To Catch A Thief

I decided to do something that I knew very little about and had no talent for. I decided to bake some muffins. That was more that 30 years ago when I was going to university and living with my flatmate, Mary Jane. I had a recipe so I just jumped right in – without verifying whether or not I had all the required ingredients. Things were going pretty well until I got to the part of the recipe that said “add raisins to the batter”. Raisins? I looked through our cupboards but didn’t see any raisins. What could I do? I could have just left them out, but since the recipe was for “raisin muffins” I thought they might be important, but I didn’t want to get in the car and go to the supermarket in the middle of my baking session.

Then I had a great idea. Mary Jane ate a cereal every morning that contained raisins. Surely she wouldn’t mind if I “borrowed” a few. I emptied her box of cereal into a large bowl and carefully removed the raisins. Of course, I only took the amount that I needed for the recipe, which turned out to be pretty much all of them. Then I poured the cereal back into its box and returned it to its place in the cupboard. I was sure she wouldn’t even notice. I finished my muffins and all was well, they were even edible.

The next morning at the breakfast table, I kept an eye on Mary Jane as she pulled her cereal box from the cupboard and poured it into her bowl. She frowned as she looked into the bowl, and stirred the cereal around with her spoon. Well, maybe she had noticed but I was keeping quiet for the moment. Then she peered into the box and started to shake it.muffin tin

She said in surprise, “There are no raisins in here.”

Straight-faced I respond, “Oh, are there supposed to be?”

She continued, “I’m going to take this box back and complain.”

Then I burst into laughter and confessed my crime. For some reason, Mary Jane didn’t find it quite as funny as I did, but she was a good sport and didn’t get too angry with me. I still think of this when I see cereal with raisins.

cereal girl éI have to admit that I still don’t bake and I cook only when necessary. A few years ago Jeff and I tried to turn on our oven and it didn’t work. The repairman came out and asked me if it had been working previously. When I answered that it was the first time I had tried to turn it on, he said, “Oh, you’ve just moved in then?” A bit embarrassed, I admitted that we had lived in the flat for 5 years and had just never turned on the oven.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Mary Jane.

Sorry about the raisins  🙂

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Margo Lestz
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  1. Thank you for the dedication. Your raisin story has become more hilarious over the years and you tell it so well! You may have the raisins out of my cereal any time you want to make raisin muffins. I remember our time together so fondly, even the hard times. Bless you many times over!

    1. Oh, you are still so sweet. Rest assured that your raisins are safe, as I have no future muffin-making plans. I find that food tastes so much better when made by someone else. Hope all is going well for you. Sending you a big hug and kiss!

  2. Great story- I just discovered it from your link with today’s new kitchen tale… loved them both!
    This one made me think back, when I was dating the young man I would marry. Like you, I decided to bake, but instead of following your (more clever) method, I substituted a little too freely. I admit now, it was awful. My pride was wounded, but what was worse was my brothers telling my boyfriend, “You’re not married yet, so you aren’t obligated to like this stuff!”
    Thanks for the smiles once again! And, Best of Luck with the upcoming move!

    1. Thanks for also sharing your culinary disaster. Unfortunately for me, my cooking/baking skills never improved, but luckily, I married a man who likes to cook. Thanks for the good wishes on moving day. I am a bit tense, but I am sure it will be OK.

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