As is to be expected, I've been doing some knitting lately. I've been working on some Christmas knitting, and also on the Live Long and Prosper socks for the Enabler.
The weird thing is, I haven't really been making that much progress, which I realized recently is kind of bad. On one hand, I still have two months until Christmas. On the other hand, there's only two months left until Christmas! Part of my lack of progress is that I was about a third or maybe halfway through one of the gifts and then decided it needed to be a looser gauge so I ripped out and started over with bigger needles. But that didn't really set me back as much as you might think.
No, my problem lately is of a much more insidious nature. My problem is a little thing called Candy Crush.
It is a most addictive game, made worse by the fact that if you link it to your facebook account, you can see how far your friends are in the game and what scores they got, adding an element of competition to what is essentially Bejeweled with cooler special pieces, challenges, and better sound effects. There's also the fact that you can run out of lives, making it impossible to play without stopping, but making it just that more addictive. Ugh. I swear, it's maddening.
So this morning, after I had played for a little while (and run out of lives), I decided I was going to get out of bed and do something productive. I also had a craving for peanut butter and banana and muffins, so a quick search led me to this recipe. There were other recipes that looked better/more interesting, but I chose this one because I had everything that it called for on hand.
While making them I had an off moment where I actually dropped one of my eggs on the floor, something that I've never done before. Thankfully the cats stayed put instead of running over to investigate like usual, so I was able to clean it up without incident.
I had another off moment when mixing together the wet ingredients and smelled something that I can only describe as unpleasant. I had tested most of the ingredients before adding them just to make sure they were still good. The milk was best before tomorrow but it was still totally fine. The bananas had been in the freezer awhile but they smelled like bananas should. The peanut butter was still definitely okay, and the eggs were most certainly not too old. Having confirmed that the usual culprits were all in order, I still couldn't figure out what it was so I continued on. I had a tiny taste of batter before spooning it all into the pan. It didn't taste quite right but sometimes muffin batter doesn't taste that good. Having already made the batter I decided there was no harm in baking them, and the problem would probably fix itself during the baking process.
20 minutes later I had some delicious looking muffins...
But they did not taste delicious. The texture was okay (not amazing), but there was not enough peanut butter or banana flavour for what I was looking for. I'm going to chalk that up to the recipe not having enough peanut butter or banana in it. I'm going to look for one with more of both next time. However, there was still a somewhat rancid aroma and a touch of an unpleasant flavour.
Now, this is somewhat of an anomaly for me. I may not be a great cook, but I do pride myself on being able to turn out some delicious baked goods. I've very successfully made many amazing cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and muffins. Don't get me wrong, I've had a number of baking mishaps. Like the time I nearly added rancid peanut butter to the mix (caught it just in time). The time that I decided to substitute applesauce for ALL of the vegetable oil in a cupcake recipe (the texture was bizarre and we had to throw out the whole batch). The time I had meticulously gathered all of the ingredients for some decadent brownies, and had forgotten to buy flour (I sent the Enabler out to get some and everything turned out fine). I know I'm not infallible in the kitchen, but usually I can pinpoint exactly where I went wrong.
In this case, I'm stumped. The milk and peanut butter were both fine, and yet they still kind of taste like sour milk and rancid peanut butter. The only other thing I can think of is that the oil was bad. There was only two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the recipe, so I used some sunflower oil. I don't bake a lot with vegetable oil, since most of the recipes I make use butter. In desperation I thought to check the date on the oil, and saw it was best before October 2012. Does oil actually go bad? I smelled it and it didn't smell great but I compared it to the smells of the other oils I have (grapeseed and olive), and it was stronger smelling but not exactly rancid smelling.
Now I'm disappointed and hungry. That was going to be my breakfast... and lunch, probably.
I should probably stick to knitting instead.
Well, at least until I get a full set of lives.