In my daily life, I try to be a good person. I hope that each day I am able to find compassion, empathy, and patience for myself and those around me. I’ll be honest, some days that is hard to do. And being even more honest, some days I know it is hard for others to find compassion, empathy, or patience for me…especially those that spend the workday with me. Because I’ve become the person in the office who avoids changing the bottle in the water cooler.
Not that this excuses my offense but why can’t companies make smaller cooler bottles? I’m no featherweight but hoisting a 5 gallon bottle of water from the floor to the counter and then tipping it into the cooler is a workout. Water weighs a lot…just ask the Google. You’ll see that a gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds. Fractions bother me so I’m going to just round down to 8 pounds per gallon. That means the standard 5 gallon bottle of water that comes off the truck at our office every month has a water weight of 40 pounds right off the bat. The plastic bottle itself is nearly 2 pounds. And I know this because I just ran upstairs with the office postal scale and weighed an empty water bottle.
So, 42 pounds. Even if I remember to lift with my legs and not my back, that’s a lot of pounds to lift, move, maneuver, and pray the whole time that I don’t end up soaking wet. Would it really be so difficult to roll out a line of 2.5 or 3 gallon cooler bottles? We can send people into outer space. We have technology that allows us to talk on wireless phones. We have fiber optic lines thinner than strands of human hair. But we have antiquated water cooler bottles.
Is it possible that I use baked goods to atone for my water cooler sins? Could be. Maybe if I bring in a batch of cranberry orange muffins I can buy another few weeks of my coworkers turning a blind eye to my water cooler crimes.
Cranberry Orange Muffin
Adapted from Cooking Light
BAH Note: CL said to bake for 15 minutes at 400. I don’t know what kind of crazy nuclear oven they have but after 15 minutes at 380 degrees (convection) in my Advantium oven, the muffins were nowhere near done. I gave them another 7 minutes before my tester came out clean. I used a combination of all purpose and white whole wheat flour, along with some wheat bran but you can easily use only all purpose flour…you’ll want two cups total. Oh, and you can also sprinkle a wee bit more sugar on the tops of the muffins right before you slide them into the oven. And while you’re at it, go ahead and zest the orange(s) that you juiced and mix that into the batter. I thought it needed an extra bit of zip.
- 1 ounce wheat bran (optional)
- 3.5 ounces white wheat flour (if omitting the wheat bran, increase to 4.5 ounces, or roughly one cup)
- 4.5 ounces all purpose flour (one cup)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees and line 18 muffin cups with liners.
Combine the flour(s), wheat bran (if using), sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl.
In a second bowl, or large measuring cup, add the oil, juice, and egg and stir to combine.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until the liquid is just incorporated into a lumpy batter. Fold in the cranberries and spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when you press them lightly and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before turning the muffins out to cool completely.