Friday, September 21, 2007


In 3rd grade, our teacher gave us a just-for-fun test. It was labeled Instructions Test. On one sheet of paper, it listed 20 various instructions such as "stand on your chair and recite the alphabet backwards". As all third graders would, we thought this was a real hoot. We stood on our chairs and recited the alphabet backwards and performed various other activities as the test instructed us. It became a bit of a race to see who would finish first - not that there was any prize other than bragging rights. But then again, bragging rights are about all that mattered to us back then. Needless to say, we were all a bit ashamed and befuddled when we were informed that we had, indeed, all failed. You see, in our glee and eagerness to get on with silliness, we sort of skipped the small paragraph at the top of the page. The small instruction paragraph which told us to in fact, not perform any of the 20 actions, but to simply sign our paper and present it to our teacher. Ooops.

So it will come as no surprise to you to hear me say that I'm not so good at reading an entire recipe before I actually begin measuring and mixing ingredients. Normally, this doesn't really affect the outcome. Honestly, very few recipes will actually fail if you don't first cream the butter and sugar before you add the rest of the ingredients. Trust me, I've tested many. Tuesday I set out to bake some Frosted Pumpkin Spice Snack Cake bars. It was going to be my special breakfast treat to my coworkers Wednesday morning. As the cake baked away in my oven, I set to the task of preparing the cream cheese frosting. And I did exactly EXACTLY as the recipe instructed I added one package of powdered sugar. But see, here's the thing, apparently the author of said Pumpkin bars recipe did not understand that the size of my package is so much larger than the size of their package. It was almost as an afterthought that they included the ounces of their package at the very end. A meager 16 ounces. Not mine. No. Mine was 32 ounces. As unfortunate a blunder as it was, I still didn't catch it until I had poured the voluminous sticky mass onto my cake. The frosting was almost as thick as the poor cake. Ooops. I took it to work anyway and told my coworkers there was extra frosting and they could just scrape off what they didn't want. I cut the pieces and put them all on their own plates. And then we all paused in silence and watched as the 1/2 inch of frosting slowly slid its way off each piece and deposited itself onto the plate next to the bar - no scraping required. My baking reputation wounded and blushing, I decided I better just stick to donuts from now on.

And then last night, at my nifty bread class we made oatmeal bread. It. Is. So. Good. So good, that I decided to spoil my coworkers with it. And I must say, my reputation has been completely saved, if not elevated to new greater levels of admiration. Every single one of them has eaten it and exclaimed how very good it is. And I have done my best to not glow with pride. But truth is, I can't hardly help myself because it is really very good. I feel so redeemed!

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