Friday, August 6, 2010

Quincy's Cooking Adventures

It is in my nature to be somewhat impulsive and to get very excited about new things. For instance, my first set of watercolours: I got them for my birthday. I opened the wrapping paper and was told “These are water colours!”. I got very excited about all the artistic potential I could now harness and ran to the kitchen, put the palette on the table, and poured water all over it. Adults came along just in time for me to make a mess, to rescue my present and explain to me just how water colours actually worked.

These two traits are very endearing in children and can result in life being one great, big, Learning Adventure. Unfortunately, I have to deal with still having these traits in strong proportions as an adult, and having the result be on a larger scale and far less endearing.

One example of this is my first foray into baking.

I had just received a recipe for oatbran muffins (meant to be good for cholesterol and goodness knows what else) and, as I’d tried them before, I already knew they were yummy. I bought ingredients, got home and, recipe in hand, got started. In my excitement, I hadn’t checked our self-raising flour status, and found we didn’t have any. That was ok - the recipe said you could either use that or use baking powder. I looked through the kitchen and found baking soda. That’s kind of powdery... It’ll do. At this point, I probably should have put my enthusiasm aside and asked my more experienced mother for some advice, but I was over 18 and an Adult and could cope with these little things.

I added the powdery substance, I added the blueberries, I scooped it into the muffin tray (forgetting to grease it first) and I popped it into the oven which I already knew was in very poor shape and not so good for baking things in.

I also forgot the sugar.

When I took the muffins out of the oven, they were not only stuck to the tray, very bland and actually pretty disgusting; they were also green. I had made alien muffins. These wouldn’t have looked out of place in a B-rate, kids’ sci-fi comedy, with their purplish lumps (what was left of the blueberries) sticking out of their green skin and their black, burnt bases and still kind of sloppy green insides...

I wonder what the Masterchef judges would have said about it?

So, I am still very childlike in my enthusiasm and impulsivity. I am gradually learning how to stop and think before I dive into something, but I do still often have to be told to read the instructions before I go and ruin everything forever (as my dear housemate knows only too well). But hey - I’ve had the house to myself for a week now, and aside from the initial incident with the cupboard door, nothing’s been broken or burnt to a crisp. Maybe I’ll be a proper adult one day, after all!


If anyone understands the chemistry associated with baking soda turning blueberry juice green, do fill me in. I still haven’t figured out how it happened.


I'd just like to put it out there that after a few more incidents with forgetting things like the sugar and the flour, I did eventually get them right, and they were delicious!


  1. When I was in high school, my friend was doing food tech and he made muffins this one day and they were fluffy and beautiful, and he offered them to me at lunchtime and I was so excited I took a great big bite.
    After I'd stopped spitting lumps of lubricated muffin flesh onto the ground, he explained that he had put a three quarter cup of salt in the batter. Thanks Alex, you bastard.
    And thanks, all my friends who'd already been subjected to the same prank, and watched my eyes light up as I brought the muffin to my lips.

    PS. I do not know the chemistry behind your colour change. I would just put it down to pixies.

  2. Yikes.

    Well, I'm glad I never put salt in them :-p

    Ah, pixies. I was about to blame it on the gremlins, but I think this is too subtle for them :-p

  3. you are not the first to ask this question, apparently- this is the answer i found:
    Baking soda doesnt turn blueberrys green ,the inside of the blueberry is a little green, Baking soda is a kind of levening, As is yeast, Baking powder,Starters made with rye flour!