Flip Flops & Belly Flops

This weekend, we spent Easter at my mom’s. My youngest sister came out for the weekend and brought her two girls. My sister-in-law, after a wonderful vacation in Hawaii and despite three feet of snow still on the ground, showed up in flip flops and a tan. It was warm out, so she was celebrating spring.

I was in charge of the baking. I make peanut butter-butterscotch-marshmallow squares, which happens to be a family favourite. For the first time in years, the butterscotch chips melted on the very first try. I didn’t have to boil the heck out the recipe just to get them half melted. (Thank you, Hershey, for finally improving your Chipits mix!)

Angel Food CakeAfter my success with the squares, I was feeling pretty confident and so I moved on to the Angel Food cake. It came out of a box, not from scratch, so it was a no-brainer. As long as nobody thumped across the floor while it was in the oven, I was guaranteed success.

I only wish I’d taken pictures to show the mess I created …

I pulled out the bowl, the mixer, and my two cup measuring cup, dumped the contents from the cake mix into the bowl and proceeded to measure the water. The recipe called for one and a quarter cups of water, so I carefully measured the water, poured it into the bowl, and mixed it. Very quickly, the mixture threatened to flow over the edges of the bowl. I barely managed to keep it contained, then poured it into the Angel Food cake pan, and slid it into the oven.

While it cooked, I could smell something odd, almost like burned sugar. My oven had been cooking things quicker than normal, so I’d adjusted the time as I didn’t want to overcook the cake. Forty-minutes later, the buzzer went off and I opened the oven door.

My heart sank in my chest. The cake was half the size of the pan. I pulled it out of the oven,Β turned the pan upside down to let it cool, and the cake instantly belly flopped out of the pan onto the counter. What the heck?

My son and I stood there, staring at the mess on the counter. The top inch of the mix had cooked, but the rest of the cake was a mushy half-cooked mess. What had gone wrong? I had no time to figure it out because I had to head back to the store.

This time, I bought two mixes, just in case the cake flopped again. As I proceeded to begin the whole process over again, I lifted my two cup measuring cup and realized … I’d had one and a quarter cups on the brain, so had filled the entire two cups with water and counted it as one cup. Duh!

The second cake came out perfect (well, except for the part that exploded out of the pan and landed on the oven floor) and after our Easter dinner, we served it with strawberries and vanilla ice cream, the perfect end to a perfect dinner.

Will I ever make this mistake again? You bet. I’ve made the same mistake before, while my mind has been occupied with more important things, like plot holes and wonky character growth and non-existent settings. Hmmm, maybe it’s time to buy a one cup measuring cup.

Please tell me about your cooking disasters because I love to hear how other people make a mess in their kitchen. πŸ™‚

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on April 3, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Oh my gosh, Sheila, I do this all the time! Fortunately, I can blame it on my extremely low vision–but just between us girls, it’s usually because I’m rushing! So glad everything worked out in the end. πŸ™‚

  2. I had to laugh, but I know you didn’t think it was funny at the time! I made chocolate chip cookies and was doling them out on the sheet and realized I hadn’t added the chocolate chips. DUH!

  3. Never cook whole spaghetti squash in the microwave. Even if you poke holes in it. I’d always cut mine in half, but in a hurry one day decided to try the recipe suggestion and cook it whole after puncturing it in various places with a large cooking fork. About half way thru cooking time said squash exploded, blowing the door open and propelling strands of sticky squash clear across the kitchen. Fortunately the dog and I were out of the direct line of fire but for several weeks after the dog would go hide in the bedroom when I turned on the microwave. And we won’t discuss what dropping a spoon in a blender of cranberries will do to a kitchen.

  4. I make the angel food cake mix all the time and never had this happen. Glad you got it right. And what is the recipe for the peanut butter butterscotch thingy?

    • Peanut butter/butterscotch chip squares. Yummm! Here you go, Vicki. They’re delicious. πŸ™‚
      1/2 cup butter or margarine
      1 cup peanut butter
      1 package (300 or 350 size) butterscotch chips
      4 to 5 cups mini marshmallows (I use the white ones, but the colored ones are very festive looking)

      Empty the package of butterscotch chips into a microwave safe bowl. Measure the butter or margarine and peanut butter and dump it on top of the chips. Put it into the microwave on high for two minutes. Pull it out and stir until the chipits are melted. If the chipits don’t melt, put it back in the microwave for another minute or two. (adjust time as required) Once the mixture is warm (but not hot), stir in the marshmallows and pour into a 9X9 square pan. Cool in fridge, cut and eat.

      Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  5. Theresa Krebs

    Sheila: love this post & love your baking. It is always delicious. And your peanut butter butterscotch thingies are out of this world yummy — especially in the two bite size. I must speak about the flip flops though…
    I wore sturdy loafers & changed into flip flops when I came in the back entry — before I came up! No sloshing in slushy snow with bare toes for me!

    Kitchen/baking disasters… hmmm, everyday!

    • I love your flip flops, Theresa, and they looked great with your tan. And your cooking is always so good, I can’t imagine you having a cooking disaster. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi, Sheila,
    I have to put on reading glasses to see the markings on my measuring cups. Once, I couldn’t find any of my many pairs and tried to wing it. The spice cake I made tasted medicinal. I goofed on the amount of molasses and who knows what else? Seriously, the cake was inedible.

  7. Cheryl Cooke Harrington

    I’ve never ruined an angel cake but I did once cause a stoneware plate to explode, sending super- heated shards onto the floor and burning a hole in the linoleum. Luckily there was nobody in the room at the time. I will never live it down!

    • Oh no, Cheryl, exploding plates! I once tried to boil potatoes in a casserole dish. I learned that you can’t put them on a stove burner or they explode. Ah, the lessons we learn. πŸ™‚

  8. sheila, don’t feel bad. The law of averages guarantees that even the best of us will make a holy mess now and again. I was in the throws of an Italian melt down and turned with the long wooden spoon in my hand and knocked over a two gallon pot of hot red tomator sauce πŸ™‚ I can’t even remember what I was yelling about, but it was the last time I lost my temper near the stove !!

  9. I was fixing country style steak and gravy, Well, I’d floured the steak and fried it golden brown, While frying it I kept noticing a strange smell. I double checked the date on the steak even though I’d just bought it. Well, everyone sat down to eat and my husband took a bite of the steak and made a funny face, and says “Did you fry this in something different?” Long story short instead of flour I’d used powered sugar. It didn’t kill us but I made sure I had my glasses on when cooking after that.

    • Sweet steak? Interesting, Lisa, and too funny. I once had a lounge serve me one of their specialty “house” coffees and it came with salt around the rim. When the waiter returned to the table to check on us, I mentioned that it was a strange combination. After he checked it out, he told us that someone had put salt in the sugar bowl. πŸ™‚

  10. Oh my goodness. I feel for you! I don’t care to spend much time in the kitchen, and I don’t know that I’d have given it a second go like you did. πŸ™‚ Glad you ended up with something delicious!

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