My mother died recently in Mexico. A life changer. Especially for my 91 year old father. He has begged to go back to his condo and we, his daughters, finally agreed to find a plan to make it work.
His first day alone – he baked cookies!
Yes, my love of baking runs deep. Dad used to make dinner rolls and sweet rolls for Christmas and Easter. And he would ask me to make oatmeal raisin cookies with walnuts when he had meetings to attend. What is a meeting without an oatmeal cookie?
But his baking skills have sadly become as confused as his conversations. When the appointed sister visited he showed her a plate of baked items made from shredded wheat and prunes. No flour, sugar or butter.
In solidarity, I wanted to bake something tasty from a cereal. I remembered a bran muffin that Mom used to make. You could make up the batter and keep it in the fridge for up to six weeks. Then each day you could scoop out batter for 6 or 12 muffins, as needed. Fresh muffins out of the oven in minutes.
Sure enough, I found a recipe and when I dug through my cupboards, I found the dried worm-like bran cereal pushed to the back. As I prepared to dump it into my food processor, I caught a whiff that said “wait.” I turned the cereal box over looking for a “use-by” date. First I noted the words “recycled cardboard” which I hoped were referring to the packaging, but I wasn’t certain. When I finally found the expiration date, I discovered the cereal was four years too late. Years, not months. That explained the smell. My mother would have laughed at me. I was always urging her to get rid of out-of-date food, something she had in abundance.
So no recipe today and no muffins for me. I think I need to spring clean my cupboards.