Rascals II - Chapter 7

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"Okay," Sam said, pulling out Janet's cookbook. "What kind of cookies do we want?"

"Chocolate chip cookies!" Daniel said happily.

Sam slowly leafed through several pages, finally finding the recipe they needed. "We need two bowls."

"Okay." Martouf pulled two bowls out of a cupboard. "Got'em."

Sam read from the cookbook. "Melt 4 ounces of butter. Mix it with 4 ounces of vege-table oil. Add 6 ounces of white sugar and 4 ounces of brown sugar. Then..."

"Stop! Not so fast!" Martouf complained, standing on his toes in order to reach up to drop the butter in the pot he had put on the stove-top. "The butter isn't melted yet!"

"Actually, I don't think you turned up the heat enough." Daniel said, lifting the pot and putting his hand on the cooking plate under it. He gave a yelp and pulled his hand away, dropping the pot with the butter on the floor. He immediately started crying.

"Of course, I did." Martouf sounded indignant, then gave control to Lantash.

"It was a stupid way of checking the temperature of the plate."

"Shut up!" Daniel said, sniffling.

Anise threw her arms around him, hugging him, then started blowing on his hand. "Does it feel better now?"

"Not really." Daniel sniffled again.

"You need cold water for that hand." Sam said, looking for something to use, then spotted an aquarium in the hallway. It was one Cassandra had bought a few months ago, having taken an interest in fish since her boyfriend had some. "You can put your hand in the fish-tank."

"I can't reach that high!" Daniel complained.

"Also, I don't think Cassandra would like it." Lantash added.

"She'll never know." Sam insisted.

Lantash shrugged. "Okay."

He started pulling a chair towards the aquarium, and Sam ran to help him. Together they got it in place.

"Come on, Daniel. All ready." Sam patted the chair.

Daniel gave his sore hand a miserable look, then trudged out to them, followed by Anise. They all helped him get up on the chair, making sure it did not trip over, and he then put the hand into the water, just a little bit.

"Those fish won't bite, what do you think?" Daniel nervously eyed the small colourful fish in the tank.

"Fish are dangerous." Lantash agreed. "When I was little...well, the first time...they would try to kill me and eat me. Whenever I got out of the enclosure." He then looked Daniel over. "However, I think they will realise you are too large to eat."

Daniel nodded, then stuck the hand down deeper. The fish fled immediately. "Looks that way."

"Will you be okay here alone?" Sam wondered.

"I will stay with you." Anise offered, sitting down beside the chair and grabbing hold of it. "I will make sure the chair does not fall over."

"Okay." Daniel said. "I'll be fine."

Lantash and Sam went back into the kitchen and returned to baking the cookies.

"There's a mess on the floor from the butter." Sam said. "We better clean it up, or Cassandra will be mad."

"She shouldn't have left us alone. Daniel burned his hand. It was ir-responsible." Lantash said angrily. "I'm not cleaning it up!" He sighed, then added. "Not right now, at least." He took the pot and looked at the amount of butter left. "I think about half is still there. I'll add 2 ounces."

Sam looked at the pot. She shrugged. "Sounds right."

"Okay, the butter is melted and I've mixed it with oil, white sugar, and brown sugar. What then?" Lantash wondered.

"2 eggs - remember to remove the shells first!" Sam said.

"I know that, okay?" Lantash sounded terse. He cracked two eggs and dumped the contents in the dough, then threw the shells in the trash can. "What more?"

"Add 2 tablespoons of butter milk and mix well."

"Butter-milk?" Lantash frowned and went to look in the refrigerator. "I don't think there's any of that. Can I just mix some milk and melted butter?"

"I don't see why not." Sam said.

"No!" Daniel yelled from the hallway. "Don't you know anything? Butter-milk isn't milk and butter mixed!"

"Well, what then?" Lantash asked, getting irritated.

"I guess you can use plain yogurt instead!" Daniel suggested.

"I know a lot of things, a lot of very, very im-portant things, but not un-im-portant things like what butter-milk is!" Lantash countered, hotly. He grabbed some yoghurt from the refrigerator. "Do you think it matters that there's vanilla in it?"

"Probably not." Sam said. "There's supposed to be vanilla in the cookies - says the recipe."

"Okay." Lantash poured out two tablespoons of yogurt, then started mixing the dough. The spoon was a bit big for him, but he managed. "Anything else?"

"Yep. Two tea-spoons of vanilla."

Lantash thought it over for a moment, then added a little over one teaspoon, deciding there was enough in the yogurt for the rest. "Done."

"Then take the other bowl. Mix 12 ounces of flour, 4 ounces of oat-meal, 1 tea-spoon of baking soda, and 1/2 tea-spoon of salt." Sam read.

He did so. "Done."

"Pour the stuff in the two bowls together and mix well."

"Why did I have to use two bowls first, then? Why couldn't I just have put it all in one of them from the start?" Lantash frowned, looking annoyed.

"No idea." Sam said. "But I think mom did it this way."

Lantash gave control to Martouf.

"So did my mother. I also do not know why." He mixed the ingredients. "Anything else?"

"Chop up 8 ounces of chocolate...and 8 ounces of mixed nuts, then mix that into the dough." Sam gave Martouf a worried look as he started to chop the chocolate and nuts. "Careful...so you don't cut yourself."

"Chocolate is good, so I will take some extra..." Martouf said, taking a whole bar extra.

"Let me help." Daniel said, walking into the kitchen.

"Is your hand okay?"

"It's freezing cold, but I think so." He stuck it in under Sam's t-shirt and she made a yelp.

"Never do that again!" She pushed him. "It's like an ice-cube!"

"You are making a mess of the floor." Freya observed, looking at Martouf chopping the chocolate and the nuts.

He looked down, frowning. "Oops." He started scooping it up and putting it back on the chopping board.

"Yeach. You cannot eat that after it has been on the floor!" Freya exclaimed.

"Why can't he?" Daniel picked up a piece of the chocolate from the floor and put it in his mouth. "Tastes okay."

"I suppose Janet's floor is pretty clean..." Sam said, agreeing.

"Okay, all mixed. What do we do now?" Martouf said, looking hungrily at the dough.

"We put the dough on the...uh...greased baking plate, using a table-spoon. Then we press them flat with our fingers." Sam suggested. "At least that's what I did when I baked as a child...before."

"Greased?" Freya asked.

"Covered in butter or oil." Sam explained.

"Sounds fine. Let me help!" Freya said.

They all started helping out, and they soon had two full sheets of cookies, looking perhaps a little strange.

"Martouf...you were sup-posed to set the oven to 325 de-grees Fahren-heit - why did you set it to 500 de-grees instead?" Sam complained.

"Because it does not go to 650 de-grees."

"That doesn't make sense!" She glared at him.

"I'm hungry. I want cookies now. They're supposed to bake for 15-16 minutes at 325 de-grees. At 500 de-grees they would only need 9 minutes...or so, don't you think?"

"Hm." Sam scrunched up her face as she thought about it. "That sounds right, but something tells me it isn't..."

"Why wouldn't it be?" Daniel asked. "Sounds okay to me."

"I don't know. Let's try." Sam shrugged. "But remember...you can't eat all the cookies. They're for Kianna."

They put the first sheet of cookies in the oven and sat down, watching the kitchen clock, since they had not been able to find Janet's kitchen timer.

Martouf sniffed. "Something smells a little burned." He jumped up. "The cookies!"

"They have only been in the oven for 8 minutes. They should not be ready yet." Sam insisted.

Martouf looked through the door to the cookies. "They look finished!" He quickly opened the door and stuck his hands in, then pulled them back quickly, without having touched anything. He winced.

"Lantash yelling at you?" Sam grinned.

"Yeah...and he's unhappy he isn't old enough to be able to just snatch control when I'm about to do something...ah..."

"Stupid?" Daniel suggested, smiling widely.

Martouf rolled his eyes and grabbed a towel, using that to pull the baking sheet with the cookies from the oven. "They look very ready."

The cookies were a somewhat darker brown than they were supposed to be, but not outright burned. Not all of them, at least. He almost dropped the heavy baking plate, but just managed to put it down on the floor - coincidentally on the butter they had dropped earlier. It made a hissing sound.

"Did you remember to put a...uh...trivet under it?" Daniel asked.

"No..." Martouf quickly lifted the baking sheet again, looking around for something to put it on.

"Here, use this." Sam grabbed a wet dish cloth from the edge of the sink and threw it on the floor. "That ought'a work."

"If you say so..." He put the baking plate down on it, then turned to look at the floor where it had been before. "I don't think Janet will notice, do you?" He took the towel he had used when he took the cookies out of the oven, and swept the floor with it.

"It's a little darker than the rest of the floor." Freya observed. "But it could just be the butter, I guess."

Martouf scrubbed at the floor for a little while longer. "I think it's better now."

Sam nodded. "I agree. The mixture of butter, chocolate, and nuts hides anything else. She'll never notice."

"Then let's get the other cookie sheet into the oven!" Daniel said, hurrying to fetch it.

"Remember...something was wrong with my calculations..." Martouf frowned. "Let's try giving the other sheet just 5 minutes first."

They had finished baking the second batch of cookies, and they looked better than the first.

"We can't give those to Kianna." Martouf indicated the first batch of cookies. "But we can't throw them out either. We also really need to see if they taste good."

"I agree. Let's eat those." Daniel said, grabbing a cookie.

Martouf took one as well, and started munching on it. "It is not bad. It is actually quite good."

"I agree." Daniel said.

Sam and Freya each took one, and ate it, agreeing.

"We are great bakers!" Freya said, her mouth full of cookie.

"Kids?" Cassandra came through the door, looking concerned. She froze. "Gods! What did you do!" She stared in shock at the kitchen. The floor looked like it had been painted over with an undefinable substance - containing at least chocolate. A baking plate with cookies stood on the floor - the cookies looking a bit strange, but as if they were probably edible.

"We made cookies for Kianna." Sam told her.

"Like we said we would." Anise clarified.

"So she will like us." Martouf added.

Cassandra closed her eyes and got a long-suffering look. She took a deep breath and opened them again. "Well, you'll have time to clean up. You're not going back to base for some time."

"What? Why not?"

"They called me from the base." Cassandra looked annoyed. They had destroyed her otherwise perfect date. "They told me to pick up some of your clothes and then keep you here for the next couple of days. Turns out 'Kianna' is a Goa'uld - and apparently they need to cooperate with her for the time being." She looked disgusted.

"A Goa'uld?" Martouf asked, disbelieving. "That can't be true. We would have sensed her."

"I...think they said she used some kind of drug to mask her energy signature. Never mind."

"Well, then she's not getting these cookies!" Martouf looked dismayed, then smiled. "That means we get to eat them!"

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