How Not To Bake (With Julie)

Because Julie and I have a lot of guy friends (which you may have picked up on if you read my other blogs), we decided we desperately needed a girls’ day to catch up, to which she replied.

“Well I’m making breakfast muffins, wanna come over and help me?”

Just like that, I finished up the blog post I was writing for The Rebekah Koontz Site, changed out of my PJs, and hopped in my car with the random piece of scrap paper I used to scribble (and doodle) the directions Julie gave me to get to her house. I used two arches to describe “past McDonalds” and a movie reel to indicate “left after the movie theater”.

I got there without any trouble, and was very proud of myself.

After an initial tour of her kitchen and bedroom, and makeup collection, and ceremonial meeting of her pet bearded dragon, Eclipse, and cute little guinea pig, Panda (perfect name for a guinea pig!), I was filled in on the muffin-making process.

The oats were supposed to soak for half an hour, she told me, which she forgot to do, but waiting for the time to pass wasn’t very hard once we got to talking. Then soon it was time to start the batter. She showed me the recipe and pictures on her phone.

What they’re supposed to look like when we’re done. .

So we got started! I set up all the ingredients on the kitchen table. The muffins had cranberries, and blueberries, and applesauce, and cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Julie said that we’d be making two batches of muffins. We decided one batch would be blueberry and the other would be cranberry cinnamon. Sounded pretty good to me. We added those ingredients by eye.

Julie’s mom was teasing her, asking if she knew how to separate eggs, so here’s the proof of Julie being the good homemaker, separating eggs. We needed the egg whites for the muffins. Then she dumped the yolks in a separate bowl and before I could scream “NO!”, she flicked the egg shells in there too.

I don’t know why I have this need to save and recycle everything, especially eggs. (PS you can use egg whites on your face as a mask. It’ll harden and be stiff and after you wipe it off with a warm rag, your face feels super soft.)

I scared Julie into a hilarious confusion with my sudden scream and we both started laughing. I quickly saved the egg yolks from their fate.

Egg yolk hero

As she separated eggs, I measured out the applesauce for each batch.

Not sure if this was taken before or after the egg fiasco. .

Then it was time to mix it up.

Which Julie does like a pro.

I was in charge of the dry ingredients. .

 Which might’ve been a mistake on their part. .

We were talking about how strange it was that the muffins have no sugar IN them (they’re supposed to be healthy). When Julie’s mom said, “yeah that is strange. . And that looks like way too much salt too, Rebekah.”

“It says a tablespoon.” I said, shrugging, and dumped it in the bowl.

At that, Julie grabbed the recipe. “It says teaspoon!”

I spent the next couple minutes trying to evenly distribute that little mound of salt between the two bowls.

Then I got to whisk it together.

We combined the dry  ingredients to the wet, as the recipe instructed, then Julie mixed them together, being sure not to over-mix “or else the muffins will be tough,” whatever that meant.

We started joking around about our hair being down. Have you realized how many girl bakers and cooks have their messy hair falling all over the place? Even if it’s up, there’s still some hanging down. It drives my mom crazy.

I guess they still want to be glamorous and flip their hair all around. As Jake would say: “thristy.”

My final job was making the cinammon-brown-sugar crumble for the top, then we coated and filled the muffin tins.

Then we popped them in the oven. . . and started to talk.

In retrospect, this is probably where we went wrong. It isn’t as though we left them unattended in the kitchen and they burnt to a crisp. We were right there, talking next to the oven the entire time, leaning against the counter and smelling the yummy muffin smells.

Julie’s mom came in and asked, between our laugher and whispering and giggling, if we were watching the muffins. Julie replied yes and opened the oven door to prove it. “They still look a little pale,” she said.

That’s what reminded me. “Oh no! The cinnamon crumble!!”

I ran over to the kitchen table where the bowl still sat, laughing at me, and brought it back.  We took the muffins out of the oven and proceeded an attempt of salvaging them.

Julie came up with the idea of pricking them with a fork and then padding the sugar on it, so we started a system. I took over the pricking and she packed on the sugar, then they finished their time in the oven.

Luckily we had a second chance with the next batch and did those ones right, even after realizing we used up ALL the cinnamon-sugar mix, for both the batches, on the first one, and had to make more.

Here’s the difference in the two batches.

Soon it was time for taste testing and we cut each in half to try them.

There was some silence as we munched.

“Hmm.”

“Hmm.”

“They taste good.”

“Yeah.”

I think it was Julie’s mom who was the most honestly blunt. “Are they supposed to be so rubbery?”

Ha. .

I think we figured out what it meant for muffins to be “tough”. However they did taste good! And not too salty either! X-D

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