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Thread: Confessions of a true baking snob

  1. #1
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    Confessions of a true baking snob

    Yesterday I went over to a friend's house for a lovely, albeit loud, playdate with 6 of DS's closest toddler friends. As is customary, she provided some snacks for us all, which included pomegranate muffins. "Hmmm," I thought, "those sound lovely, even if they are a bit on the flat side. Who doesn't love a good muffin?" Who doesn't, indeed, but these were not a good muffin. These were a horribly wayward, juvenile delinquent muffin, that had seen the wrong end of a good beating earlier in the day. Nicely browned hockey pucks, with some unidentifiable crunchy bits that reminded me inexplicably of Pop Rocks. Oy. Not wanting to be rude, I swallowed the dry mouthful of concrete and discreetly fed the rest to DS, who didn't seem to notice how horrid they were. Apparently, neither did our hostess, who was so, so proud of them.

    This morning DS and I enjoyed our moist, tender pumpkin muffins together, which he ate with equal abandon as yesterday's rock cakes. I guess when you're 21 months, a muffin is a muffin, as long as it comes from Drury Lane.

  2. #2
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    You're too funny! I chuckled as I read of your experience. I too have suffered in this way before... and choked down food that was inedible. Mostly from my MIL's house!

    I sometimes think that when people don't really cook that they don't really know what tastes good and what doesn't!
    Lori
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    Good food, fine wine... what a beautiful day!

  3. #3
    Hi there...
    tee hee

    There will always be inexperienced bakers (weren't we all at one time?). She doesn't have baking skills....however; she has other skills that are equally valuable.

    I say, MORE POWER TO HER if she baked them herself -failure and all!! And still had the courage to share them!! It's still better than store bought crap any day (w/out all those preservative, HFCS and chemicals we can't pronounce.)

    Yep...you will eat plenty more hockey pucks before you die, my friend

    Dolores
    "we can't go 'round measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude...
    we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."
    Pierre Henri in Chocolat
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    www.photographybydolores.com

  4. #4
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    What a funny story!! You could probably start a thread with along the lines of "playdate menu's gone wrong"....I could share a few!!
    Go for it!

  5. #5
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    At least she tried!

    There are plenty of people out there that I'm sure would have served crap straight from a box, ala Sandra Lee. She at least attempted something homemade--even though it was crap, she tried. I'd give her a break. (Sorry to be the dissentor here, it is kind of a funny story ).
    Life finds a way to amaze and amuse me everyday.

  6. #6
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    Poor bakers. Don't they watch Top Chef? Don't they know dessert is never a good idea when there's a judge's table?
    Margaret

  7. #7
    Yeah, she DOES deserve credit for trying. But I know what you mean about being a baking snob. My family can't understand why I turn my nose up at some many baked goods from restaurants or bakeries. They just aren't any good more than 80% of the time!

    BUT, even more interesting to me is when you make a recipe, someone compliments you on it and asks for the recipe, THEY make it and you eat it and it's not even close to the same thing! I always thought that as long as you could read a recipe, you could cook, but that's not always the case. You can turn an otherwise perfectly good muffin to a hockey puck by overbeating and overbaking, etc.

    If it makes you feel better, I suffered through a store bought piece of cake at work yesterday. It was someone's birthday and in most places I've worked it would be easy enough to get out of eating it but we all gathered to eat it at the same time and everyone was seated at the table so I felt like I had to eat some of it! I really didn't want to - not only because it wasn't very good (although everyone else raved about it), but because I'm counting calories and really DID NOT want to waste them on that! But I only ate half of it.

  8. #8
    *snort* Lisa - I know where you're coming from! We were with some friends a couple of weeks ago and she made us all spaghetti. And on the table? The dreaded green can. I couldn't even look at my hubby during dinner - he kept lifting it up and saying "want some, sweetie?" The dork.

    I love the way you write . . . sometimes I just follow you around to read what you're saying!

    Debie
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  9. #9
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    LOL! While she might earn kudos for making the muffins someone should clue her in that they weren't so good! I'd have asked for the recipe and then made them the next time it was my turn for playdate.

    Of course, being a good baker/cook does have it's drawbacks! Friends tend not to cook for me!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    LOL! While she might earn kudos for making the muffins someone should clue her in that they weren't so good! I'd have asked for the recipe and then made them the next time it was my turn for playdate.
    Would you really do that?
    Margaret

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzmatazz49 View Post
    Would you really do that?
    Why not? I mean if she is a beginner then she needs information/tips to improve her skills. Critiquing her muffins would be much worse than making the same recipe with better results. Or maybe Lisa would discover the flaw is in the recipe. Either way I don't see any harm in making the same recipe.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  12. #12
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    Or what about encouraging her? Something like, "Oh! So you like to cook! I do, too. Maybe we could share recipes and tips!" You might then discover she's a beginner. (Hopefully!) I know exactly how you feel, but I also think that MOST people these days wouldn't go to the trouble unless they liked to or wanted to learn to cook. It's too easy to buy something or use a mix. Ick!
    Lynne


    To err is human, to forgive, canine.
    -- Anonymous

  13. #13
    I would ask for the recipe and make them myself. If the recipe is any good, and my muffins turn out well, then you share them with her. Maybe she likes hockey puck muffins (hey, some people like burnt popcorn - ewwww!) but if not, she will notice the difference and you can politely offer tips about the concept of beating til "just mixed".

  14. #14
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    I love how you write too Lisa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I won't comment on muffins ( I have been known to try to make them so healthy no one wanted to eat them )
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisas3575 View Post
    These were a horribly wayward, juvenile delinquent muffin, that had seen the wrong end of a good beating earlier in the day. Nicely browned hockey pucks, with some unidentifiable crunchy bits that reminded me inexplicably of Pop Rocks.

    I guess when you're 21 months, a muffin is a muffin, as long as it comes from Drury Lane.
    Sheer poetry.
    "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chefzhat View Post
    *snort* Lisa - I know where you're coming from! We were with some friends a couple of weeks ago and she made us all spaghetti. And on the table? The dreaded green can.
    Debie
    Stupid question: What is 'a dreaded green can'?

    Back to topic: Funny I was at a party Thursday Night and everyone were raving about the brownies. I looked at them and the look like store-bought, dry brownies. I never has a piece.

    She tried but I prefer people that don't try.
    Helene

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''
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    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

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  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=helene;1269598]Stupid question: What is 'a dreaded green can'?

    QUOTE]

    I wasn't there, but it's gotta be the Kraft "parmesan" cheese that you find (assuming you're looking for it) next to the dry pasta.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  18. #18
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    The "at least she tried" statement brought back visions of last years annual church fall festival. It is a statement to harvest and the bounty of good things that we have to offer one another. One of the younger working mothers brought in a big pink box of purchased baked goods for us to sell. The lady that was in charge of the baked goods almost cried because she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings but couldn't bring herself to set them out to sell either. Our solution was to set them out with the coffee and baked goods offered for the staff. You should have seen the looks we got as people came in to serve themselves coffee. They would walk into the kitchen, pour themselves a cup of coffee, peer around the corner, and walk over to the "for sale" items and purchase something home made to go along with it. It probably increased sales by 25% because we sold out very quickly!
    We ended up with left over pink box items but left them for the youth group. They aren't nearly as discriminating as the adults are. This year we are including the statement "home made goodies" in our request for donations.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post

    I wasn't there, but it's gotta be the Kraft "parmesan" cheese that you find (assuming you're looking for it) next to the dry pasta.
    It can also be found in my refrigerator!
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by badunnin View Post
    It can also be found in my refrigerator!
    GET OUT!

    The horror!
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    Why not? I mean if she is a beginner then she needs information/tips to improve her skills. Critiquing her muffins would be much worse than making the same recipe with better results. Or maybe Lisa would discover the flaw is in the recipe. Either way I don't see any harm in making the same recipe.
    Nah, no harm if she wants some tips. I guess I just had a vision of the same scenario as when I told my chunky sister-in-law how great Weight Watchers worked. I never thought about her getting insulted, but she did. Oops.
    Margaret

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzmatazz49 View Post
    Nah, no harm if she wants some tips. I guess I just had a vision of the same scenario as when I told my chunky sister-in-law how great Weight Watchers worked. I never thought about her getting insulted, but she did. Oops.

    That's a whole other thing!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    That's a whole other thing!
    Maybe so, but I still won't give unsolicited advice, at least not to my SIL!
    Margaret

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chefzhat View Post
    GET OUT!

    The horror!
    Nah, I like it on popcorn. TJs makes one that I use. (I think that's what I bought. It might be Kraft.)
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzmatazz49 View Post
    Maybe so, but I still won't give unsolicited advice, at least not to my SIL!
    I'm the same way. If advice is not asked for, I've learned it's not appreciated or valued - making it worthless (and easily construed as criticism).

    Now if I'm asked?? Don't get me started because you'll get every detail -- by the time I'm done w/you, you're sorry you brought it up!

    Dolores
    "we can't go 'round measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude...
    we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."
    Pierre Henri in Chocolat
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    www.photographybydolores.com

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by helene View Post
    Stupid question: What is 'a dreaded green can'?

    Back to topic: Funny I was at a party Thursday Night and everyone were raving about the brownies. I looked at them and the look like store-bought, dry brownies. I never has a piece.

    She tried but I prefer people that don't try.
    That's the thing though, isn't it? People are darned if they do and darned if they don't. If they make something homemade that is awful, we all make faces and turn up our noses. But if they buy something at the store, we do the same thing...what are they supposed to do?

    My mom always buys her pie crusts store bought because even though they aren't as good as "good homemade" they are better than "her homemade" LOL!
    “the greatest risk of eating is getting run over on the way to buy your food, not from the food itself.”

    Ian Shaw, Is It Safe To Eat?

  27. #27
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    I find ridiculous when I ask the hostess can I bring something? and that she answers: no. She probably wanted to receive all the compliments.

    I kind of wish that she asked me to bring one of my yummy homemade dessert.

    So I went to the party with a bottle of red wine and did not eat dessert. (So I had more wine)
    Helene

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''
    -Curnonsky


    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

    Twitter: @lacuisinehelene

  28. #28
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    Consider yourself lucky. I think 10 pounds of the "baby weight" I'm still carrying around now that my youngest baby is almost 6 is actually "playgroup food weight". There were good cooks in my playgroup and I was way too tired and beaten down in those days to pass up the homemade banana breads/ coffee cakes/ sticky buns, etc.

    Mmmmm, we're having a 10 year reunion in January. Can't wait!
    Barbara

    Nutella is love! - 9yr old ds

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtricks View Post
    Consider yourself lucky. I think 10 pounds of the "baby weight" I'm still carrying around now that my youngest baby is almost 6 is actually "playgroup food weight". There were good cooks in my playgroup and I was way too tired and beaten down in those days to pass up the homemade banana breads/ coffee cakes/ sticky buns, etc.
    LOL, Barbara, that's an excellent point I hadn't considered. I've never been one to turn down a carb of any kind, pre- or post-natal. Protein is highly overrated. PS: I thought you weren't going to post here!

    dneilson, I am the same way! I'd personally not attempt to outdo her on her own muffins. I don't feel the need to prove my baking prowess to playgroup, especially at a risk of hurt feelings, and I've worked really hard on not "helping" people in general. They usually don't need it or want it. My post was just a little essay into my own snobbisity, which is kind of ironic because I love store-bought stuff too. I'd take a store bought anything over a nastytrash homemade goody any day of the week.

  30. #30
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    People are darned if they do and darned if they don't. If they make something homemade that is awful, we all make faces and turn up our noses. But if they buy something at the store, we do the same thing...what are they supposed to do?
    What she said...

    Pass, pleading diet or allergies, or smile and swallow. The effort is the thing. Maya Angelou once said "When I was young, I did the best I could. When I knew better, I did better." That, IMHO, applies to life in general and new cooks.
    Sonja in Southern Maryland

    All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others. -Michael Carr

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