I had a muffin pan here somewhere…

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m a damn good cook and baker. I can pull off a full Thanksgiving meal for 12 without batting an eye – and without much thought or planning. The kitchen is no big mystery to me. (So it’s doubly funny when I screw up… At least to me!)

I also collect and read cookbooks. Normal people read novels. I read cookbooks. All kinds of ’em. I especially love old cookbooks. The kind that have really archaic instructions (but that’s another post.) I have a few favorite sites for recipes as well, and one of my recent blog discoveries also happens to have seriously cool recipes. I’m in love.

The weather is cool, it’s raining, and it’s perfect for making rolls. I want fresh, hot, fluffy yeast rolls dammit, and I’m gonna make ’em! Rather than dig out the recipe that calls for kneading until your arms fall off and your shoulders start making people suspect you’re on steroids, I turned to my new favorite gal and her no-knead roll recipe.

I gather all the ingredients, toss it all together, easy peasy, and get the dough doing it’s handy little “rest” thing. Meanwhile, I start digging for my muffin pan. I know I have one. Really, I do. But I don’t. I can’t find one anywhere in my kitchen. Nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Then it dawns on me – I left the majority of my cooking/baking gear at my ex’s place when I left, and I’ve only replaced the things I’ve needed. Pots and pans of various sizes? Check. Pie and cake pans? Check and check. Various and sundry baking dishes, cookie sheets, springform pans, etc? Check, check, check. All of the little tools of the trade like whisks, spoons, and a strange assortment of utensils that make non-cooks wonder if I’m cooking or practicing some form of torture? Check-er-roony.

But muffin pans? No check. Negative. Yeah, we already established the muffin-pan-less status of my kitchen.

How in the world am I supposed to tuck my cute little walnut-size balls of perfect dough into a non-existent muffin pan?

Ever the improviser, I simply did free-form clover-leaf buns instead of the neat little muffin pan version, and it worked. It worked like a charm. Bonus? One less dish to wash, and two big baggies of dough for tomorrow.

Oh, the other bonus? The Boy, The Girl and the BF all have a new-found level of lurve for me and my cooking-diva status, those rolls are that good.

PS – here’s a nice cloverleaf… sheesh! In this case – there are four, rather than three, “petals” – probably done by making one big ball that has been slashed in a + shape, then the four points pulled slightly away from the main ball to create the cloverleaf. These also look like they were baked in a pan, but you get the idea. “Free-form” would be the same thing, just baked without the support of the muffin pan – as in, just sitting on a cookie sheet.

Didn’t know you were getting a cooking lesson, didja?