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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ode to Muffins

I recently volunteered at my son's kindergarten class. They are going to have a kindergarten celebration where they wanted to provide a meal for all of the parents. The day that I volunteered they wanted me to help make muffins with the kids.....problem is, I am not a baker....but that was only the beginning.
It started out simple enough, an email to ask us to bring some mixing bowls and maybe some measuring cups.
I got into the classroom and the teacher then informed me that since the grade 3's were writing their provincial achievement tests (another post on those shortly) in the staff room we could no longer use the kitchen to bake in. (which they had been using the day before)
We were to use the science room in the classroom, which was home to meal worms, and beetles. Yuck. (they were in cages so it was just more squeemish than actually gross)
We also learned that we only had two bowls and so if we wanted to make more than one batch we would need to wait for one full batch to be completely finished.
My partner (another mom) and I started mixing the ingredients in the bowl. We added the butter and then the sugar, and then looked for something to cream them with. There were no utensils, since we were not in the kitchen! I ran down to the main office to ask for a couple forks and the admin assistant said, "I can not have you go into the staff room as there are children writing an exam. I do have some spoons that you can have." and she passed me some PLASTIC spoons. I looked at them and said, "I can't really cream with plastic." She shrugged.
I went back to the classroom with my spoons.
Both the teacher and the other mom laughed when they saw what I brought back. We attempted to do the best we could with the things that we had. Mashing bananas to mix with a plastic spoon was a laughable sight.
With our incredibly lumpy mixture, we went on to the dry ingredients and saw that we needed another bowl, which we did not have.
I caved and called my husband to bring me my electric stand mixer.
I went out front and waited in the rain for him to take the 10 minutes that it took to get both of our other kids in the van, load the mixer and be my hero.
I ran back into the classroom with all the necessary tools to bake. We cruised through the rest of the instructions, and put little baking cups in the muffin tins.
Poured in the mixture and then headed to the break room by the gym where an extra oven was pre-heating.
We got to the room, and a little girl and he OT were writing the exam at the table. We were shot a look like...can you see we are writing here? We quietly tip-toed in and then put the muffins in.
I went back to the classroom and nursed my hurt hand, which had gotten bruised when the kids switched the mixer to "on" when I was plugging it in.
After the 15 mins, we went back to get our muffins which turned out wonderfully, and the OT said, "please take them out as they are too distracting!" We had 2 more batches to go.
She asked if we could wait until after the test....but we couldnt because the kindergarten class was over before the test would be over.
So two more batches went in, and we felt so bad going in and disturbing the test. (why they did not go to the library I am not sure).
We started to clean up by using the sink, which had horrible water pressure and then lacking paper towels. Finally, the OT came in to apologize for getting in our way and offered us the kitchen sink to clean up.
The muffins turned out wonderfully, and while it was a bit chaotic the kids learned a whole lot.
Lesson of the day - never take your kitchen for granted.


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