Units have never been my concern.
I remember once when I was around 13 or 14, my uncle was coming to visit. My mother wanted to do something really special for him. Apparently one of his favorites as a child was my grandmother’s apple kuchen. My mother still had my grandmother’s recipe book and asked me (since she refuses to turn on an oven…ever) to make this for my uncle. The only ingredient that had a unit beside it was “lard” [by the way, this also marks the one and only time I have worked with lard]. The rest of the recipe was an exercise in minimalism. “Apples, sugar, cinnamon, eggs. Bake until done.” I was completely fine with this. The kuchen was great, it was inhaled, and I thought nothing of this lack of unit experience.
Fast forward a few years. I’m in graduate school, and my gal pal and I are getting together for a ladies’ night. We decide to make “healthy cannoli” (where apparently the health comes from using phyllo dough instead of puff pastry). She was making the filling and my job was to melt some butter, brush it on the phyllo, sprinkle with sugar, and wrap the sheets around our MacGyver-ed aluminum foil baking tubes. About 20 minutes into this assembly process, she flips her wig. Why? Because I hadn’t measured how much butter to melt, or how much sugar to sprinkle. Like this is rocket surgery. I told her I was just going until it looked right. Retrospectively I’m not sure if there were anything I could say in this scenario that would have been right, but I can guarantee you that what I said was totally the wrong thing. This was the last time we ever cooked together, and things got pretty heated–neither of us is going to live this night down (from a verbal standpoint only!).
A few more years pass. Some of my students discovered that I had a cooking blog. One of them, a girl who apparently loves to make bread and pies, pulls this up on her phone. She says, “Dr. TTENG! This isn’t a recipe! This is just a grocery list! How can you possibly do anything with this?!” Still ever yet…I was like the honey badger…I just didn’t give a *&^%.
And now we reach the present day. In an attempt to relax and prepare for the holiday season, I have been a foodporndaily.com, foodgawker.com, food52.com, etc., addict. I came across this very intriguing photo of what was dubbed “raspberry, coconut and white chocolate muffins”. I click the link. Takes me to some British food blog [cue jokes about how bad their food is]. I’ve followed British recipes before and I’m well aware that their baking dishes can come in different sizes than ours. I’m ready for that challenge. And I’m also well-aware that the Brits use grams instead of ounces so I had my converter (i.e., computer) ready. But I swear….something’s fishy. This was supposed to make 12-15 muffins. It made 7. And you could tell early-on that however many muffins this recipe was going to make, it was NOT going to make 12-15. So the entire time, I’m cursing out units. That’s right–I got angry at measurements (not even inanimate OBJECTS. I got mad at measurements). So, just to be completely clear, I’m including measurements on as many ingredients as I possibly can (for once). You’re welcome, world. I have temporarily learned my lesson.
RASPBERRY, COCONUT AND CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
- One egg
- .5 cups of half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons (that’s 3/8 of a stick) melted butter
- .5 cups sugar
- 1 cup flour
- Pinch of salt
- .5 teaspoon baking powder
- .5 teaspoon baking soda
- Coconut flakes
- Chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Mix the egg, half-and-half, butter and salt together.
- Add the baking powder/soda, the sugar, and the flour. Stir.
- Fold in as much/many coconut flakes, chocolate chips and raspberries as you want.
- Spoon into a greased muffin tin. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked.