The cinnamon roll recipe made twelve rolls. There were thirty-eight people in my English class, so that meant I had to make… a quadruple batch.
I nodded and set the recipe book on the counter, then pulled out mom’s mixing machine. I had never used it by myself before, so it took a few minutes to figure out how to put the bowl and the strange metal mixing hook together on the stand. Then I added four times the amount of water in the recipe in the book, and four times the amount of yeast. I went to check my text messages on my phone while the yeast dissolved, because the recipe book said to wait five minutes.
Don’t forget to make rolls, Cassie had sent me.
Doing it right now, I sent back, feeling excited. Wouldn’t Mrs. Mason be surprised! Her favorite treat for her birthday.
By the time I finished answering all my texts, the brown stuff in the bowl was bubbling like soda. I started adding the rest of the ingredients. Melted butter, sugar, a ton of flour. When I was done, the stuff came right up to the rim of the bowl. I snapped on the lid and turned the knob.
The motor growled as it dragged the mixing hook through the flour. At first it went okay, but then it got kind of stuck. I turned the machine off, then turned it on again. Wrrrr wrrrr wrrrr, the motor complained. Frustrated, I put my hands on my hips and watched as it slowly pushed the mass of dough once around the bowl.
A loud pop and a bright flash of light came from the electric cord near the outlet. Smoke shot into the air in a long, white trail, and the motor went quiet. I stared, wide-eyed, at the black spot where the wires were showing inside the cord.
A smell like an overheated computer filled the air. I turned off the machine, a little afraid to touch it, then grabbed the cord well down from the broken spot and wiggled it free from the outlet.
“Wow, what happened?” My little sister came running from the dining room.
“The mixing machine blew up,” I said.
“Do I smell something burning?” Mom asked, close behind my sister.
I showed her the cord, and told her what happened.
Mom’s face was grim. “Well, it was twenty years old anyway. Things don’t last forever.”
“You killed it!” My little sister said. “You know what that’s like? It was like taking a really old horse and making it pull a cart full of rocks and it had a heart attack and died!”
“Thanks,” I said.
Mom sighed and checked the model number on the bottom of the machine. “Time to order a new one. I just hope they still make these.”
“Mom, I gotta make cinnamon rolls for school today, it’s really important. What do I do?”
Mom sat down at the computer. “You can knead it by hand,” she suggested.
“By hand?” I wailed.
“A hundred years ago everyone kneaded by hand.” Mom said.
I stared at the massive lump of dough in the bowl. “That’ll take forever!”
“Only ten minutes. Go ahead, dump it out onto the counter, then flatten it out and fold it in half, then do it again.”
And again, and again, and again! I turned the bowl upside-down and scraped the dough out. Some of it was still really liquidy, and stuck all over my hands. Flop, the big mess landed on the counter, sending out a spray of flour. I groaned and started to punch it flat. Then I picked up one edge and laid it over the rest of it, and started punching again.
Whoever invented mixing machines was a genius.