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I think I channelled Holly Homemaker this weekend…and she left, terrified. Maybe I was just inspired by all the trashy “reality” cooking TV shows that have been on this summer, or maybe it was because it was finally cool enough to bake in the evening and open the windows up to cool the house down. In any event, on Saturday, in addition to changing beds, cleaning the house, getting groceries, doing 2 loads of laundry (which did make it to the clothes line), cooking, dishes, and playing with my new stamp set, I baked a dozen blueberry muffins from scratch (fresh blueberries – yum!) The muffins must have been good because they were gone Sunday afternoon…ok, our new neighbours moved in and we took half of them over and introduced ourselves. But they were good.

On to the next project…there’s been a lot of talk in the media about the possibility of food shortages this winter since so many areas have been affected by a hot, dry summer. So I decided to make coleslaw that I can freeze in small containers. I like to pull it out in the winter and remember summer. So I pulled out my Grandmother’s food processor and her recipe. I got it all put together and it wouldn’t work. Usually when I’m channelling Holly Homemaker, Hubby stays far, far away…however he came to my rescue and got it going! I chopped up a whole head of cabbage, two carrots, an onion and a green pepper, only to discover that I now had enough for 2 batches (10 cups). The mixture has to sit with some salt for an hour so I started the dressing… I only had a quarter of the vinegar needed…It seems nearly every time I bake, I run out of something. Fortunately I had had the foresight to stock up on vinegar (or else it had been on sale when I was channelling Holly Homemaker previously).

By 7:00 p.m., I had washed 5 large sinkfulls of dishes (not including all the food processor pieces) and I was starting to curse Holly Homemaker under my breath. She always shows up with lots of enthusiasm, but inevitably leaves me before the projects are done. I held on to her as tightly as I could so that, while the cabbage marinated and the dressing cooled, I could bake some apple-cinnamon muffins.

The muffins required buttermilk. I have never purchased buttermilk in my life…soured milk was the best I could do! Then I measured out 1 tsp. of baking soda and baking powder…only to re-read the recipe and notice that it only takes baking powder. I hadn’t mixed it with the flour yet, so I was able to scoop it out and guesstimate how much baking powder and flour to put back in! At this point, the flappy pieces of cabbage still scattered on the floor overtook my patience and I had to stop and sweep them up. I love running around in my bare feet, and I hate crunchy or squishy things underfoot.

I mixed the wet and dry ingredients for my muffins, but the consistency was all wrong…what was I missing? I put in a ¾ cup of flour…oh wait, it was supposed to be 1 cup of flour and ¾ cup of sugar…did I put the sugar in? I could sense Holly Homemaker in the background now, giving me a “talk to the hand” kind of gesture. She wasn’t going to help me now and I should have let her go after I finished the dressing for the coleslaw…The muffin cups were supposed to be medium but they looked smaller, especially after the unappetizing batter overflowed them – that was going to be a problem later on. I sprinkled lots of sugar and cinnamon over the top…maybe that would disguise any flavour flaws or lousy looks?

Holly and I swept the kitchen floor one more time (this time the flour was the irritation), and tackled one more pile of dishes before I was too tired to do any more. Holly Homemaker fled in tears. I imagine it will be a long time before she visits again…and I certainly hope so. I’m exhausted!