Seventeen

I’ve spent the morning being seventeen.  Which, by the way, is not a bad place to be.

By the time I managed to make coffee today, I had mastered ice cream making with two different churns running, and decided to take on the ill-advised task of making my own miniature cones.  Ill-advised, in that the current heat index here in Raleighwood is 107 degrees.  One should not stand over a hot stove when it’s 107 anything, anywhere.

It turned out great, though.  I knew that I had mad skilz at cone making at one point early in my culinary formation, because I spent two high-school summers, my sixteen and seventeen year old summers, working with my friends at I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt.  The most fun part of the job was making waffle cones.  You’d stir the batter, ladle it on the the waffle cone press, and then there was a very particular art to getting a steaming hot waffle off the press and wrapping it around the wooden cone while melting a marshmallow in the bottom so it wouldn’t leak.

I was a master.

The double-edged sword of making waffle cones for hours in a hot kitchen is that you come home smelling like waffle cone.  Your hair smells like waffle cone.  Your clothes smell like waffle cone.  Your car smells like waffle cone.  That’s great, until the novelty of the sugary-sweet smell wears off, and then you begin to turn on the smell of waffle cones, and anything else that smells like that hot-summer-kitchen sweetness.

Today I opted for itty-bitty cones pressed into muffin tins, because I had to make a bunch of them.  I made the batter, failed to read the cooking instructions because, hello, I have mad skilz.  Who needs instructions?

Well.  Three failed cones in, I realized that what I was really making was not itty-bitty pancakes, which I could cook in batches and press into muffin tins.  I was making itty bitty crepes.  Each itty bitty crepe required a quarter-sized amount of batter, and then a lot of Julia Child swirling into a paper-thin circle of batter, and a precarious flip.  High maintenance.  Harder than waffle cones.  Once I got started, though, I embraced the process.  I was back in summer high school job mode, remembering hot July nights with lines of people out the door and handing milkshakes to little kids out the drive-through window, and then leaving work to drive around town with friends with cassette tapes blaring from our tinny little car speakers.

So of course I put on my Born to Run album.  It’s full of car songs.  If you don’t love a Springsteen car song, then either you haven’t ever heard a Springsteen car song, or you and I don’t have very much to say to each other.  Springsteen car songs are all about America. And probably all about being seventeen.

I threw a flat-out morning dance party in my kitchen.

Each itty bitty crepe, and there were eleventy billion of them, took exactly one minute.  One minute is just enough time to work yourself into a car song frenzy, before you have to stop and re-pour and do it all over again.  Seventeen year old Katherine loved it.  Older-than-seventeen year old Katherine needed it.

Well.  Everything kind of hurts now.  I danced so hard that I was embarrassed that the burglars who have broken into four houses on my street this month might have been watching with binoculars and snickering.  Now I’m even more worried that they’ll break in and take my Springsteen album.  They can not have my Springsteen album.

In other news, the ice cream cones are done.  There is a party tonight.  I am achy.  But I’m ready.  C’mon over.

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