Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week is about a mistake in the kitchen.
About nine years ago I had a surprise party for my parents’ 30th anniversary. As it was planned for St. Patrick’s Day, I planned on making some of the many St. Patrick’s Day foods that my parents had made while I was growing up like corned beef and cabbage, Guinness pie, boxty, brown bread, and scones.
I took the day off before the party and spent it at my friend Kristen’s house cooking. Kristen, Robyn, another friend who helped me plan the party, and I worked all day and into the evening. The cooking went well until we got to the last recipe – the scones.
Making scones is super easy. They only have 6 ingredients. While I mixed the flour and the baking powder, Robyn put the butter in the microwave to soften it. I then added the butter to the flour. After that, the sugar, egg, and milk were added to the bowl. During this time, Robyn and Kristen left the kitchen to deal with Kristen’s kids who were out in the back playing. I stirred and mixed the ingredients and read the next step of the recipe. It said to mix the ingredients well to make a sticky dough and then knead it for about 5 minutes. I looked at the mixture in my bowl and it was a lot more liquidy than doughy. Kristen’s husband Brian came in at that time and I told him my dilemma. He told me to keep stirring and maybe it would thicken.
Awhile later Kristen and Robyn returned and were also concerned about the “dough”. We decided to add a little more flour but it was still pretty wet. Kristen suggested we pour it onto a floured board and just try kneading it. I was skeptical, but did as she said.
It had been a long day and I think Kristen, Brian, and Robyn were done with cooking. They hung out in the kitchen and family room talking and playing with the kids while I “kneaded” the dough. “I don’t know you guys, I don’t think it’s working,” I told them while trying to keep the soup-like liquid from dripping off the side of the cutting board. “Just keep kneading!” they called.
After a few more minutes of running my hands through the slop I knew we had done something wrong. It was late and we decided to call it a night. I cleaned up the scone mess and resigned to just not have scones for the party.
The following morning my parents were tricked into golfing with some friends so they would be out of the house for the day. Robyn stayed over and helped me get ready. Kristen called me early in the day after talking with her mom. Her mom said that if the butter had been too soft or melted the mixture not have turned into a dough. A-ha! About half of the butter that Robyn had softened had actually melted. I didn’t know any better and used it anyways.