December 17, 2006

100th Documented Kitchen Disaster and Going Strong

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

During one of my random recipe searches I came across a recipe for “The Ultimate Brownie.” I know what you’re thinking, and I was thinking it too: Yeah right. I’ve seen countless recipes for The Best Brownie EVER, The Perfect Brownie, The Last Brownie You’ll Ever Eat, etc… There’s always someone who thinks they have the be all and end all recipe for brownies, (this also applies to chocolate chip cookies, pie crust, lasagna… everything) but I find most of the time their recipe will disappoint, because no matter how good it is, I can’t help but hope that there’s something even better. What fun would it be to think that I’ve tasted the best? I might as well roll over and die if that’s the case. Anyways, I filed that recipe away, figuring I might give it a try at some point, as it will probably produce a brownie that is at least edible, (and who am I kidding? Even if it wasn’t, I’d probably eat it.) For some reason I kept coming back to this recipe, but each time I shied away from making it. Maybe it was the fact that it called for SEVEN eggs. Maybe it was because it called for THREE cups of sugar. It could have been the POUND of walnuts. And it could have been the fact that all of this was to be baked into a measly 9x9 pan. Finally, I sucked it up and set about making “The Ultimate Brownie” despite the fact that I found the whole recipe rather suspect.

Even though I had my qualms about both the ingredients and the directions, I persevered. Even though I worried that mixing eggs into hot sugar would scramble them, I persevered. Even though I emptied my supply of organic cocoa into these brownies, I persevered. And even though I had no walnuts and not quite a pound of pecans, I persevered. But I drew the line when I came time to pour that vat of brownie batter into a 9x9 pan. There was NO freaking way that was going to fit. Unless I had a 9x9 pan with sides that are 6 inches high, that batter would have ended up all over the bottom of the oven, and God knows there’s enough crap down there already. Instead, the batter went into a 9x13 pan and I held my head high as I poured it in. It was for the good of the brownies, (and my oven).

Now then, I went about setting the oven timer and was still thinking rather highly of myself as I had the good sense to reduce the recommended oven time since my brownies would obviously me slightly thinner than they would have been in their crazy high 9x9 pan. I patted myself on the back and went to sit down and relax and wait for my precious brownies to be done. A couple minutes later, Dad called me to help him move a dresser upstairs. No problem. We lugged the dresser upstairs and that was the end of it. But then I passed by my bedroom and happened to glance inside. Yeesh, what exploded in there? And in a moment of what can only be called sheer insanity, I decided to clean my room. So time passed and I worked away, unpacking bags that have sat on my floor for months, making my bed which generally isn’t ever made, doing laundry. I even vacuumed and dusted. I found things I thought had been lost forever. I was in a pretty good mood. Then, all of a sudden I caught a whiff of chocolate.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!! How long had I been up here and how could I possibly have forgotten the brownies??? I raced downstairs, taking them two at a time, tearing through the house, scaring the cat half to death and skidding into the kitchen at breakneck speed. I threw open the oven door, reached in to pull out the pan, had a brief moment of clarity and grabbed a dish towel, and then removed my poor brownies to a cooling rack. I stared at them. They stared at me. I glanced over at the recipe which was sitting on the counter. In giant letters at the bottom of the recipe were the words DO NOT OVERBAKE. I looked at the oven timer which had long since expired. Exactly how much longer the brownies had been in, I had no way of telling. I poked at the top of them. Hot. I took out a toothpick and stuck it in the middle. I was somewhat reassured to see that it wasn’t completely bone dry when I removed it. But my heart was already feeling heavy and I knew I had wasted a ridiculous amount of ingredients on brownies that I couldn’t pass off as anything other than “The Ultimate Disaster.” Why did I pick today to clean my room? I never clean my room. It’s a constant disaster and should have continued to be that way so that my brownies could have stood a chance at being good. I should have known better. It was basic high school physics at work: Disaster cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. Disaster simply moved from my bedroom to the brownies. Science wins again.


Technorati Tags:
+ + +

27 comments:

Asha said...

Beautiful tower of brownies Brilynn! Look sinfully delicious!

Happy Holidays:)

FreyaE said...

But did they taste good?
Freya

emily said...

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
disaster or not . . . they look pretty.

Brilynn said...

I knew I was forgetting to mention something... the other people who had the brownies enjoyed them, but I knew they were overdone and should have been a lot better.

K & S said...

They look wonderful!

Claire said...

I love the physics reference! Even increasing disorder!!!! :-) I'm sure they weren't as bad as you thought...I'm always tougher on my creations than other people.

Anne said...

I can relate to you when it comes to baking disasters, I have my fair share of it too. Your brownies doesn't look that bad :)...they still look delish!

peabody said...

Oh no :( I hate when I do stuff like that. But hey, your room is clean :)

Julia said...

ahhh, poor you!!
I hope you're not offended when I say I really enjoyed reading you're story...hilariously written!
are you going to try them again??

wheresmymind said...

That is one serious tower of yumminess!

Kristen said...

For a kitchen disaster, they are still some good looking brownies!
You are a great writer... I enjoyed reading this entry!

veron said...

Brilynn, you remind me of myself when I my mind is scattered in all directions and I forget I have something in the oven. It's only when I catch a whiff of it that I realize I am baking something. Your brownies look yummy ,nice texture to them !

WhItE_PoPlAr said...

Beautiful brownies!

bea at la tartine gourmande said...

What a story! ;-) Time to have a rest....

Acme Instant Food said...

You could have fooled me by those photos--looks stunning. Sorry if their taste didn't live up to their appearance :(

P.S. I want to see picts of the HOUSE!

Elle said...

You poor thing. I'll bet they still were good. Damn am I glad I'm not the only one who forgets that stuff is in the oven. I'll bet it is a good sized club. Welcome!

ilingc said...

still they look delicious and i'd not know better if you served it to me :)

Jeanne said...

Hahaha! I know I shouldn't laught at the misfortunes of others but that was hilarious! Very well written :) I also hate it when you are halfway through a recipe and think "hmm, something's not quite right", but by then you are too far gone to do anything but persevere. And I am a past master at leaving things in the oven and forgetting about them while I do something more interesting - so I feel your pain!! They look pretty delicious though.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

You could always make ice cream. Growing up, two of my favorite flavors at a local dairy farm/ice cream parlor were Snoopy (vanilla ice cream with brownie pieces) and Charlie Brown (chocolate ice cream with brownie pieces).

gattina said...

Brilynn,
sorry for the disaster, but hey, you still turned them to a little beauty! Like a mini wedding cake!
I look at the recipe you mentioned, then the original photo. It has quite an unusual height, the author should have mentioned the height of her pan...
Love your great sense of humor!

Angie said...

Wow! These brownies look "to-die-for", love them!

Lis said...

awww am sorry to hear your sad story. BUT I'm also VERY EXCITED to present this gold-plated wooden spoon to you and welcome you into the "Kitchen Disasters Club" *clap* *clap* *clap* Welcome fellow Disasteree! I was getting a bit lonely - glad you joined when you did =)

So how did they taste? They look really good - not over baked at all. But if they didn't taste very good, I hope they aren't going to be a part of the dinner you are making me. *grin*

Lydia said...

Those brownies look great! How did they taste???

By the way, nothing good ever comes of housecleaning. At least that's my philosophy....

Shaheen said...

i was so amused to read ur story. beautiful looking disaster!! i tend to forgot abt ovens and timers the moment i am on the computer while i am baking!

Carolyn said...

Thanks, Brilynn, for making me laugh on a Thursday morning! (Thanks, too, for giving me an excuse not to clean!) A couple weekends ago, I had a similar cooking experience. I had just returned from a rural area of Zimbabwe with a green vegetable I had never seen before. I was told to boil it for THREE hours to get rid of the bitterness, after which my source promised that the greens would make a tasty relish. For two hours I diligently added water to the pot as it boiled off. THEN I got a phone call. Next thing I smelled? Burning. And trust me, burning greens do not smell as good as over-baked chocolate :-)

The Gourmand said...

Hmmm A brownie tower! I love eating them but every brownie i have is always different (surprise!). Still for a "disaster" it looks great! My disasters don't quite make it to my blog, my ego gets the better of me.

ejm said...

Excuse me for commenting so late on this... your brownies look great!

One of my friends just told me about her brownie disaster that turned out rather well. She was baking brownies and suddenly realized she had to leave the house before they were done. So she turned the oven off and left them in the oven to finish. She was gone longer than expected and was really nervous that they were ruined. She says they were absolutely fantastic and that she always uses this method to bake her brownies. (She avows that her brownie recipe from a Betty Crocker kid's cookbook is the quintessential brownie recipe)

And I know what you mean about being a perfectionist. Others said that disaster cheese cookies I rescued (sort of) at Christmas were good but I was continually aware that they weren't quite right.

I also know what you mean about being suspicious of "the best" recipe. Although... in spite of what my friend has said about the Betty Crocker kids cookbook brownies, I still maintain that the 'Brownies Cockaigne' in "The Joy of Cooking" is the quintessential brownie recipe.

-Elizabeth