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Baking is (Apparently) Difficult

Should I give him credit for trying? Not that it should be any concern of mine to begin with, but I'm assuming wanting to try something new is what prompted Adam to try making brownies tonight. Setting aside that when I went down into the kitchen about an hour ago, the brownies had magically been replaced with muffins, I take issue with the following. Also setting aside first though that being able to make cookies and bread and at least one variety of cake with relative success doesn't make me that much better at baking than other people, but some of the things he did (or was doing) were wrong, in a common-sense sort of way.

a] Keep your area clean. Some mess is to be expected, yes, but if your work area gets really messy, don't be afraid to set things aside for a moment (unless whatever you're making is time-sensitive, although I couldn't see this rule applying in such a case) to wipe it down, and put things that you're finished using away. In regards to Adam specifically, I noticed he had the salt shaker out, and that there was a white powder on top, that didn't look like salt. Being curious, I dabbed some off onto my finger which then went into my mouth, and was / am still fairly certain that it was baking soda. Not flour, because there was a tiny bit of acidity to it (and / or "tanginess", but I don't like how that word sounds in my head), and not salt, because it was once again too powdery.

b] Clean up after yourself. This is separate from the above, in that it applies to what happens when you're finished baking your selected treat. Wash the dishes, replenish (fill containers back up of) anything you might have used up, and overall try to make things look like they were when you started. I obviously can't expect him to care too much about the dishes, even though he said he planned to do them the second time I went down there, but the other bit of pleasantness I found involves sugar. The small container - which mostly only gets used by Dad these days to make coffee - was empty, so I pulled the larger container of sugar out of the other cupboard, opened it, and found brownie-mix-residue on the inside of the lid. In other words, he (Adam) was using said lid to rest his spoon on, and instead of having even the slightest bit of common sense and saying "I can't leave that like it is", put it back. Of course, when I questioned him he said he was going to get to that too, which shouldn't require any further statement.

c] Follow the recipe carefully. This might seem obvious, and maybe my being presumptuous will come back to prove me wrong here, but I can't think of one reason a brownie recipe would require baking soda to be measured out in a measuring cup. Why, the cookies I make, for which the average yield is 30 per batch, only require one teaspoon. He put what looked like half a cup into the brownies. I will give him credit for writing the recipe down on a piece of paper instead of just running from the kitchen to the computer in the dining room and computer in the dining room to the kitchen though. Also in this category, if the recipe says whatever you're trying to bake will take at least 20 minutes, set the timer on the microwave for 20 minutes and press the start button before leaving the kitchen. I shouldn't have to do that for you, and then on my way back upstairs, explain that the microwave is set.

I could probably write a fourth item too, but suffice it to say, when I went back upstairs, he was just getting ready to put the mix into a pan which would then go into the oven, and even though I've never made brownies before, it did not look right. Something that's supposed to bake in the oven shouldn't look partially baked while it's still in a pot on the stove. For the rest of this short tale, I would direct your attention back to the first paragraph of this entry. I'm assuming he used muffin mix for those though, but even if not, he should've just done that in the first place.

As for me, the only things I've prepared for myself today were crackers with peanut butter, and cinnamon toast with brown sugar instead of white. I used up my last can of mushrooms and package of gravy last night (and burned my tongue while checking to see if the noodles were ready), and have one more can of clam chowder soup to be eaten within the next two days, then we'll be going grocery shopping on Wednesday instead, since I won't be available on Thursday, and for about half a week after that, I'll more or less be left to fend for myself. Which isn't much different than eating here, but when I'm there, I won't have the liberty of looking through the fridge for things to eat that I didn't pay for. Mind you, I'm probably overthinking this quite a bit, but it's just another one of those oddities regarding me and other people. Not odd in a bad way, but at this point, I'd find staying at somebody else's house in this city a big deal. I used to do it all the time with Josh, just as he used to come over here quite a bit, and what's changed since then? I'm tempted to blame the internet and such, but I don't hang out with online friends anymore than I do people I know in real life, which is to say very rarely, and otherwise only when our paths cross. I would like to explore this further too, alas, I've been having a hard time of this over the past couple nights. My ability to think straight goes completely out the window as soon as I sit down to write anything. I can still write, yes, but making it meaningful and interesting to me is another matter entirely. Oh, and to prove the difference to myself, I can say that because these journal entries are personal. I'm not being paid by other people to write them.

On that thinly-veiled note it's time for bed once again though. If I can get to sleep with this smell of something burning that just started to drift in through my window...

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