Ok… time for the first installment of co-teacher stupidity!
“The Cup Cake or Muffin?? Cooking Incident.”
So most of us know the difference in cup cakes and muffins… even those who don’t cook much. Cup cakes are lighter and more like cake, hence the name Cup Cakes…. and muffins are heavier and a bit more dense. Apparently not my 40 year old korean co-teacher though. She will be named “K” from here on out. Cooking class in one of the few things I’m supposed to let “K” teach… not because I can’t cook or anything, just because the director decided to let her teach it. We normally cook every Thursday as long as there’s no field trip planned.
Well one week I came to K, not knowing if she had any plans for cooking class, and told her “hey, I don’t know if you have cooking plans for tomorrow, but if not there’s Pancake mix back there, so we could always just do that.” K- “Oh, yes… we’re going to make muffins.” Followed by…”Can we use the Pancake mix to make muffins?” Me-(puzzled look) “Uh, no…. Pancake mix won’t rise. You can make the batter from scratch though, it’s not hard. Or you can just use Cake mix…. but if you do that you’re making Cup Cakes.” K-“What’s the difference in Cup cakes and Muffins?” Me-(really, wtf?!?!) “Uh, Cup cakes are light and like mini cakes, muffins are heavier and a bit denser… but they still have to rise.” K-(smiling and nodding) “Oh, ok.” (Thinking things are clear now)
Later that day in the cooking area, myself and another coworker (M) are talking when K comes in and starts taking inventory of the cooking supplies. I’ve already informed “M” about the earlier… Cup cake VS Muffin questions… and the Pancake mix question. K says something to another korean TA, in korean thinking myself and “M” won’t understand (while neither of us speak the language fluently we can understand quite a bit). “M” opens up and says “no” in response… K (a bit surprised) “you understood that?” K, then picks up Pizza Dough mix and asks “M” if that would work for making muffins. “M” gives her practically the same response I did earlier about the Pancake mix, and also tells her about the Cake mix… but that then those are Cup cakes. Again… K smiles and nods and says ok.
THE NEXT DAY…. COOKING CLASS… K, has everything set and ready to go. I bring the kids in and class begins. Well since I’m not actually teaching I don’t always pay attention to what K is doing… figuring she’s an adult and can read simple directions. Well she’s having the kids “make it snow” with what I figured was just flour… figuring she’s just decided to make the batter from scratch. She’s then adding other ingredients, according to the directions she’s printed off. Mixing the batter she asks me if it’s supposed to be so sweet. I tried it and told her it was a little sweet but that’s ok… when they cook they become denser and loose some of the sweetness. Smiling she continues on… having the kids add fruit to their “muffins” according to the directions. She then pops them in the oven with class being done and it lunch time for the kids. Not even 10 mins later I smell something burning, and another teacher informs me stuff is burning… I ran back to the kitchen and pull the oven open to find our “muffins” burning. K-then comes and joins me asking “What, happened?? I followed the directions and set the oven to the exact temp” she states. Me- “… I’m not sure… maybe because it’s a confectioner over.” Then looking at the “muffins” closer… Me- “But they’re cooked on the outside, but not inside.. so that means the oven is too high.” Checking all the settings again. I sat back in the kitchen trying to figure out what happened when I noticed a Cake mix box in the trash… suddenly I realized what she did. She hadn’t had the kids shifting flour… no it was Cake mix… just then she was also adding in more ingredients like sugar… that’s why it was too sweet. Also, she set the oven to the “Muffin” directions she’d printed out… not to the Cake mix directions. That’s why the oven was too hot and the outside of the “Cup cakes” was cooked but not the middle. K then came back into the room and I proceeded to question her on wether she just used the mix or she made the batter from scratch. K-“Oh, I just used the mix, there wasn’t enough stuff to make batter from scratch.” Me- (being as nice as possible at this point) “Ok, well since you used the Cake mix you have to set the oven according to the Cake mix box… and these aren’t “Muffins” then… they’re “Cup cakes,” and you didn’t have to add anything except some water and a few eggs to make the batter… that’s why it was too sweet.” I then told her “You didn’t actually follow any of these muffin directions except the part where you add fruit… and how hot to set the oven.” K- smiling and nodding again “Oh, ok” apparently still oblivious as to how dumb she had been. I also took the time to explain the difference in cooking temps and time… she still continued to smile and nod. That was the closest I came to actually physically shaking her and telling her to stop smiling and nodding if she didn’t actually understand.
I then left not only the room but the entire school and went outside and literally started yelling at no one in particular in order to vent my frustration. “M” saw me and knowing what was going on asked what the final verdict was. I explained what had just transpired and her only response was “retarded woman.”
Sadly, I still have to let K teach the cooking class…. she’s stayed away from baking things for the most part… except cookies just last week. I now keep a much closer eye on her cooking and what she is actually doing, and have prevented several other “mishaps.”