Pummy Yummy YUCK!

We all know I love pumpkin EVERYTHING. The craving usually starts in September and thankfully its growing popularity makes it easier to find even earlier each year. The looming forecast of snow had me planning a menu full of comfort foods and that meant pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Yes, I know it's March but I also know my family loves them and I hadn't made them in awhile. I whipped up a batch of the super-easy recipe and put them in the oven. I decided to make extra so I could send some along with the meal I was preparing for another family. I don't want to brag but...people have raved about my pumpkin muffins so I figured why not make extra?!

I admit I sampled one of the mini muffins and my daughter sampled about 4 of them and had the chocolate evidence all over her face. When it came time for breakfast this morning, I knew the perfect treat for our lazy snow day would be my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins so I filled up a plate and took them to my kiddos.

I took one bite of the full size muffins and...YUCK! I immediately knew there was a problem. I crunched down on something at the same time my teeth sank straight through what seemed like a liquid mess. I quickly examined the rest of my muffin only to realize the middle wasn't cooked. It was  a mushy muffin indeed but the worst part was there were chunks of unmixed batter that hadn't baked.

It's quite a disappointment to know I screwed this up especially when I have made this recipe countless times before. It's almost fail-proof - or so I thought. But not this time. I hadn't mixed the batter well enough, apparently, and I certainly didn't cook the big muffins long enough. Now I had pummy yucky muffins. Thank GOODNESS I hadn't served these along with the meal I was preparing!

The reality is kitchen failures are not that uncommon for me. I can cook - and I do, sometimes - but it's not something I truly enjoy. I've never been a culinary wiz and while I get bursts of inspiration and go all gung-ho in the kitchen, it's a stretch for me to say I enjoy baking or cooking or making things. So these muffins are my go-to. They're the thing I know I can't screw up. And yet somehow I managed to screw them up.

You'd never know just looking at them. The outsides and tops baked seemingly perfectly. But the inside, as we now know, turned out to be a disaster. We can put on a nice exterior just like the deception of my scrumptious looking muffins only to be hiding our unbaked, unmixed mushy mess beneath the surface.

I'm notorious for jumping the gun, jumping in, and in this case it proved to be the ruin of my muffins. They needed more time to bake. I should have checked them first. But I was busy doing other things in the kitchen and I mistakenly missed necessary steps to make sure these turned out correctly.

This time it was the pumpkin muffins but any other time it could be a life lesson of slowing down, following all the directions completely, and not be distracted by too many other things. It's also a reminder that what lies beneath doesn't always match the pretty exterior. I assure you, I'd rather be eating pumpkin chocolate chip muffins than pausing to reflect on life lessons that I still haven't gotten the hang of but I certainly don't want another bite of unmixed, half-baked muffins so I'm going to take some notes and hope I learn a lesson or two!


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