Flashback Friday – Terms of Probation

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 7/11/08 at Exit 51.

Terms of Probation

Dear Mr. Brown,

You may have read that I placed you on probation earlier this month.  I think it is only fair to inform you of the terms of probation so that you may respond accordingly.

When developing a recipe for a pound cake, shouldn’t the cake be baked in a loaf pan instead of a bundt pan?  It may sound shockingly traditional, but I prefer my pound cake to look a certain way and it does not involve a 10 cup bundt pan.  So is it unreasonable to provide a recipe scaled to make just enough batter for one loaf pan?

While I can certainly attest to the benefits of mis en place, is it really necessary to begin each recipe by saying measure flour into bowl 1, measure sugar into bowl 2, crack eggs into bowl 3, etc?  I imagine that in a professional bakery, one has vastly more counter space, and an industrial sized dishwasher for all those bowls, but c’mon my little kitchen can only accommodate so much.  Not to mention that this makes the recipe look way more complicated and longer than it really is.

Can you please check your baking times?  Really.  I can never get your recipes to even approximate the stated baking times.  I’m pretty sure the laws of thermodynamics are the same in my oven as they are in yours, so why the wild variation?

Can we agree to disagree on the notion of sifting the flour into the bowl AS I’m weighing it?  Just doesn’t work for me.  The scale resets because it takes me too long or because the bowl scoots off it.  If I measure for weight before I sift, aren’t I still using the same amount of flour?

Can you explain how I ended up with hollow cupcakes masquerading as your Butter Cake?  It’s a utter mystery to me.

Your response to these items is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,


8 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Terms of Probation

  1. There’s something kinda…off about Alton. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m still getting used to his “trim” (read: gaunt) new look but I feel like I can’t fully trust a man who insists on a separate bowl for each ingredient.

    1. Wrong Mr. Brown Ali. This is the continuation of my Warren Brown, Cake Love, theme. But hells to the yes, Alton Brown is scary thin these days. Somebody get him a bacon cheeseburger and fries STAT.

        1. No worries Ali. I really should have clarified which Mr. Brown I was referring to, especially when the posts didn’t run back to back. Looks like I could use some ginko too.

    1. Wendi, there’s a whole scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding about the word bundt.  I’ve got a muffin tray where all the cups are shaped like wee bundts (minus the cenyer tube) I really need to find someone who wants it.

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