Going Off Half Baked

When I decided to become the next Gordon Ramsey, I said I was going to try to cook for myself, not bake.  However, I have a problem.  My wife, with my encouragement was a big fan of King Arthur mixes.  We had our favorites like Cheddar Cheese Bread and Pumpernickel bread.  We also liked many of their scones and of course we had to throw in a few donut mixes.  Add all that to a set of  recipes that let you turn yellow cake mixes into virtually anything and a penchant for fudgy brownies and you begin to understand my conundrum.  Within a very organized and well stocked pantry lies many, let me emphasize many, packages of these mixes. 

My initial reaction was to a) give them away, b) throw them away c) contact Businessmen’s Clearing House about how to implement a raffle, d) barter them for beer at the local brew pub, or e) actually bake them.  After much mental debate during which time my culinary skills did battle with my inbred Yankee thrift (i.e. if it has any value to you it will have some value to someone else so sell it) the thrift won.  My love of a challenge prevailed when I evaluated the mix sitting on the shelf against a totally inedible product.  And, I decided to embrace the philosophy of Alfred Lord Tennyson when he said “it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all”.

But, even before I got into the mixes, I was already struggling with what to do with all the fresh frozen fruit in the freezer.  I was daily defrosting blueberries to eat on my cereal, but there were so many of them.  The sectioned peaches were a lot easier.  They made great mid afternoon snacks.  But the pitted cherries just did not induce enthusiasm.  So I started by baking some scratch blueberry muffins.  My bake times did not even come close to the recipe, but, I kept increasing it until they “looked right”.  Once cool, I tasted one and, being personally impressed, I packaged up four of them and took them to a meeting with my attorney. My attorney is a woman as is her entire staff.  If you want to perform a litmus test, I figured this was the place to perform it.  And, it appears I passed.  Two had  mysteriously disappeared before the meeting was over. However, I did not check the wastebaskets prior to exiting.

Encouraged by that, I moved on to the cherries.  I found a cobbler recipe that ironically called for exactly the amount of cherries I had.  I am sure I did something wrong, because the bake time called for 20-30 minutes and I ended up baking it for one hour. It continues to look puny in the middle so I just kept giving it more time until it browned up like George Hamilton.  It turned out delicious.  At least delicious enough for me to devour in about five portions over the next few days.

Wednesday, I grabbed a muffin mix from the shelf.  Spiced Eggnog.  Yuuummm.  My wife had made them before and they were always a favorite.  This however was my first experience making a streusel topping.  The muffins turned out fine and are almost all gone, but I can confidently offer a piece of advice.  If the topping recipe calls for softened butter, and you didn’t do that, do not, repeat, do not substitute I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.  Just sayin!!!!!

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at poormanspoet.wordpress.com to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Baking, Cooking, Food, Humor, Insight, Life, Perspective, Reflection and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Going Off Half Baked

  1. NEVER DO THAT…EVER…no matter what you’re making.


  2. George says:

    UGH…..you didn’t!!!!


  3. scifihammy says:

    I am very impressed with your baking skills – and managing to use up lots of ingredients. I laughed at “Browned up like George Hamilton!” 😀
    And it’s a great idea to offer your bakes to others as a test! 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s