A good friend of mine, Linda, made muffins a few days ago. She made these muffins sound so good, so healthy, so scoring-major-points with husbands, that I became all caught up in the moment and decided that, YES! I wanted to bake muffins.
I don’t exactly know what power Linda has over me that makes me want to do this kind of stuff. Not just the baking, but other stuff as well. Like dragging me to the gym, so that after one hour of Power Pump class, I’m hurting for the rest of the week. Matinées in the middle of the afternoon to listen to country music. Which, and I apologize to all those friends of mine who love country, is not my preferred taste in music. And while we’re at this matinée, she’ll say, “Let’s dance!”, and I do. Even if no one else is dancing, or even considering dancing. Strange, persuasive powers she has.
So, after getting me all pumped up about baking, Linda takes me to this Bulk Barn place and I buy crap…er…stuff, like flaxweed-bran-something-or-other, brown sugar, walnuts, cranberries; all kinds of stuff I never eat and as it turns out there’s a reason for that. Don’t much like the stuff.
Still, caught up in the moment, I let Linda measure stuff into little bags, paid the $5.00 for it (which turns out to be the one saving grace of baking. You get a lot of muffins for cheap), then went home and let the stuff sit in their bags for a couple of days. Obviously the enthusiasm didn’t last long. It never does with me.
Two days later, those bags are still sitting on the kitchen counter and I know that pretty soon, Frank (the afore-mentioned husband), would be making not-so-subtle hints about those bags taking up his kitchen counter work space. So, when he left for hockey one afternoon, I conjured up whatever domestic hormones I supposedly possessed and decided to make muffins.
Right away I had a problem. No measuring cups. I searched the house; every closet, every pantry, in places I’ve never opened doors to before, I searched. Nothing that showed any type of increments of measure. Until I got to an antique bread hutch in the corner of our basement family room. Obviously I don’t use this hutch to keep the bread I bake. It’s where we keep the booze and other various booze related paraphernalia.
Now, as any woman married to a musician knows, a shot glass is one ounce. We know this because we wives spend a lot of time in bars supporting our husband’s musical endeavours. Often, our friends will join us and before you know it, you have a hutch full of shot glasses. And even those of us who attended summer school for math should remember that eight ounces equals one cup.
Flush with the success of finding an instrument of measurement, I headed back to the kitchen. I studied the recipe, gathered up my courage and started throwing dry stuff in a bowl. One cup of brown sugar was easy. Fill up the shot glass eight time and chuck it in the bowl. The three-quarter cup of flaxseed meal was a little trickier. Required math. Fractions. Ended up guessing and decided six shots in the bowl was close enough.
Got to the part where I had to shred carrots. Didn’t notice that part when I first studied the recipe. Though this meant more work than I like to do, it was no big deal. I shredded carrots before, in a previous life. When I was single. You have to get that horrible little grate out and hope you don’t draw blood when the carrot gets down to the nub. But then I remembered The Slap Chop. Remember Vince, from the commercial? The device that made chopping fun? I came close to getting excited again. Until I remembered the problem with The Slap Chop.
Everything gets stuck in The Slap Chop. I realize now I should have chopped things up smaller but hey, if I’m going to chop stuff up small anyway, why would I need The Slap Chop? I spent a lot of time digging carrots and apples and walnuts out of the sharp jaws of The Slap Chop. An instrument I will never touch again, in this lifetime. And I won’t even mention the problems involved with getting a cup and a half of carrots into twelve shot glasses.
By this time I have remembered the many reasons why I don’t bake. The cutting, the chopping, the shredding, the blood. But usually, the biggest reason is because anything I’ve attempted to bake in the past has turned out tasteless and not worth the mess. But these muffins actually turned out not bad. By the time Frank came home from hockey, the house smelled good and he was impressed.
I doubt I’ll ever do it again, though, so I’m thinking I may just save one of these muffins. Put it somewhere safe so I can take it out whenever I feel the need to be domestic again. I’ll keep it in the same box as my divorce papers. Good reminder of what not to attempt.