Friday, March 29, 2013

Baked Lunch 2 - The Bakening

(Continued from the previous post Baked Lunch)

The guest bakers Bette Midler, Stephen King, Allie Brosch, Carl-Who-is-not-Jake-Gyllenhaal, and No-Risk-Angelina-Jolie are still lined up at the endlesssly long silver studio kitchen counter, they each have a large glass mixing bowl sitting next to smaller one and a pile of ingredients, they are all still wearing aprons that say "Genevieve Rheams is my favorite writer and overall human" except for Bette Midler who has modified hers to read "Genevieve Rheams is an overall twit" because I once mentioned that I don't like "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings" and Stephen King is about to tell me that I need to stop writing run-on sentences.
"Well, look at it," he tells me. "That entire last paragraph is just one sentence."
"William Faulkner wrote run-on sentences all the time," I retort.
"William Faulkner is dead."
"...Because of run-on sentences?"
"He didn't pause to breathe."
I concede that this is a good point, and tell them to take up their eggs. 
"Now," I say, standing before them and lifting my arms like a maestro. "We're going to mix our wet ingredients in the small bowl. You want to start by cracking each egg on the side of the bowl."
"The shells are sharp," Angelina Jolie mutters through her mouth guard. "I think I'm just going to set them in the bowl here and let them dissolve in the oven."
"No, no, it won't work like that and then you'll have crunchy shells in your brownies, which could possibly cut your lip."
Angelina shrieks.
"That's right. So you want to give each egg a good, sharp crack-"
She shrieks again.
"Oy. Ok, everyone crack your eggs, I'm going to assist Angelina."
Allie Brosch, whose inner child is already going giddy at the sight of sugar, giggles as she smacks an egg against the rim of her bowl, letting everything -yolk, white and shell- fall into the mix. Carl-the-Tour-Bus-Driver-for-the-Green-Day-Tribute-Band-Who-Tells-Me-He's-Not-Jake-Gyllenhaal-But-Looks-And-Sounds-Just-Like-Him and Stephen King are gabbing about music and not paying attention to what they're doing so Stephen King has a little bit of shell in his bowl and Carl is cracking open a quart of milk. 
I move over to Angelina's bowl, crack three eggs, and toss the shells in the trash by her feet. She lays a hand on her chest.
"So brave..." she says.
I smirk. "I know. Now grab your forks and mix them up...good! and now we- Bette, what are you doing?"
"I'm adding some autographed pictures of myself and Lady Gaga. These brownies need style."
Stephen King nodds. He shakes a bottle of seasoning over the mix. "Needs minced evil."
"MINE NEEDS SUGAR!!" Allie Brosch growls and pours an entire sack of sugar into her bowl.
"Mine's still too dangerous," Angelina Jolie says, taking a bike helmet out of her pocket and tossing it in.
"Mine needs unsweetened baker's chocolate," says Carl.
We all look at him. He looks back at us. "What? It does."
"So now stir until everything is blended nicely," I tell them, and there is a general sound of clunking and tearing in the bowls as they attempt to cream butter, photographs, and bicycle helmets together.
"Excellent. Now you may pour the contents into the greased baking dish beside your bowl and put them in the oven where we will let them bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes."
Stephen, Bette, and Carl pour their batters into the dishes. Stephen King's is glowing green, Bette's is shimmering, and Carl's smell's vaguely of a bus. Allie Brosch's brownies don't make it to the pan. She finishes stirring, screams like Cookie Monster,and pours the contents of the bowl into her mouth, brownie mix dripping down her chin and covering up just enough letters on her apron so that instead of saying "Genevieve Rheams is my favorite writer and overall human" it says "Gen is all man." Angelina Jolie manages to pour the batter into the pan but then stares at the oven, eyes wide.
"I can't do this," she gasps. "It's too risky."
I walk over to her. "Oh now, come on, it's fine. It's just a preheated oven. Look," I pull open the oven door and a fireball erupts from inside, followed by demonic laughter. My eyebrows are singed and my apron burns off. Because Angelina is wearing fire retardant clothing and is slathered in 5000 spf sunblock she is unscathed. I close the oven door.
"Let's consult the cookbook shall we?" I say. A prop man brings me a copy of Betty Crocker's cookbook and I begin to flip through it. "Let's see...when Satan has possessed your oven....ah, page 63-"
"We need no book!" Allie Brosch growls. "Allie save you!"
Allie Brosch's sugar-charged inner child takes Angelina's pan of brownie mix, flings open the oven, and dives inside.
"Allie!" we all scream. Angelina faints.
The oven door has slammed behind her so all we hear is the demon snarling and Allie laughing as they grapple inside. The five of us are standing around the oven, watching and waiting with the exception of No-Risk-Angelina-Jolie who is out cold on the studio floor.
Carl-Who-Says-He-Is-Not-Jake-Gyllenhaal-But-Looks-And-Sounds-Just-Like-Him is overcome with worry and asks me for a hug.
I sigh. "Well, I suppose," I say, trying to appear nonchalant and hiding the fact that when he hugs me my extremities go limp and fall off.
"That poor kid," says Bette Midler, gazing at the oven. "She had such potential to be fabulous."
"She's not dead yet!" declares Stephen King. He cups his hands over his mouth. "Allie! If you can hear me, evil is sensitive to music! Sing something! Sing something lovely!"
I pull away from Carl as something in my brain begins to hurt. It's a pain that shoots through my ears and across the hemisphere of my mind.
"God," I say, with my hands over my ears. "What is that?"
Stephen King looks ecstatic. "She's doing it! Allie's singing 'You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings'! She's defeating evil, listen!"
The demon begins wailing from inside the oven and I begin writhing on the floor. Bette Midler stands over me with her arms folded and one eyebrow raised.
"So you say you like my song, huh?"
"Bette!-aaaack! I swear this isn't what it looks like!"
"Why don't you stick your head in a beehive?" she suggests.
And I don't want to tell her but that seems like a gentler alternative.
Then suddenly the pain stops. Allie flies out of the oven, and stands on the counter top. She has one hand on her hip and is holding a pan of freshly cooked brownies over her head. Her pink triangular dress and blonde ponytail are scorched but she is triumphant. She is still talking like Cookie Monster.
"Allie defeat demon with song about love!" she cries. "Brownie is reward!"
Allie shakes the pan of brownies over her mouth and she gobbles them up. She springs in the air and runs around the studio.
I clap my hands together. "Ok! So the rest of the brownies should be done. Let's take them out of the non-possessed ovens and see how they turned out."
Stephen King's brownies are still glowing green. He slices one and sets it on a plate for me to taste.
"It tastes like..." I say, chewing slowly. "Holy crap, this is the best brownie I've ever tasted."
"That's because I added evil. And it comes with a price."
I look back at him and his eyebrows have grown so long, they're touching the floor.
"I'm sorry Stephen," I say.
He shrugs. "No bigee. Do I win?"
"Let's see...Bette, may I sample?"
"Certainly," she says, and her grin makes me nervous.
I take a bite. "It tastes like fame."
"Enjoy it, sister, because it's the only taste you'll ever get. HA!"
"Come on, Bette," I plead with my mouth full. "I'm sorry about not liking your song. I really REALLY like a whole lot of your other songs, and I think you're hysterical."
She raises her eyebrow at me again. "Really?"
"Ok...but I only believe you because I shredded my greatest hits CD and put it in the mix. You don't seem to be having an allergic reaction to it."
And she's right. Other than the fact that my liver is failing because "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings" is on that CD, I'm fine because I really truly am a Bette Midler fan.
"Carl, how about yours?" I say, turning to him.
He hands me a plate. "Carl...when I eat this the Brokeback Mountain theme song pops in my head. Why is that?"
He grins nervously. "Coincidence?"
"You're getting ready for a role as a bus driver, aren't you Jake?"
His eyes dart back and forth. "Am I believable?"
"I won't know for sure until you drive me around on a bus. Say, after the show?"
"Ok, I can do that."
"See that you do," I say, and I wonder if I should tell him that I consider this a date, but decide that it's probably better for him not to know, you know, because it might distract him from driving.
"And now Angelina-"
Angelina Jolie points to Allie Brosch who is running back and forth across the counter banging pots and pans together. "She ate them."
"Oh right. Allie! How were Angelina's brownies?"
"YUMUMUMUM!" she roars, and then suddenly stops. She becomes quiet. She looks at the pots in her hands and looks at all of us. "Angelina, I think the safety gear in your brownie mix worked as a antedote. I apologize for my behavior."
"It's cool," I tell her. "You defeated a demon."
"Rad," she says.
She climbs down from the counter.
"Ok, well since Allie ate her mix before they were baked she's disqualified. Sorry Allie. But you get special recognition for taming the devil. Everyone baked a good brownie, everyone well done. But unfortunately we can only have one winner and our winner is - Stephen King!"
Stephen King walks over to me, his cursed eyebrows dragging along the floor in his wake.
"Fantastic, what do I win?"
"You win five more guest appearances on my blog...Stephen, that's supposed to be an honor, please stop strangling yourself with your eyebrows."
But he doesn't and soon he is passed out on the floor, where he will remain until his next guest appearance on my blog.

That's our show, thank you for joining us. If you're wondering, I use the brownie recipe that I grew up with from the Betty Crocker cookbook which you can find by clicking on Ultimate Brownies. I would also like to recognize Bette Midler, Allie Brosch, Angelina Jolie, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Stephen King, all of whom I do not know in real life, so I'm just imagining how they'd react to being on my cooking show and you should not take me seriously when I say things like Allie Brosch jumps into ovens or that Stephen King bakes evil brownies. But I am pretty sure that Jake Gyllenhaal would go out with me.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Love love love it. And I agree that Jake would totally go out with you. He's awesome.