domestic incidents


Tom was out cycling. However many mysterious gels and powders he consumes, he is always ravenous when he gets back. So I decided to “surprise” him with some tasty home baking.

I don’t bake very often.

Tom poetically described them as “little piles of cat sick”.

At least my peppers are doing well.

70 responses

  1. My mother has always referred to such incidents as ‘experimental baking’ … tell Tom you were engaged in the worthy pursuit of ‘what happens if’ cookery ;)
    Nice peppers !

    • Because that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
      The better they taste, the worse they SHOULD look – so that only those “in the know” eat them, and greedy-me can enjoy them more -and more of them…

  2. Oh dear……I have to tell you that baking is one of those things that you have to do regularly to get “the feel” of it…..if I haven’t baked in a while, it’s sort of odd…..but if you do it regularly, it’s really quite amazing that you just know when things are right. We have stopped buying packaged baked goods (because true bakeries are few and far between over here – not like there).

    But remember, and I’m sure Tom realizes, it’s the thought that counts! (little piles of cat sick….quite the description)

  3. ‘Never complain and never explain’ so said my grandmother. That’s exactly how they were meant to be! (…right?) I’d bet they still taste good even if they don’t look like the cover of a Martha Stewart magazine. Just crumble them over some ice cream, or bash them to bits & make them into the topping for an apple crisp!

    • My grandmother always said that too! Was it a late Victorian mantra? Exasperating to hear, as much so as being told that ‘it will all end in tears’ – an invariably accurate prediction.

      • Oh yes, we heard ‘it will all end in tears’ quite a bit as well!! (And: ‘waste not, want not’) Not sure of the origins of any of these. I’d agree – they were annoying to hear at the time,.. though now becoming more fun to dispense myself! ;)

  4. Oh thank you! I just had a great big LOL! Especially b/c I have my own little pile of cat sick to deal with on the stairs this morning (putting it off til after coffee). Lovely pepper though!

  5. Kinda looks like the butter/shortening/margarine was too soft to start with. I’ve had this happen before. As long as they didn’t taste like “cat sick” they would be edible.

  6. I can do nothing but laugh and think you are such a faithful and charming Domestic Partner. (I think a tad more flour next time and you’ll be right on).

  7. The “pile of cat sick” comment is wonderful! One of my “experimental” careers was baking. The careen was not a success, but I did learn that cookies made with butter tend to s-p-r-e-a-d and ones made with shortening (or a combination of butter and shortening) do not.. I so enjoy your blog.

  8. Tip – bake one cookie. If it spreads like this, add more flour. Try again. Repeat until it looks “right”. Been here, done this!

  9. I’ve got a recipe for chocolate chip cookies which always mysteriously did this to me – and no one else – till I realized that substituting milk chocolate chips in for dark was putting the fat to flour ratio out of whack. I’m going to go along with everyone else who said 1) the taste is more important and 2) there’s probably a bit too much butter called for in the recipe – I’d add 1/4 cup/60 ml more flour (sorry, not sure what that is in grams).

  10. I’m sure we have all had similar disasters! Your pepper is doing well, I’m growing a plant from a seed that I found and it has twelve tiny fruit on it, hoping for full fruition at some point.

  11. Oh, dear, but too funny. Chocolate chip cookies can be buggers to bake, but I’ll bet Tom ate them anyway. Anne Featonby (above comment) makes a wicked Victoria Sponge that would help to fill Tom’s vast emptiness après biking.

    • LOL! Thanks for the review Candice! Kate – 4 of us (knitters) got together for “Afternoon Tea’ at my place to celebrate the fact that we are all going on a tour to England and Scotland this August……and Candice made lovely chocolate cup cakes in little tea cups with balls of yarn icing and toothpick knitting needles – too adorable LOL!

  12. Wow! And they really do look like little piles of cat sick, and as someone who has had cats all her life, I would know. Hope they tasted good, though.

  13. I made runny no-bake cookies this week and incredibly solid jam. Got to work on that whole appropriate consistency thing! But they were both delicious, so that’s okay.

  14. Look fine to me!!! :-)

    I had a disaster too – all my home-grown parsnips have forked so badly that they look like a bad celeriac – too bad to use so all in the compost.

    Ah well, that’s life……………….

  15. These cookies look exactly like the last ones I made and I bake all the time. I believe my problem was deciding to experiment with rice flour. I agree that it is the thought and taste that count the most, the suggestion to have them crumbled over ice cream is a good one. Your pepper is fantastic and miles ahead of mine which doesn’t even have a single flower yet.

    • Ah, I would disagree – there is an art to cooking but baking is very much a science! You have to get all your ratios and methods right or it goes pear-shaped!

  16. If you like the butter/flour ratio the way it is, chilling the dough (in fridge or freezer, depending on your patience levels) will also help prevent unsightly spread. Cat sick piles… :-)

  17. Those look just like the oatmeal cookies my mother baked every Christmas and I baked after her passing. They tasted great. Now I need to go bake some but it’s so hot I can’t bear to think of turning on the oven.

  18. Actually, pastry cooks will tell you that anyone that has a feel for good food, can cook, but pasty is a real science, because there are actual chemical reactions going on in the oven between the butter, the flour, the brandy, the sugar, and the whatevers that are in whatevever is in the recipe, and if all the temperatures are not just right – well – disaster. As in all things, I expect there is an art and a feel to everything, and the more you get involved with it, the more the world of it opens up. Some of us are bakers, and some of us are knitters. Love the pepper. I kill most plants. Too much or too little water. Just cannot seem to get it right.

  19. Until home cooks can have reliable information on things like how active their baking powder is, the mineral content of the water being used, etc., “feel” is going to matter for the home baker.

    Those look like delicious piles of cat sick to me. :)

  20. Whenever something doesn’t look quite the way I expected, I just change the name, especially in bread baking. Yours looks like chocolate crunchy wafers to me. (And I think they look fine. I’ve seen cookies/biscuits in books that spread thin and crisp just like that, so there!)

  21. I bake all the time and it mostly turns out great, but that exact same thing happens to me every time I try to bake gluten free cookies! Flour keeps them from spreading, you prob needed to add more.

  22. I am laughing and laughing. Unfortunately, I had just shoved a big spoonful of cereal in my mouth the instant before reading “little piles of cat sick,” and I am considering myself lucky that I didn’t spew it all over the computer screen. :)

  23. LOL! I’m sorry to laugh, but not at you, with you I think! At my age I still turn out things that look like that. I blame it on the weather (too humid, rainy, etc.) I call them “dunkers”. Dunk in your coffee, milk, I’ve even tried water. It’s amazing how they soften up. Chocolate chip are the worst and my mother used to make the best ever. She even showed my sis and I how. But alas, they are always hard as bricks. We now think she left something out of the recipe, and of course she’s gone and we can’t wring her neck to get it out of her. Oh yes, I clean “cat sick” up often, but have never tried baking it ;-) Keep trying!

  24. I’ve had this outcome also. I usually stricken it out in the recipe book, and never do that recipe again, Lol!
    I always lower the butter and sugar content in recipes, and have much better success.

  25. If it is any consolation, I bake a lot and sometimes have biscuits turn out similarly. One solution is to get rid of the burnt parts, bash the rest and add to some softened vanilla icecream and refreeze…yum!

  26. this happened to me once…i used the wrong type of sugar. i think i used powdered sugar instead of granulated? but i do remember them being tasty :) and like so many others said, it is the thought that counts :) very sweet:)

  27. It’s the thought that counts, right?
    Delurking to tell you how much I loved the first issue of TextIsles. I didn’t particularly want to knit myself a smock before reading your pattern, but now I think I might have to. I’m looking forward to the next issue – your articles are great. The Shetland lace article in Rowan 50 was also a treat; thank you!

  28. It seems that an awful lot of knitters have companions who bicycle. It makes me wonder…

    And–ha!– just as I typed that sentence, my sweetie called from the other room, “I’m hungry! Must have been the cycling.” Really. Synchronicity.

  29. I’m sure they were tasty little piles of cat sick (or cat barf as we say in Canada)! My husband says he’s sure they were delicious. He is very kind and will eat all of my experimental baking. I have to be gluten- and dairy-free in my baking now, which has led to batches of cookies looking much like yours, and muffins not allowed to be seen in public!

  30. :-D My secret to the successful baking is to follow the recipes from the cookbooks for kids (there are usually a few of them available at the library and all of them are full of sweet easy-to-make things, though now that my daughter is eager to cook I wish they had more savoury dishes)

  31. Hah! You and me, both. My cookies and brownies are horrible. It’s truly sad, when one’s own child begs one to, please!, get store-bought ones. Oddly enough, I can make pies and cobblers that are delicious…and baklava. Can’t explain it.

  32. Maybe you could try the other way around. Next week-end, you should bake chocolate “tiles” biscuit and you will get perfect chocolate cookies. Check the moon first. And the cat too, as he’d better not be anywhere near your kitchen. Now the odds are all on your side.

  33. At my house we have cookies that are called “cow patties.” Despite looking like what the cows have left behind in the field, they are supremely tasty. I just try very hard not to let the children ask for “cow patties” outside the house!

  34. I love your blog as a knitting blog. Imagine my delight, however, when up came the Cinelli logo and the 3T handlebars like my husband’s. I chuckled more about that than the unusual appearance of the “little piles of cat sick” (I bet they tasted good, though).

  35. Your fat rascals were a huge hit at my house – and amongst the 8 year olds that visit for afternoon tea, delicous and such a cool name. I don’t know that “piles of cat sick” will have the same appeal……..

  36. Have had exactly the same problem with my infallible chewy choc chip cookie recipe today. Realised I had used the half a cup measure instead of the full cup measure for the flour, so fat/flour ratio was all out of whack. I was rushing for a cake stall. No good. No good at all.

  37. Frickken hilarious. He’s spot on, they do. I am laughing like a loon.

    I HATE it when the romantic cooking moment turns to crap. …

  38. I’ve just begun reading your blog after seeing the Sheepheid and little flowers hats.

    I love this entry! I make cookies just like that on a warm day. Best bet fix is pop the formed cookies in the fridge (15-30 min) or freezer (10 min max) before baking them – I’ll wait til the dough’s ready to turn on the oven to minimize heating up the house. Of course that may be less of an issue where you are!

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