Night before last, two passions of mine – cooking and writing – crashed head-on in the kitchen. Years of working-mom multitasking make for a habit that's hard to shake. Sometimes when I am between recipes steps, waiting for sauce to cool, bread to rise, meat to roast or dessert to bake, I work on my laptop in the kitchen. I find the creative, nurturing environment of the kitchen a source of inspiration when researching and writing. So while baking my third tray of chocolate chip cookies, I bounced to and from Twitter, Facebook and Typepad.
Few endeavors so thoroughly engross me as writing. When in full-tilt composition mode I can tune out just about anything. My general ability to focus apparently exhibited itself at an early age. My parents actually had my hearing tested when I was a preschooler because they thought I might have a hearing problem!
While in the virtual time zone, the kitchen timer went off. Exactly when, I'm not certain, because I didn't hear it, though I was sitting less than 10 feet away. The first bodily sentinel to recognize something was amiss was my sense of smell. Apparently my nose doesn't find the scent of the virtual world very interesting. Mid-tweet, I jumped up and rushed to the oven, knowing what I would find. Crispy brown overdone cookies. I walked the hot tray straight out to the compost bin and deposited my burnt offering.
This morning, I'm sitting in my kitchen as I write this blog post, but I'm not cooking. My tweeted hardtack cookie incident was not the first, and it may not be the last. I'm wondering about the effectiveness of a mild electric-shock timer that I could attach to my arm during my cook-write multitasking adventures (and misadventures). But somehow, that would infringe upon my creative pursuits. Better to have a few burnt cookies in life. That said, for numerous reasons, I do not like to waste food. Maybe I'll set a series of timers....