Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vegan Baking and the "Tedium Monkey"

[apologies if you get this multiple times through your feed-reader; I've been editing...]
Nick's been unpredictable in his responses to his sister's vegan ways. Sometimes he flaunts his meat-eating to her (this goes over about as well as you would imagine). Other times, though, he's pretty sweet. Monday morning, with the extra "weekend" day, he got up and began browsing her cookbook, Veganomicon (highly recommended, by the way). After a while he came and found me.

"Mom, I want to make some vegan muffins. Can I make these?" He showed me a recipe for applesauce-oat bran muffins.

Well, we didn't have any oat bran, but we googled for a substitute and worked out that oatmeal powdered in the blender might work, so I said yes. Did he want any help? His face fell a bit.

"I wanted to do it all by myself, but I'm not sure I can." Then his face brightened. "I know, you can be the me!"

I was puzzled. "The what?"

"You know, normally when we make stuff, you're in charge but you let me measure stuff or stir sometimes or get out the ingredients--I'm the monkey who runs around and does the tedious stuff. I'm the tedium monkey! You can be the tedium monkey!"

I might prefer "sous chef," but "tedium monkey" works. And so did the muffins.


Caroline said...

Hah! What a great way to put it. It took me so long time to recover from being mom's tedium monkey that I still don't do some of those jobs (greasing cookie sheets; sifting) -- they must have been the ones grandma made her do. (Mom, are you reading this?!) On the other hand, being the tedium monkey is how you learn how to cook...

FreshHell said...

I love that phrase! I, too, got my cooking start as the tedium monkey who greased the cookie sheets. I think I was three when given the honor.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I greased the cookie sheets, and the bread pans. I can remember, when I was almost 5, being allowed to stay up late to help check on the various layers of wedding cake being baked in neighbors' ovens (none was large enough to deal with three layers at once!) and inserting the (carefully cleaned) broomstraw in the middle of each one! And yes, that is, indeed how you learn to cook - as I remember, each of us youngsters, from ages 4-7, in the three households, boys AND girls, had helped stir the batter before hand...



Magpie said...

Tedium Monkey is brilliant.