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The Great Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Debacle.

2004-04-27 - 10:48 a.m.

While I was finishing up grad school I had the great fortune to share a place with my good friend Diane, who was the Best Roommate Ever. I was spending long nights in the lab and she, bless her heart, took it upon herself to keep me fed. I would come home at 4:00 am and there would be a plate of dinner carefully wrapped and waiting in the fridge to be microwaved. She was also a mighty baker of quickbreads and muffins for snacks and breakfasts.

I wanted to reciprocate and the best way I could think of was to make her a batch of my favourite muffins and I had everything I needed but the chocolate chips. The problem was, during the hours grocery stores are open I was either sleeping or working on my thesis. Diane did all the grocery shopping and I gave her money to cover my part. I asked if she’d mind picking up the chocolate chips and I’d give her the extra cash to cover them. I had, I assured her, the best muffin recipe ever, pumpkin chocolate chip, and I wanted to make her a batch.

I could have sworn she’d agreed to get the chocolate chips. Yet, week after week, I’d ask and she’d claim that she’d forgotten to pick them up. Finally, one day, she couldn’t contain herself any longer, and my latest innocent disappointment at not being able to share these wonderful muffins with her was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I have chocolate chips!” she shrieked.

“What?” I blinked at her, completely uncomprehending.

“I have chocolate chips! They’re in the cupboard,” she reiterated.

“You mean you’ve had them the whole time?”

“Yes!”

“The whole time I’ve been asking you to get me some?” I tried to clarify.

“Yes! I couldn’t bear the thought of using up chocolate chips by mixing them with pumpkin. But here! Make your damn muffins! I give in!”

Poor Diane. She is such a sweet, helpful, honest person by nature and the guilt had been eating away at her. Yet she’s also a great cook and it broke her heart to think of what she was sure would be wasting her precious chocolate on a horrid-sounding recipe. I’d never noticed anything shifty when I’d been asking her to pick up the chocolate chips but I bet if it had actually occurred to me to look closely at her face I would have seen something was amiss.

Undaunted by her obvious distress though, I made the muffins. The best revenge? The sheepish look on her face when she asked me for the recipe. And today, they are a favourite of many of her friends and family.

Tune in tomorrow when I might share the recipe... if I’m feeling generous.

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