E S S A Y The day before Easter, I set about making my mother’s traditional Easter cake. The recipe calls for self-rising flour instead of regular flour. I discovered I didn’t have enough self-rising flour, so I asked my husband to run to the store to buy more.
“What?” he asks, “I’ve never heard of self-rising flour! Can’t you just add something to regular flour to make the cake rise?”
“Look,” I say, “It’s my mother’s traditional Easter recipe, and I’m not going to fiddle with it. Here’s what the self-rising flour box looks like. It won’t be that hard.”
If there is one thing that makes a makes a man nervous, it’s being asked to go to the store to buy something he knows nothing about. He would rather be given a bow and arrow with a request to shoot a wild pig because he would have a better chance of bringing home the right thing.
Jim is a seasoned hunter, though. He knows what to do. He folds up the flour box and shoves it into his pocket to make sure he gets an exact match.
After Jim leaves, l realize I have only one egg. The recipe calls for 2 large eggs. No problem, I send him a text: “I need large eggs.” He responds “OK”.
He walks in the door and hands me the bag. “Well, here’s what you asked for.” He hopes that if he states this firmly enough, he can avert any criticism of his efforts. Self-rising flour…check. Large eggs….wait, these are JUMBO eggs. I said I needed large eggs, not jumbo.
“But,” he pleads, “Those eggs are large! They are the largest they had!”
I get it. His male instinct has kicked in. The bigger the better. If I had asked for a large wild pig, and he then brought home a boar the size of Texas, the village would eat for days. He would be a hero. However, times have changed. These eggs are so big, they look as if they would hurt the chicken coming out. They will definitely throw off my mother’s traditional Easter cake recipe.
“I’m sorry”, I tell him, “but I need you to take these eggs back and buy smaller ones.”
He is gone for a long time. Finally he calls. “I’ve been to three stores and none of them has small eggs.” As proof, he texts me a picture of each size carton. “What do you want me to do?”
I tell him to buy the carton marked “Large.”
He explodes. “Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place!”
I say, “I don’t know, honey. I guess I should have…and Mom called to say she is bringing the cake. Might as well shoot a wild pig on the way home. We can always use the bacon.”
Kathy Brennan has organized information for a living as an educator, computer programmer and government policy writer. Now she is doing it for fun as a stand up comic and humorous writer. See more at http://mrskathybrennan.com/.