Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A is for Apple

I have yet to find my rhythm in my new kitchen. I’ve done next to no baking, and my main course attempts have been less than outstanding. What meals I’ve prepared have been out of necessity, I have to eat after all, and not for any love of cooking.
Not what mine looked like, unfortunately.
But the other day I found a couple of apples in the back of the fridge, not good for eating, but perfect for baking. I couldn’t find my apple muffin recipe, and didn’t have the sour cream needed for my apple coffee cake, so I improvised. Why couldn’t I use my Carrot Spice Muffin recipe and substitute apples for the carrots?

The counter space in this kitchen is very limited, and the first problem was where to set the cookbook. The recipes I use the most are in my scrapbook recipe file, and are all done on 8 ½ by 11 inch paper, protected with a plastic sleeve, and stored in a 3 inch binder. I miss the table I had at the other place where I had a spot to lay the binder out flat and therefore didn’t take up my work space.

I was trying to be organized. I had the 3/4 cup of milk and the 2/3 cup of vegetable oil in a bowl and the 2 eggs set out to add to it and beat together.

I then set that aside and peeled and finely chopped the apple I’d found in the fridge. With the 1 cup of apple done, I added the eggs to the liquid in the bowl and beat everything together, then stirred in the chopped apple.

Now everything was going pretty good until this time. I tried to multi-task and that never bodes well for me lately. I had dinner in the oven, something quick and easy, and the timer went. So I took a break and had dinner before getting back to my baking.

Back at it, I pulled my new 24 mini muffin pan out of the cupboard and lined each space with a paper liner, had my 400 degree F. oven preheated from dinner, so was ready to carry on.

The directions were to mix together: 2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                               ¾ cup sugar
                                                               3 tsp baking powder
                                                               1 tsp cinnamon
                                                               ½ tsp salt.

Next the recipe said to add the dry ingredients into the liquid, all at once; stirring just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).

My batter wasn’t lumpy; it was more like cake batter than muffin mix. I was tired at this point and went ahead and filled the muffin pan and put it in the oven to bake. I took another look at the recipe and realized the mistake I’d made.

Years ago, when I was new to country living and hadn’t learned to keep all my baking supplies in plastic containers, I was making an apple crisp and when I added the oatmeal to the brown sugar and butter, for the topping, the oatmeal moved. It was full of bugs, having sat in the bag on the shelf for quite awhile.

 Ever since that time I keep all the flour, sugars and oatmeal in sealed containers.

At the old apartment I had everything in a certain place, at the risk of sounding a little OCD; the most used were the most accessible and the other items on the higher shelves. Here I had my unlabeled containers stored all willy-nilly. The first container I picked up didn’t look like flour, and was icing sugar so it went back on the shelf. I found the flour, grabbed a one cup measure and added the flour to the other dry ingredients.

Do you know what I did wrong? I only added one cup of flour, not two. No wonder my batter was thin. The pan was already in the oven when I realized what I had done, so I let them bake. But they were awful, and all 24 muffins went into the garbage. So much for the nice idea of giving the grandkids a treat when they came the next day.

If I’m going to maintain my reputation as a baker, and the provider of homemade treats, I had better look at the organization in my cupboard, and it might be a good idea to label all those containers.

A is for Apple. My failed apple spice muffins. Maybe I’ll do better with B is for banana bread.

1 comment:

Linda Andres said...

Sounds like you have found a fun way to work your way through the A to z challenge. Hope to keep on reading here.