Here's what happened to me yesterday. I didn't take any photos, so just create the pictures in your mind. Feel free to add all the messy kitchen components you can conjure up.
For this Friday's neighborhood potluck, I volunteered to bring dessert. About a month ago, I made one of my standbys, lemon-cream cookies. The recipe can be found here, and for purposes of the potluck I usually quadruple the recipe. I have the quadruple measurements written down so I can make it easily.
But last time I made these cookies, they went so fast that people were complaining they couldn't get seconds, so this week I decided to octuple the recipe, not quadruple it. Besides, we have new neighbors, and I wanted a few extra cookies to give them as a welcome gift.
Because this is a busy week, I made the cookies a couple days ago and put them in a sealed container to keep them fresh. Yesterday I decided to make the lemon cream filling that gets sandwiched between the cookies. But unlike the cookie recipe, I didn't have the quadrupled icing recipe written down, and of course this time I was octupling it. But no biggee, right? Just multiply everything by eight.
Which works great, unless you mistake teaspoons for tablespoons and multiply accordingly.
That's what happened when I was supposed to take four and a half teaspoons of lemon juice and multiply it by eight. Instead, I took four and a half tablespoons and multiplied. Suddenly, to the correct amount of butter and powdered sugar I had creamed together, I added a massive amount of lemon juice (two and a quarter cups).
So I'm standing there, staring blankly at this soupy mess of butter, sugar, and lemon juice, wondering what the heck I did wrong. It took me a few minutes to realize the teaspoon/tablespoon conundrum. Nuts.
I had two choices: I could either chuck the entire mess (wasting all the components), or I could multiply the butter and powdered sugar and add them to the soup. Since I had enough butter and sugar on hand, that's what I did. Now, instead of octupling the icing recipe, I was twenty-fourth-ing it.
Powdered sugar poofed up and coated everything in the kitchen as I kept transitioning to bigger and bigger bowls. Finally I abandoned bowls altogether and put everything into a three-gallon canning pot. Of course it was also too massive a job for my little hand mixer to tackle, so I grunted my way through mixing by using my biggest wooden spoon.
The result is, literally, gallons of lemon cream filling.
Fortunately it freezes well.