The following are step-by-step instructions on how to make a strawberry tart with a toddler. (It is alternately known as a drinking game for parents).
Step one: Mom, quickly drink something alcoholic. A shot of tequilla works nicely.
Step two: Gather supplies. You will need: eight large strawberries; one box ready-made pie crusts (who needs to do all that work when Betty Crocker can do it for you?); one tablespoon of sugar; a sharp knife; a tartlet dish; a kitchen stool; a drop-cloth and a power washer, (a dog will suffice).
Step three: TAKE THE KNIFE AWAY FROM THE TODDLER.
Step four: Slice the 6 strawberries while diverting toddler's attention with the 2 remaining "decoy" berries.
Step five: Put tartlet pan down on center of crust and cut a large circle with knife. Line pan with center part of crust material. Set aside crust remnants.
Step six: Instruct toddler to dump berries into pan. ... She may do so ONE AT A TIME … S-L-O-W-L-Y, so try and be patient. This may be a good time for a second drink.
Step seven: Put drop-cloth on floor then hand toddler a tablespoon and the sugar bowl. (Word to the wise: the perfect time for this project is where there is only a small smackerel of sugar clinging to the bottom of the bowl. Even a small amount of the sweet stuff strewn on the floor will make you feel like your walking on a beach, only without the nice surroundings and the calm push of rhythmic waves).
Step eight: TAKE THE KNIFE AWAY FROM THE TODDLER.
Step nine: Slice narrow strips of crust from remaining dough and weave them as best as you can across the top of pie. Toddlers can be great with this part, making curly-cue designs while throwing pieces at the dog. Some might call the result a giant wad of sweaty goo, though we like to call it "ART."
Step 10: Time for another shot? What do you think?
Step 11: Hand kid the leftover leftovers to play with since you forgot to preheat the oven to 350 degrees (hotter if your oven sucks) and you must kill time.
Step 12: Remove dough pieces from the dog's back.
Step 13: TAKE THE KNIFE AWAY FROM THE TODDLER and put it in the dishwasher already. Sheesh.
Step 14: When is that oven going to heat up, damnit? Tap foot incessantly and pace in front of the stove. It might be time for another drink.
Step 15: Make a second pie since you have the time and a left-over pie crust. Use your hands to mash strawberries and rip pie crust into the approximate shapes of circles and strips. (Don’t tempt fate by pulling the knife out of the dishwasher).
Step 16: One more nip won’t hurt. You’re still standing.
Step 17: Put pies in oven and bake about 30 minutes or until the crusts are a golden brown, (use the timer as your senses may be slightly impaired).
Step 18: Save one of the pies for daddy because toddler will feed hers to the dog and then demand "ICE PEEM."
Note to self: Pick up new bottle of hooch at the liquor store tomorrow.