Wave Of Despair

Three hundred and ten millilitres doesn’t seem like a lot.

It’s just over a mugful, in the greater scheme of things.

It’s the amount of water that is measured out while boiling and left to cool for a precise amount of time before bread-making can occur. It’s part of a recipe which, once, I needed to refer to constant and is now ingrained in the baking recesses of my brain. In the kitchen of my mind palace, as it were. Alongside crumble mixes and Yorkshire Pudding batter.

It does, however, seem like quite a lot of water if you upend the jug all over the worktop before you get a chance to empty it into a bowl of flour. In fact, before you’ve even got around to weighing out the flour.

What’s even better is when you get so see it happen as though you’re in the final stages of an underdogs sports film and the winning shot is about to be taken. Slow motion kicks in, you know what will happen. But instead of the warm glow of triumphant victory, it’s the bitter sadness of a sodden work surface.

As I mopped it up, and then mopped it up some more, and then questioned water’s ability to hide vast volumes of itself under items – bloody surface tension – I tried to put a positive spin on it all. I did need to wash down the worktop before any of the kneading took place. I mean, I wouldn’t have done it with a carefully measured tidal wave of dihydrogen monoxide.

I’d have used a damp cloth and a much more controlled application of fluid.