April 11, 2014

[friday]: Muffin tins aren't just for muffins


---- — There are potlucks, and then there are potlucks.

Regular potlucks, they’re like a white elephant gift exchange. Mom makes the food that the kids don’t like to eat and shares it with everybody with grown-up taste buds. Or, take me. I make a casserole out of imitation crab meat. There’s even plastic crab legs sticking out of the top. It screams “help me! I’m being cooked aliiiiive!”

Maybe I exaggerate. But that’s kids’ play compared to the soup potluck I just went to this week.

First of all, it’s all soup. You know it’s a potluck when it’s for a specific category. It’s like the difference between “a ball game” and “a Final Four basketball matchup.” If somebody’s just going to watch a ball game, it’s probably permissible to interrupt briefly to ask an important question — say, whether somebody turned off the oven after dinner.

If it’s a big matchup, however, you’d best not interrupt. The house could burn down and it would be a better fate than that which awaits the interrupter.

If this potluck were a sports game, it would be a Final Four showdown between the Potatoes and the Chilis, to be followed by the Ham and Beans against the Cheesy Broccolis. (I’m rooting for the Cheesy Broccolis.) And instead of pompoms and giant foam hands, everybody would bring…

Muffin tins.

Here’s the deal. You can’t just sample the chili and miss out on the delicious flavor of the ham and bean soup. And heaven forbid you forget to taste the cheesy broccoli soup. Not to mention the goulash and the gumbo.

You need six bowls.

I was never a waitress. If I attempted to carry six bowls of soup all at once, I’d be stuck with a $5,000 carpet cleaning bill and a $300 dry-cleaning ticket. I’m talented.

So until moving here, I thought I’d always have to content myself with one of the myriad tantalizing options at a soup potluck. I know better now.

You serve yourself as many kinds of soup as there are cups in your muffin tin.

It’s brilliant. Genius, even. It makes me want to go buy 18 muffin tins.

Not that I can carry that many. Remember that carpet cleaning bill?

Sarah Einselen

Friday columnist / Found a new use for muffin tins