Monday, February 24, 2014

Me vs. "Convenience" Food

 It should have been an easy task.  Make crescent rolls?  From a can?  Why would that be hard?  I was babysitting, the five year-old was hungry, and she requested “cressies”.  Well, why not make them for her?
After all, I can make rolls from scratch without batting an eyelash.  From freshly ground wheat?  Of course!  Collect the eggs from the chickens outside?  Sure!  Knead the dough for almost-forever?  Why not?
So then, what was so hard about opening a can of crescent rolls and sticking them into the oven?
I grabbed the can and pulled out a can opener before realizing that this might not be so easy as it sounded.  This can was definitely not the type one used a can opener on; it was made partly of cardboard and there was no lip on the metal for the can opener to grab onto.
Concentrated juice is often put in similar cans, but those cans have pull-tabs on them.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that there was no such thing on this contraption.
I stared at it and decided to do what people always say should be done first: read the directions.
Only, there weren’t any.  Not regarding how to open the silly thing up, anyway.  I read the entire can at least thrice, hoping that I’d somehow missed some gem of wisdom.  But alas, there were no helpful instructions anywhere to be found.  “Remove dough…” Duh!  That’s what I’m trying to do!  ”Roll up triangles…bake on cookie sheet…”  Hey,  I can figure THAT out on my own… but HOW DOES ONE REMOVE THE PACKAGING?! 
At the point the five-year old was getting concerned and impatient.  “Do you know how to bake, Hannah?”
“Yes!  Of course I know how to bake… just… be patient for a minute!”
I vaguely remembered mom opening on of these things years ago, and suddenly recalled that the cardboard was supposed to come apart somehow.  I started tearing away at the paper label on top until all that was left was a sticky, blank, cardboard surface.  Ah, yes.  The seams were supposed to pop open, right?
After finding that the seams weren’t snapping apart no matter how much I twisted the contraption, I started banging it on the counter.
Whap!  Whap!  WHAM!
The five year-old was definitely worried at this point.  “Hannah, do you want to call somebody and ask them how to make crescent rolls?”
Ha.  No, I most definitely did not want to call anyone at this point.  I do have some amount of dignity, and asking how to pop open a can of crescent rolls would be far too humbling.  This was supposed to be something that even kids could handle, right?
I glanced down and realized that the seam between the metal and cardboard was starting to come apart.  A-ha!  Victory!  I grabbed the two edges and yanked them apart, revealing the dough inside.  I grabbed the dough with my fingers and started to pull it out of the side of the can.
It started to stretch.
I pulled, it stretched…  and I realized that the can still wasn’t opened enough.  The dough was stuffed in so tightly that trying to pull it out of one end was simply impossible.
Out came a butter knife, and I banged the seams and finally managed to demolish the can completely.   Success at last… that is, until I realized that I didn’t know how to turn their electric oven on.
Our oven has two knobs.  Just two.  One of the stays on “bake” 99% of the time, and the other simply needs to be spun to the desired temporature to turn the oven on.  Their oven had at least a dozen or so buttons, and not a single one of them was labeled “350″.  -_-
<enter panic mode>
For the record:  I did finally get those crescent rolls made.  They looked and tasted fine, but I was understandably somewhat miffed when the five year-old hardly even nibbled at them.  Pfft.  When she requested them again a week or so ago I had almost no trouble making them, so… I guess I’m not totally hopeless?  Of course, making popcorn in the microwave for the first time was also rather daunting, and I may have nearly panicked when I had to make not-from-scratch french toast…
At least I know how to turn brownie mix into brownies…

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