Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BRAG (04/20/17)
- TITLE: Cookie Surprise
By Dannie Hawley
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“Your mother’s not working today?”
“Sure. Every Saturday.” I squeezed the receiver between ear and shoulder, stretching the extra-long cord to the flour canister. “I’m gonna surprise Dad with a batch of his favorite cookies.”
“Your mom lets you do that when she’s not home?”
“Her only rule is whatever I do, the kitchen better look as clean when I’m done as when I started.” I glanced at the wall clock and checked Mom’s recipe card while listening to Linda. “No, but how hard can it be to make sugar cookies? I’ve made plenty of others.”
“We’re twelve,” Linda said, giggling. “Have you ever made cookies without your mother double-checking stuff?”
“All the time.” I didn’t mention my older sister checked both times I’d made oatmeal cookies alone. “I gotta go. I want the cookies to come out of the oven just as Dad walks through the door.”
After agreeing to call Linda later, I started the noisy mixer. I slowed the beaters and slid the rubber spatula against the wall of the bowl just the way I’d watched Mom a hundred times. Boy, is Daddy going to be surprised.
I placed each raw cookie on the baking sheet, measuring a two-inch space around each one. If I’d calculated correctly, the cookies should come out of the oven about the time my dad drove up.
The grating blast of the timer sounded just as the crunch of gravel announced Dad’s arrival. Perfect! Leaving the dishwater, I yanked the towel and half-dried my hands.
I held the potholder and reached for the oven door. The creaking hinge signaled Daddy’s entry.
“Wow! I smelled those cookies from the porch, Punkin.” Dad set his lunchbox on the table and turned to see the baking sheet on the rack.
“Oh Daddy!” I gasped, frozen before the escaping heat. “I-I--”
Red and black flannel flashed into view. One of his hands twisted the oven knob to Off while the other grabbed the potholder from my hand. Dad gently elbowed me to the side while lifting the steaming baking sheet out and over to the cooling rack.
“Now, that’s what I call a cookie!”
“But, Daddy, I put twelve normal cookies on the sheet. How come they turned into this one big monster? Look! It’s even gone over the edge of the cookie sheet and onto the rack.”
My father’s brow furrowed. He pressed his lips together and stroked his chin. “Hmm? Any chance you used baking powder instead of baking soda?”
I held up the little red can. Dad nodded, smiling. “Yup. There’s your problem. You might want to hold off until Mom’s here to double-check your work for a little while yet.”
My father leaned over the cooling sugar cookie monster and took a deep breath. “I’m so proud of you, Punkin,” Dad said, giving me a big squeeze. “Tomorrow, I’m going to tell the guys at the lab my girl baked me the biggest cookie I’ve ever seen.”
“Yes, Linda. My father ate some of that beast until I begged him to toss it.” I heard Linda laughing. My cheeks burned.
“How’d it taste?”
“Half-raw and icky.” I chuckled as I pictured Daddy breaking off bits of cookie. “You should’ve seen him. He tried so hard to like it.”
“Hope his friends don’t ask him to bring them a sample of the biggest cookie he’s ever seen.” Linda and I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks.
“No chance. I already took the garbage to the dumpster. Besides, Mom’s home tomorrow and said I can help her bake.”
A true story
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