Of Flaming Ovens & Paula Deen

When the mood strikes I occasionally like to pretend I’m Paula Deen and dress up in a collared shirt, lay on the thick(er) Southern drawl and cook up a little storm in our kitchen…and by “cook up a little storm” I literally mean become a human baking cloud and rain down flour all over my clothing, floor and iPad recipe app while attempting to concoct something edible.

Sometimes I get really lucky and produce pure homemade deliciousness…and sometimes I get really creative and turn what would be a seemingly simple endeavor, like brownies-from-a-box, into a big glob of brownie-colored cement.

Yuck! How does that even happen?

Basic math, my friends.

Box + Directions on Back = Brownies
Box + Directions On Back + Danielle = Cement

Now you know.*

Anyway, despite the occasional failures, I still love to cook when I have a chance and, in order to avoid eating an entire pan of baked goodness by myself, I also like to pawn my baked goods out on my classmates. I haven’t made it home with any leftovers this clerkship, so I guess either the food has been edible or they’ve been loading up their pockets with crumpled muffins to to make both their dog and I obliviously happy, who knows?

I’m also the only girl on this rotation, though…so make of that what you will.

Blueberry MuffinsThis past week I was planning a fail-proof breakfast treat – Blueberry Muffins. They always turn out good and this time proved out to be no exception…oh, except for that part where I almost burned my house down in a fiery display of baking glory.

You didn’t think this was going to be a blog about my awesome baking skills did you?

Oh no, this is a blog about my questionable decision-making processes.

When the little oven timer dinged I reached into the oven with my right hand mitted in a red glove to grab the muffin pan and I swear the thing weighed thirty thousand pounds.

Naturally, my first instinct was to grab the other side of the muffin tin to stabilize it.

Unfortunately, the other hand was naked, so stabilizing the pan like that would have required some serious juggling skills if I wanted to do so while concurrently avoiding a visit to the ER.

So, here I am left with the problem of a thirty thousand pound muffin pan being supported by only a poor grip on greasy metal by my right hand…which happens to be attached to my haven’t-worked-out-in-twenty-years right arm.

As I watched the pan tip the only thing going through my brain was muffin-saving in nature. I watched as two little muffins, outfitted in lovely birthday balloon paper liners, tumbled into the bottom of the oven. Still, in that moment, all I could think of was curse words the fact that I’d just paid for fresh blueberries out of season to make muffins and now 10 of the 12 that hadn’t leapt to their death in the bottom of an oven were about to plop onto the floor in a pile of steaming, blueberry mess.

As I preoccupied myself with thoughts of losing my muffins the base of my oven literally ignited into a ball of flaming pastry and birthday balloon liner. I didn’t have a time to snap a picture for y’all…’cuz I was busy trying to prevent my house from burning down and all…so here’s my artistic interpretation:


Luckily the initial fire put itself out once a majority of the muffin and liner had been charred into the bottom of our oven. Even better than that, though – I managed to save 83% of my work and get the muffins to my friends the next day without a late-night trip to the ER for palmar erythema secondary to muffin-tin grabbing.

Good thing my husband was already asleep for that one.

Burnt To A Crisp

Charred Muffin & Liner

*That pan of taffy-mud-cement hybrid was actually the product of an attempt to make boxed brownies despite discovering we had no eggs. Major fail.