One, Two, how about you? Three, Four, have some more! | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

One, Two, how about you? Three, Four, have some more!

My Family has a problem.  We have no self control.

I didn't notice it at first, it all started out so innocently.... "There are plenty of cookies, I'll have another" I would think to myself.  Or, "That's why we made so much, so we can have leftovers!" 

It also doesn't help that I love to cook food just as much as we like to eat it. 

I started to notice our problem this summer, there was sale and I picked up a new charcoal grill.  It was a glorious thing, I upgraded my current grill (a dismally small, round affair) with one of those enormous 24 burger, bun warming, rotissierie ready, has-the-folding-end-wings-that-pop-out, monsters.  As I said.... it was a glorious thing...

Now, I wasn't limited to one small batch of grilled chicken, I could do chickens! (That's right, plural!) I also discovered that a 15lb brisket would fit in there with enough room to do indirect heat and have good hickory smoke circulation... In October, instead of just making pumpkin seeds in the oven... I smoked them on the grill... did I mention glorious?!

You may have already picked up on the trend... I don't cook in small amounts... sometimes I wonder how it all fits in my fridge... container upon container of delicious leftovers beckoning in the middle of the night... Of course, midnight snacks are an entirely different matter...

As I said, it all began so innocently, "I'm just seeing what the new grill can do" I'd tell my wife, she'd nod, using her 6th sense to pick up my half-hearted attempt at an excuse, knowing full well what that would mean.  It meant that now, for the next couple of days, there would be bits of brisket in the fridge, conveniently falling-off-the-bone tender, so you didn't have to go through all the extra work of preparing a snack, you just reached in, grabbed a small chunk, popped it in your mouth, enjoyed the delicate combinations of brown sugar, sea salt, pepper and chili powder, and happily went on your way.  It's amazing how quickly leftovers can disappear without you really having to "eat them."

We really get into trouble when we make sweets.  First, you have to have a couple warm out of the oven- that's a given, if you don't eat cookies warm out of the oven there's something wrong with you.  Usually you have to have at least one while they are cooling, just a little warm, to make sure that they are still ok- not too dry, not too cool, just that sweet spot where the cookie is firm but the chocolate chips are still melty... And then once they get into the bag or box (depending on how many I make) it's all down hill from there.  It's just so easy to walk by and eat one.  If you're really good, and have lots of practice, you can even do it and finish eating it before you walk into the living room and the other person knows you've just eaten a cookie (Therefore wanting one and depleting MY cookie supply)... And the best part... because there are other cookies in the bag... they hide the fact that one is missing!!!  Admit it- you don't really notice that cookies are missing until there's only a few left, right?

Like I said, cookies don't stand a chance.

Most recently, I made bread.  I am a bit of a traditionalist, I mix my ingredients by hand, knead the dough by hand, and to it right.  It takes a little extra time, but nothing is better than homemade bread. 

Unfortunately, nothing is better than homemade bread...

My normal bread recipe now (a great recipe I got from a good friend) makes two loaves.  More than enough right?  Nope.  It reminds me of cookies.  You have to have a couple slices right out of the oven- when the butter melts (and use real butter, seriously) right down through those wonderful pockets of yeasty bread, and you take that first bite through the slightly chewy crust... ahhh, that's how bread should be eaten.  Then, again, you have to have at least one more slice after it's cooled for a little while- just to make sure it still tastes good...

Sure enough, by the next morning, one loaf was entirely gone.  The second one followed in short suit.  Then, the options! Grilled cheese, sandwiches, french toast, toast for eggs, cinnamon sugar toast, warm with a little butter to go with soup, it's no wonder the bread doesn't stand a chance either! 

Like I said, my family has a problem, but the more I think about it, I don't think the problem is self control... I think we just don't have enough food made...