firemen and some good drama. It was simple, really. Daughter? or Firemen? "Come on, Chloe, let's go get a cookie."
A few moments later, my neighbor walked into the coffee shop with his kid and cat. "Mom, what about Lucy and Edwin?????" So I went back to get the cats. By that time, they were just opening up windows and asking us to stay out until the air cleared and the gas man showed up.
No problem. Dinner and a movie.
So why am I attempting this batch of cookies? Because deep down inside, I can't let go of this opportunity to swing by my local firehouse with some neighborly lov'in. That, and I have this thing for firemen. Not that I would actually want to touch one, but, you know, they are the image of heroic in their big boots and all that clunky gear. When I used to go jogging in Prospect Park, it would make my day (my week, month) when I timed it right with the neighborhood fire department. They would jog in a pack, trailing behind the truck. Pant, pant, pant. It was total entertainment to get stuck behind them in line at the local grocer. George's uncle, the fire captain, once led us on a tour of his station. He took out a ladder truck and raised us nearly 100 feet above Mesa. I was in my thirties, but felt like an eight-year-old all wide-eyed with excitement.
Chloe has to come with me to deliver the cookies - to complete the picture. She asks, "Mom, can't you do this when I'm at school?" No. You have to come and see the firetrucks. You'll love it. Maybe they'll even give you a red helmut.
I might have to pick up something at Whole Foods, though. I'm no June Cleaver.