RULE #1: Find A Warm Place
Years ago I used to bake my own bread, four loaves at a time. I’d mix my dough in this large stainless steel bowl and set it to rise in a warm place as per instructions. One day when the house was quite warm I set the bowl of rising dough on the table, covered with a clean tea towel.
I went upstairs for a bit and when I came back down I stepped into the dining room and there was our kitten curled up sound asleep on top of my bread dough. I suppose he found it much like a soft cushion but his peaceful snooze was promptly disturbed!
I didn’t allow myself to think about how much he’d kneaded it with his claws before settling down; I was just thankful it had been covered. I baked it, trusting the oven heat to kill all germs and we suffered no unpleasant consequences. But I did learn a lesson about where to let my dough rise.
Another couple faced an even worse dilemma as they were preparing for their family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The husband told the story of how he’d mashed the potatoes and dished them in a lovely large serving bowl, then went to find a carving knife for the turkey.
When he came back to the table he found their cat, Pepper, curled up and napping right on top of the warm bowlful of potatoes. Dumbfounded, he nudged his wife. Her eyes grew wide with astonishment at the sight.
Deciding the less said the better, they shooed the cat out of the bowl, carefully removed the top layer of potatoes and put the bowl in a safer place. When the family was seated at the festive table his wife served the potatoes along with the rest of the meal. None of the guests guessed there’d been too much Pepper in the dish.