A Measure of Patience

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

My daughter is taking Tech Ed this year, also known as Skills USA, this class gives her a change to build and design robots.

A few days ago, I asked her how it was going. “It’s all dimensions, Mom”, she wailed. She was bummed because they were still in the design phase and she was eager to get to the building stage.

She is a builder, always creating or making things, but she doesn’t spend much time planning these creations. She just jumps in and builds them. This is fine for a fort in the basement, but certainly won’t cut it for a robot.

I have to admit, I am the same way. If I have a new project, I want to jump right in and do it. I am especially guilty when I cook or bake.

Every recipe you read advises gathering all your ingredients before you bake. If you didn’t skip this step you would realize you are out of flour before you have the rest of the ingredients for the cookies mixed up, thus skipping a run down to the Quick mart for over priced flour. _MG_3655_

Still, I’ve done it more times then I can count. I also forgo the measure all the ingredients and put them in the little bowls like you see on the cooking shows. Who has time for that? Besides, I barely want to wash the bowl after I make one-bowl brownies, let alone was five individual bowls.

Just last night I decided to, on the spur of the moment, make an applesauce spice cake. Why? Well, it’s fall and a warm spicy applesauce cake sounds good, plus my father in law just gave us two thirty two ounce containers of applesauce and I have to use them in SOMETHING.

I wanted the cake, but I also didn’t want to do many dishes, so instead of using the actual ½, and ¼ measuring spoons, the recipe called for I just the teaspoon for everything…just eyeballing what I thought was ½ or ¼.  I even eyeballed that last ¼ cup of flour and the raisins? Yeah, instead of a cup it was whatever fell out of the bag.

It turned out delicious. The recipe can be found here.

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9 thoughts on “A Measure of Patience

  1. I tend to fall somewhere between your system and the cook book version. Even with a dishwasher I try use 2 or 3 bowls instead of 5. I do use a measuring cup, but I reuse it several times on the same project instead of grabbing another cup. My success rate is better than 50 % so I figure I am doing good.

    My grandmother didn’t use measuring cups or spoons. She measured with her hands and her eyes. Her success rate was 100%. I guess it was years of practice.


  2. My sister has to have everything out on the counter, measured into the little bowls. I’m more like you, Jennifer, and rarely has something not turned out. However, because I jump right in I sometimes get to a point where it calls for something I don’t have. I’ve used Bisquick for flour, vinegar and milk for sour milk, but it’s more fun this way! Thanks for the fun post.


  3. I think this could also be applied to writing. Some novelists like to do an outline before they write their story. On the other hand, I like to dive in and see where the story takes me as long as I have an idea where it will end. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.


  4. I love the sound of your ‘jump in and guestimate’ cake and I bet it was delicious, Jennifer. I almost did the same yesterday when I made a berry pie using defrosted summer berries. I did use the scales to measure the flour and fats (margarine/ and lard since I didn’t have sufficient of just one of those) but the salt was a ‘guestipinch’, the sugar was a ‘trickle fall’ since i wasn’t sure how tart the berries would be. My son-in’law declared it better than shop bought pies! My guesses don’t always taste good, so i was a happy baker.


  5. When the robot’s done and scurrying about, you have to get some photos and videos you can post on the blog. And you could also mail some cookies to all your fellow Writing Wrangler bloggers. 🙂


  6. I don’t always measure all my ingredients, but I don’t usually eyeball everything! The cake sounds delicious. Best of luck to your daughter in her robot project. That sounds fun! I agree with Mike. We need a blog post about that–and some cookies would be good too! 🙂


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