Sunday, May 29, 2011

Old Timer ...

I have an old timer.

Not a man who's gotten on in years and sits around grousing about how things aren't what they used to be.

But, literally, an old timer. A timer that is old.

I've started using it recently. Usually, when I bake or cook, I use the timer on my microwave. Once, while on the phone with Jay, I entered the wrong time and had to try again. He heard the series of beeps and said, if memory serves, "What are you doing? Launching the space shuttle?"

It was rather ridiculous, all that beeping when turning a simple dial will do.

I've come to be very fond of this timer. I like old things. They're usually more interesting than new things. I have a timer that looks like a red bell pepper. It's cute, but it lacks heft. And it has an anemic ring. This timer, though. This thing must have been made with parts left over from machining tanks during World War II. And even though I have a sense of about when it will ring, it still startles me a little every time.


It's very decisive, very matter-of-fact.

The timer on my microwave coddles, chirping every minute until I hit End.

Not this timer. This timer dings and that's it. If anything overbakes, that's my damn problem. It did its job.

Which suits it and the woman who owned it. One of my great aunts left everything in her kitchen to me when she died (we won't talk about the Cuisinart) and she was a very no-nonsense woman. She would never have owned a timer shaped like a red bell pepper. She was not a fan of "cute," not in the kitchen.

But she made the best damn pound cake on the planet. To this day, we haven't cracked the code, my mom and me. And mom is one hell of a baker in her own right.

Maybe she needs to borrow this timer.


Blogger Terry said...

Love your description of the timer's attitude. It made me laugh. Thanks!

(I got here via David your comments on Lebovitz's blog this morning.)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks for your comment, Terry. Glad you enjoyed.

I, too, chuckled when I reread it again this morning. I'd forgotten what I'd written in this post.

The timer is a lot like my aunt was: sturdy and blunt.

1:19 PM  

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