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Flour, Butter, and Eggs

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Birthday cake

So, it's been a really shitty year, and Emma decides that she should make Mary Margaret a birthday cake. She's not stupid -- she's not going to try to bake a lavender cake with candied lavender decorations and lacework frosting. It's a yellow cake, from a box, with chocolate frosting, from a can. Not that hard.

Except then she decides that she's going to be a little more elaborate. After all, it's been a really shitty year, and that calls for chocolate. So she looks online and finds an idiot proof chocolate cake recipe that has chocolate frosting. And, okay, the boiling water is a little daunting, but she can do that. She is capable of boiling water, thank you very much.

Except, okay, flour is kind of poofy and eggs get little shells in them and then suddenly you have less than one egg when you need two. Ooops.

Still, she perseveres.

When Ruby comes home, Emma's sitting on the floor, leaning back against the cabinets. The cake -- well, what should be the cake -- is on the counter. It looks like a little cracked volcano. Unfortunately, this isn't her third grade science project, and homemade volcanoes aren't going to get her anything good.

Ruby goes into her room and comes out with a bottle of red wine. The label has a line drawing of a running wolf, and they don't even get glasses from the cabinet. They pass the bottle back and forth, and when Mary Margaret gets home from the spa (Ruby and Emma chipped in for a spa day), she doesn't even comment on the mess (although she does grab glasses along with the second bottle).

When they wake up the next day, Ruby's on the couch, Emma's on the living room floor, and Mary Margaret is half on and half off the recliner. They each pretend not to be awake -- the unspoken rule is that the first up has to deal with the kitchen -- until the need to pee overcomes Emma's sloth and she levers herself off of the floor.

Ruby makes the best post-hangover breakfast, even if they all feel super queasy when they first smell the frying eggs.

Cookies

It's a tube of dough that comes from the refrigerated section of the supermarket.

Emma counts them as a win.

Pie

Mary Margaret makes really, really delicious pie crusts. They're light and fluffy and buttery, and Emma is astounded by how much butter disappears into that lovely flour-y concoction.

Ruby makes the filling. It's mixed berries and there's a splash of wine to bring out the blueberries' flavor and and just enough sugar to sweeten them without being overwhelming.

Emma pours the filling into the prepared crust. It's a critical step, as Mary Margaret and Ruby both assure her, and she does it with glee, licking the remnants of the berry juice off her fingers and then pretending to be a monster and lurching around the kitchen with her red-stained fingers, grrring and giggling.

They don't even bother to cut it: three forks and a pile of napkins make for three happy women.

Sweet potato rolls

Traditionally (if by tradition you mean it's what they did last year) Emma's in charge of the rolls. Last year she was stuck in the middle of a case and picked up a dozen from Hekate's Bakery.

Really, she blames this all on Paula Deen. If she hadn't made it look so easy, Emma would have done the same thing again. No reason not to, and the rolls were delicious. But, no, Paula Deen made these pretty, pretty biscuits with sweet potatoes and Ruby loves sweet potatoes and Emma was going to do this.

In the meantime, there's some sort of concoction in a bag that the turkey's been soaking in, and strange vegetables have been appearing in the refrigerator for a week.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Emma makes a list. Then she double checks it and doubles the ingredients just in case. She goes to the store, comes home with an absurd number of bags, and assembles her ingredients, little soldiers all in a row on the counter.

She knows better than to wait to Thursday, so Wednesday night she gets home, rolls up her sleeves, and gets to work.

She ends up with hockey pucks. Pretty orange hockey pucks, but hockey pucks nonetheless. When Mary Margaret comes home, she and Ruby are playing air hockey on the counter (it's possible they were well into a bottle of tequila via a pitcher of margaritas, but they'll never tell). They all end up laughing so hard that they're crying, and then Emma starts hiccuping and Mary Margaret can't breath and Ruby grabs her camera.

They swear that the resultant pictures will never see the light of day. But one of them becomes Mary Margaret's computer desktop and Ruby prints out one to give to her granny and Emma puts one on her bedside table.

Brownies

It makes no sense, but Emma makes really awesome brownies. She has systematically burnt, broiled, or otherwise mucked up anything she tried to cook, but her brownies are orgasmic.

At least, that what Ruby calls them when she has a really annoying day. She stomps home, slams the door, and demands chocolate orgasms. Mary Margaret puts on classic rock and orders pizza, and Emma pulls out the Irish Cream, a lot of butter, and really, really good cocoa.

Three hours later they're all on the couch together in their various versions of comfy pjs -- sweatpants and a tank (Emma), a silky red and black set (Ruby), and flannel pj pants with a tshirt (Mary Margaret) -- covered with a quilt from Ruby's gran. A ridiculous movie with lots of explosions is on the television, and the plate of bitesized brownies is gradually disappearing.