Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Disgusting Brownies and Other Misadventures

It all began one day when I suggested to Emma that she make breakfast on Saturday mornings. This, I figured, would allow me to sleep in and since her cooking repertoire focused on breakfast foods--toast, waffles, scrambled eggs and pancakes--I figured this would be a good assignment.

And it was. At first. Sure, there was the incident of making French toast by just dipping bread in egg then serving it with peanut butter and jelly (there was no syrup), but overall this was working out pretty well.

Then she decided to spice things up. One morning I got up and immediately began inspecting the pancake batter. It looked like someone had thrown bugs in and they'd all sunk to the bottom.

"What's that?" I asked as casually as I could in a really sweet voice.

"Oh, these are raisin pancakes! It was my idea. I just threw a bunch of raisins in. Everybody loves them."

I think I might have eaten oatmeal that day although at one point I did try one and they were as bad as you would think.

Then she tried her favorite recipe "Disgustingly Rich Brownies" with Anson's help while I napped. Something went seriously wrong. The brownies were pale, hard as a rock and tasted terrible. I think it was part mixing error and part measuring error, but I was cutting off strips of the stuff and slipping it into the garbage. They were, in fact, just disgusting brownies.

Then came the cookies. I saw those once they were refrigerating. I could still see the raw egg separate from the dough. But this small batch contained an entire bag--twelve ounces--of chocolate chips. That end up being it's saving grace. You really could mostly taste chocolate, but when you got a lick of what held it together (shudder) it was not good.

The final straw was hidden treasure muffins. Emma decided to make muffins one day as I headed out the door. She told me later that she substituted oatmeal for wheat germ, baking powder for baking soda and two chocolate chips per muffin for a tablespoon of fruit mixture. (Mostly, I think this was a ploy to have an excuse to open the chocolate chips, so she could snack on them through out the day.)

We tried to pretend that we liked them. But it was really, really hard.

So a couple of days ago I was napping again (if it sounds like I nap a lot--I do) and I heard from my sleep, kitchens sounds. Shocked awake, I rushed to the kitchen to intervene. Emma was working on another batch of disgustingly rich brownies. I immediately poured the sugar back out and remeasured, then closely supervised the rest of the cooking.

Emma was more than a little annoyed with my being there. "Why are you helping me?" she asked doubtfully.

"Well," I said as tactfully as possible, "your last couple of projects just haven't turned out quite right."

"Sure," she said, thinking. "And when you say my last couple of projects you mean..."

"The muffins."

Her shoulders sagged a little. "The muffins. Anson said they were terrible."

I had laughed with Wendell one night about them, but the next day when he came home from work he put his arm around her and said, "I heard the muffins were terrible."

I started wacking his arm and giving him the evil eye and making motions at my neck like CUT or I'M GOING TO KILL YOU. He finally caught the drift, but the damage was done. I figured I focus on the ones she already knew were bad.

As it turned out, disgustingly rich brownies are delicious when you mix the right ingredients together thoroughly. I have no idea what cooking adventures still await, but I'm keeping and ear to the kitchen just in case.

PS Emma still thinks that all these recipes were great, so don't you dare repeat this story to her. It is for adult eyes only.

1 comment:

Sandy White said...

LOL, Jenna, that was great. I was laughing throughout. It is great to see you blogging again. We did the same thing when we were kids. We made chocolate chip cookies, and when they turned out wrong, we called them "candy cookies". I have no idea what we did wrong, but they were flat as a pancake hard as a rock, and super, super sweet (hence the name). With some more practice, pretty soon you might have a great baker in the family! She is on the right track though--anything with chocolate is a winner!