The unique and cloying smell of burnt chocolate chip cookies wafts through my home like some malicious spirit, hellbent on revenge against its murderer. It creeps up the stairs, drifting into dark corners, just waiting to suddenly surprise me with its malodorous presence. Like the beating heart under the floorboards of Poe’s story, my crime comes back to haunt me.
It all began innocently enough. Knowing several folks who are on restricted diets, I decided to try my hand at making gluten-free cookies today. Even though I’m not a big fan of baking mixes, I went with one for this first foray into gluten-free baking. The dough mixed up nicely and spoonfuls of it were quickly panned and put in the oven to bake.
Since I had a few minutes, I wandered out to my living room, sat down with a notebook, and began working a design for a new bed quilt. As my mind wandered down the pattern and color possibilities, I completely forgot about the cookies.
The faintest whiff of cooking sugar drifted past my nose. I registered it with a passing thought that the oven timer hadn’t gone off yet and kept working on the quilt design. The plan is beautiful, a a star-shaped kaleidoscope of autumn colors based on an angled log cabin pattern. My thoughts were focused, not on the baked goods in my oven, but on the rich tapestry of autumn hues of an imagined quilt.
A few minutes later the smell of burning sugar did not lightly tiptoe past, but rather smacked me in the nose with a gauntlet, challenging me to even try to ignore it. A quick jog to the kitchen revealed cookies that were perfectly browned on top and coal black on the bottom, their short lives destroyed by a quilt. The cookies were quickly given an impromptu funeral in the rubbish bin, while the quilt design remains at large, armed and dangerously beautiful. Me, I’m pleading quilty on all counts.