Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Omitted from Our Homestudy: Motherhood Failures 101

We all know I am not the baker my grandmothers were.  In fact, I am not even the baker my mother is, and trust me, that isn't saying much.  What follows here is a true account of my baking adventures yesterday.

It was a cold and rainy Labor Day.  I awoke with the scent of Ethiopian coffee wafting through the house, and my husband up before me to juggle the babies.  All of this combined to apparently intoxicate me or, more likely,  strike me with amnesia.  I apparently forgot that not only do I not enjoy baking, I am really, really terrible at it.   All I could think was that it would a lovely idea for me to send my children off on their first day of school with homemade baked goods.  You know, so all the other kids would know my kids were loved and had a GOOD domesticated mother, unlike the non-baking slightly messy mother I actually am.

I found myself googling "Best-Ever Brownie" recipes and found one with basic ingredients and easy steps. 

This was the beginning of the end. 

First, the recipe called for 2/3 cup of cocoa.  I only had 1/3 of a cup, but I did have 4 squares of bakers chocolate so I figured that I could combine them, right?   That should equal about 2/3 cup of cocoa and heck, MORE chocolaty brownies can't be a BAD thing. 

Then the recipe called for 4 eggs and I only had 3, but at the same time I noticed that, Taya dumped the bottom third of my cup of coffee into the batter, so I figured that was about equal to the liquid of an extra egg, so it should work out fine. 

Jayde was beating on my legs asking for breakfast so when I reached into the fridge to grab her a snack I realized that I had a package of cream cheese that really needed to be used.  Cream cheese kind of goes with brownies, doesn't it?  I mean the recipe didn't even call for milk, and extra creamy brownies SOUND delicious.  So I kind of maybe chopped up half a package of cream cheese and threw it in.  I figured half a package can't make that much of a difference.

After breaking up the dogs having a fight, and quickly checking my email  I couldn't find the half teaspoon measure for the baking powder, or was it baking soda?  I forgot to check.  Honestly, whoever it was that gave them such similar names should really be shot.   I figured that eyeballing it in my hand should be a reasonable approximation. Oh and I did the same for the salt, right after I picked up the juice Jayde had taken out of the fridge. 

Right around here, Taya peed on the floor. 

I didn't have any walnuts, but the kids don't even like nuts, so I could cross that part of the recipe off completely.  Of course, the recipe called for a 9X13 pan.   I am not sure I even own a 9X13 pan anymore.  I faintly remember Tanner dropping something in the sink last year and breaking it so I took the next closest.  12X12 or maybe that is a 10X15 is close enough.  I mean, who keeps a measuring tape in their KITCHEN?  Not me. I got Taya's hair untangled from the blender before I put the brownies in the oven.

The oven was heating nicely at 350.  Well it was until the baby turned it up to broil, but what's another 150 degrees when you are baking?  I turned it down as soon as I noticed. 

They were supposed to be in the oven half an hour, but at half an hour the laundry needed to be changed over and I realized that Eric had left our freezer door open in the laundry room and I had to wipe up some water on the floor.  Shortly after that I remembered I was baking.

And they were eaten. 

Honestly, I consider it nothing short of a Labour Day Miracle.


birthmothertalks said...

They look yummy!!! Can I give you some advice? Buy box brownies next time!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, yeah get the boxed mixes.

You crack me up.

Suzanne said...

They look yummy. I just found your blog yesterday and I have to say I love reading it. Thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...


Hi Jen, I follow your blog all the time! I saw this and thought of you...

Unknown said...

Actually the entire pan is now empty and they were quite (surprisingly) delicious :) Of course I couldnt recreate the recipe if I tried a dozen times over again! :)

Anonymous - I sent the link to my sister. She takes most of the good pictures of my kids ... lol hopefully she will send one in!

Bobbie-Jo said...

Forget the box brownies and do what it takes to remember that *recipe*. (I use the word recipe lightly.)

They look fabulous. You must be a GOOD domestic mother.

... said...

lol! Great story! Shows both the adventure of baking and of motherhood, plus it had a happy ending. Too cute.

Michelle said...

Oh Jen You crack me up girl! I love following the journey you and your family is on. Thank you for sharing.

Di said...

Costco... Girredeli (or how ever you spell that) brownie mix is the BEST. (even those of us who do bake LOVE them). However, your miricle looks amazing and I am sure that they were enjoyed by all. Good for you, after some of your attempts, a lesser Godess would have given up.

robyncalgary said...

ALL very good, logical baking ideas in my mind! im pregnant almost ready to pop and nesting like crazy, though cooking and baking are things i rarely do so i spend half my time calling or emailing my mom, sister in law, friends asking "does this make sense? what about this?"

BEST tip ive heard so far, if you dont have eggs, you can substitute banana! about 1 large banana per egg, mashed up to the consistency of scrambled egg. it's genius!!!