“No, no. The recipe says one teaspoon lemon zest. And it’s optional; we don’t need it.” Conner set the lemon down, looking at Tim with his eyebrows knitted together. Tim paused from his stirring, looking back at him.
“First off, I didn’t know they made ‘spoon measurements’, and secondly, what the hell is the zest of a lemon?” Tim chuckled, taking his hand from the large, wooden spoon and grabbing the lemon from his boyfriend.
“You take a grater- and before you ask, yes, a cheese grater works just fine for this- and you just...grate the peel of the lemon with the really fine side. What gets grated off is the zest.” Conner looked horrified, and he could help but feel his lips curl in amusement.
“You mean to tell me they want us to put lemon peel in our gingerbread cookies?”
“It’s a small amount, and since it’s basically shredded, you can’t tell it’s lemon peel. Besides, it’d be too sour to put an actual lemon in it. It’s optional, Kon, we don’t have to put lemon zest in our cookies.”
“Good,” Conner replied, taking the lemon out of Tim’s hand and placing it back inside the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, “because I don’t think Pa will like lemon peel in his cookies.”
“It’s not really peel, Conner.”
“It might as well be.” Tim rolled his eyes, going to grab the egg just as Conner reached for it. His hand bumped Kon’s, and, in retaliation, Conner pressed his hand down atop Tim’s, effectively crushing the egg. Tim pulled his hand away quickly, grabbing a towel and wiping it off. Conner began to laugh.
He took a moment of consideration, wondering if cleaning the egg up now would be better than just waiting until later. The moment was brief, and he grabbed some flour Conner had spilled on the counter (seriously, did this guy just live for making messes?) and flung it, coating his boyfriend’s shirt and face effortlessly. The laughter ceased immediately, replaced with a disgruntled gasp and a sharp look of the eyes.
“Hey! I didn’t purposefully smash your hand on the egg! It was a reflex. Why’d you cover me in flour?” Tim gave him a smile, turning back to the bowl of half-mixed cookie dough and giving it another stir.
“I didn’t purposefully fling flour at you. It was a reflex.” Their kitchen went silent, and for a moment Tim almost figured their food fight was over.
Whilst he was busy stirring, Conner moved in, taking the molasses Tim had so carefully measured out and pouring it over his head. Some of it managed to make it into the bowl before Tim moved back, the rest rolling down his head and neck and dripping on to the floor.
“Conner. Kent. We have two hour before we go see your family for Christmas, and we aren’t even done with the cookies. Now I have to shower again because you put syrup in my hair!” Conner was red in the face, choking on his laughter as he clutched the countertop for support as to not topple over. Tim took the opportunity to grab a handful of the cookie dough, sticky from the unmixed molasses, and smeared it across Conner’s face, making sure to return the favor of sticky hair.
“Okay, okay. Can we call this a truce? The kitchen’s a mess, you’re probably going to go all Red Robin on me and find a way to coat me in molasses and feathers.” Tim stuck a finger in his mouth, licking off the rest of the mixture before nodding his head.
“Fine, it’s a truce. But there’s no way we’re going to finish cookies and have time to shower before we need to leave, and i’d really rather not show up at the Kent Christmas gathering empty handed.”
“What about the bakery nearby? The one with the really good apple whatevers. It’s open today, right? Why not just stop by, pick something up, and then head to Ma and Pa’s? They’ll never know the difference.” Tim considered it for a moment, already busying himself with cleaning up the egg mess that had started the whole fiasco.
“Alright, fine. But you’re cleaning the rest of the mess you made.” Conner smirked.
“Aw, babe, if you wanted to shower together, you should have just asked.” He received a towel to the face in retort, followed by a huffed “just do it” before Tim was making his way towards the bathroom, already stripping himself of his shirt.
It didn’t take long for Conner to clean up the kitchen. By the time he was done, Tim hadn’t even shampooed his hair, and he made haste to join him and help clean up the rest of his mess.