Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brownie Shenanigans and Disastrous Results

I had a disaster in my kitchen yesterday and immediately went to the best cook on the web... our dear Sognatrice, for help. It was so funny I had to share... this is our conversation:


I was trying to bake brownies. Yes, out of the box. Snip open the bag, dump it in the bowl with a large egg (okay... I have eggs, what size are these? do we care? it's an egg). I only recently found out that egg cartons have expiration dates on them.

1/4 c. veg oil


No vegetable oil. We'll use olive oil, it's extra light, virgin olive oil. I have no idea what that means, but I like the idea of pure cooking. Olives are in the fruit/veggie family. It'll work. Water. Can't screw that up, theoretically... right?

Bake at 350. 30-33 minutes in this size pan, 33-35 minutes in that size pan. Size matters not. I take a guess and figure I'll check it after half an hour or so.

There is a notation regarding altitude. Anything above 3000 feet. I am in Denver, it's a mile high. That's 5,280 feet. There's already too much math going on here. We'll skip it.

50 minutes later, the outside is crispy, the inside is STILL gooey and I finally become annoyed with having to wait so long and decide to cut the brownies and try one out. They are stuck to the pan and coming out in dry crusted but semi-gooey chunks from half way down.

They look edible... but I eat my own cooking, so who knows. EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. HORRIBLE...
Can I tell you how devastated I am that I can't eat a whole pan of chocolate turtle brownies!!!

The whole thing is going in the bin. I am going to the store to buy them in a little plastic box like I should have done to begin with, it would have saved time, probably money, and definitely my patience.....

What did I do wrong? Really? I'd like to think I could do something as simple as bake 9 lousy brownies, especially when they came in a box!!!!! Grr! Any advice? Thanks ever so much,


sognatrice said...

Oh Scarlett, my advice? Stay away from the oven!

No, seriously, take heed--a quick search uncovered a woman who suffered the same brownie fate at high altitude! There are some great tips on there, so never doubt the package directions regarding altitude again. This was most likely the cause of the Great Brownie Snafu of 2007.As for the oil dilemma, that probably didn't make a difference as you can use extra light version in place of vegetable oil without problems. Here's more info on using olive oil in general. Hope this helps, and best of luck the next time around :)

Sognatrice... Patron Saint of Kitchens... bless you eternally, and thank you SO much for the assist. I will continue to stay out of the kitchen and just order from my local delivery places, they are all on speed dial, all know me by first name, and would miss me were I to ditch them in favor of suicide by ingestion of the latest Scarlett dish. Sigh.

I had to get a jackhammer and an SOS pad with soap to get the pan clean.
I am cured of trying my hand in the kitchen. I'll just admire your food photos from across the world. Longingly.



Mark M. Hancock said...

I stick with salad, cereal and grilled cows. I apply the rule of thirds: if there are more than three ingredients, I shouldn't try to cook it. :-)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

All... Mark is my Photographic Journalist Idol (find a link to his blog on my 'friends on other shores' section, he's first on the list) and an amazing photographer.


What a thrill and an honor to have you visit my page.

Rule of Thirds applies to more in life than just photography... got it. Laughed out loud reading this... succinct and true.

Thank you, oh wise and wondrous one, I will remember the rule of thirds everywhere I go.

Many thanks for coming by,

J at said...

I tried to make something in a high altitude once, and it sucked, so yes, I would say to skip it or follow their instructions in the future. Sorry about your pan, I'm lazy enough that I would probably have thrown it away. ;)

You can substitute oil with an equal amount of applesauce, too, if you ever feel the desire and are out of veggie oil again.

sognatrice said...

Hah, I'm with J--I'd probably just chuck the pan too. Glad we could all get a good laugh about this at least :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hello J,

Glad to see you!
Yes... yes. The pan. Well, if I'd have given it any thought, I WOULD have thrown it away because I won't be trying to bake brownies anytime in the near future (15 years) anyway, so it's pointless to keep the pan.
Except it kind of makes me feel like there's just the slightest possibility that I MAY cook something lovely someday.

Thanks for coming by!

Sognatrice PSofK,

There have most certainly been lots of giggles... and laughter is the best medicine! Thank you for your help, and for coming by! Always a distinct pleasure to have you here.


Starshine said...

When I lived in Spain, I used to make my brownies with olive oil, and they tasted just fine. It must have been an altitude issue. :)

Shameless said...

Wow, this is great what you did with Viaggiatore ... a real magic act ... and he looks perfect there on the beach! :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


Thank you so much for coming by!
What was the altitude in Spain?
Yes, I suppose it could have been the altitude.

(How come no one is saying that it may have been a freak incident with the mix in the box? No way it could have been a Duncan Hines fluke? Or whoever the company was).
OH well.

Starshine, I am really glad you came by, hope it was a good giggle for you, and I hope to see you back again soon!


Viaggiatore just took off! As soon as I put him on the page, he decided to go have a look around, sniff the corners and see what was going on. Last I saw of him, he said he wanted to go watch the sunset on the beach. Can't blame him... I love the sunset on the beach myself.
He said we could visit and get to know each other when he got back. I am ok with that.

Thanks for letting me adopt him, he and I are both very happy about it.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore