Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Curious Case of the Missing Mixing Bowl

My apartment has a ghost. Or a thief with culinary designs. My suspicions were first aroused five weeks ago, when my 1/4 cup measuring cup vanished. I remember the moment clearly: it was 7:30 am, and I was about to start measuring cereal (some lightweight rowing habits never die). I opened the drawer where my trusty measuring cups rest, and to my horror, I discovered that the 1/4 cup was simply....gone.  I emptied my cupboards, scoured all my teacups and bowls, accused my visiting sister of hiding it--she was asleep and indifferent--and even searched the trash. That final step might seem unnecessary and strange, but I have been known to occasionally misplace things in a fleeting state of absent mindedness, such as a head of lettuce in my dresser (Ithaca, three years ago), and my roommate's alarm clock in a fire ash can (Fallen Leaf Lake, nine years ago).  

When the measuring cup failed to reveal itself, and I learned to accept that its absence was permanent, I chalked up the disappearance to a fit of the aforementioned scatterbrained behavior and bought a new one.  And then something truly freaky happened. On the recent evening when I baked bread, I used my four quart Pyrex mixing bowl both to measure flour for the French loaves and to blend the ingredients for gingerbread. Yes, this bowl was my trusty workhorse, a fused silicate vessel of reliability known to encircle mounds of salty popcorn as well as gorgeous spring salads. At the evening's end I washed the bowl and nested it back inside the six quart mixing bowl on my kitchen island, and then went to bed thinking that all was good and true in the world.
Goodnight, Sweet Bowl
Cut to thirty-six hours later: I wake up intent on making French toast with said French loaves and reach for my noble four quart. But. It's. GONE. I'm incredulous. I turn the apartment upside down, and rip apart every possible hiding place. The silence is insidious. I look mournfully at the six quart bowl, and it returns my sorrowful gaze; it cannot express whatever knowledge it has about its partner's fate. For days the enigma of the missing bowl nags at me, and I refuse to buy a new one in the hopes that it will return as quietly and mysteriously as it vanished.

Actually, I still haven't purchased one, but this has more to due with the absence of replacements at the Zabar's housewares department than deference to its memory; that said, I took the "out of stock" sticker as a sign that the bowl could still return. In the meantime, I'm nervously anticipating the disappearance of the next piece of kitchenware--my stockpot? Skillet? Salad spinner? Furthermore, I remain at a complete loss as to who, or what, is behind these vanishing acts...

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