• Published 14th Nov 2016
  • 3,179 Views, 363 Comments

Canterlot Cooking Calamity! - MythrilMoth

CHS holds a fundraiser bake sale and cooking contest.

  • ...

Baking Goods!

Author's Note:

The next few chapters each cover the period of time leading up to the cookoff and bake sale, focusing on different groups of characters.

Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack met up at Applejack's house after school to make a plan and a budget for the bake sale.

"Okay, Ah talked t' th' Principal jes' t' be sure," Applejack said as she sharpened a pencil. "If'n we make sure an' keep our receipts, we git reimbursed half'a whut we spend on ingredients. Us three pitchin' in together equal shares, we can probably go...ah dunno, fifty each? An' with th' apples fer mah part comin' right off our farm an' th' eggs fer all our stuff too, that cuts down on a lot..."

"Yeah, if we hit the right stores, we can really clean up," Pinkie agreed.

"We'll need to price shop before we commit to buying," Fluttershy pointed out. "Flour may be cheaper at one store, sugar at another, milk someplace else."

"Good call," Applejack agreed. "An' we gotta work on a timetable fer all this. Ah mean, we can bake up a storm, but we only got so many ovens, an' we want everything fresh as possible fer th' bake sale."

"And it starts at ten in the morning," Fluttershy said with a frown. "That's not exactly the best planning on the school's part."

"Yeah, if we wanna bring in fresh-baked goodies, we'll hafta be up baking most of the night that Friday," Pinkie said. She gasped. "I know! We can have an all-night baking party!"

"Problem is, we're gonna hafta split th' load between your place an' my place," Applejack said. "Ah'm gonna be usin' Granny's special pie oven and our regular oven."

"Yeah, we've only got one oven at my place," Pinkie said. "I'm pretty good at multitasking when I bake, though. You have to be when you do as much baking as I do."

"We didn't really think this going in as a group thing out very well," Fluttershy said with a sigh. "Basically it's going to be me and Pinkie working in one kitchen and Applejack working alone in another."

They sat in contemplative silence for a long moment.

"Maybe not," Pinkie said suddenly.

"What do you mean?" Fluttershy asked.

Pinkie stood up. "Let's go," she said. "Fluttershy, you drive."

* * * * *

Fifteen minutes later, Fluttershy's van pulled into the parking lot of Las Galletas Hermanas. "Okay, here we are," Fluttershy said as she killed the engine. "Umm, why are we here?"

Pinkie got out. "Follow my lead," she said. "Keep quiet."

Applejack and Fluttershy exchanged a confused shrug as they followed Pinkie into the store. There weren't many customers at this hour; as soon as the door opened, the sweet smell of cookies overpowered the girls. Pinkie walked up to the counter, where a young woman stood wearing a yellow shirt and a sunny smile.

"What can I get you today?" the woman asked.

"Oatmeal Raisin," Pinkie said.

The woman nodded and picked up a pair of plastic tongs, reaching into a display case full of cookies next to the counter. Pinkie groaned and slapped her hand. "No! I need to speak to Oatmeal Raisin," she clarified.

"Oh," the woman said. She frowned nervously. "One second." She swung the microphone mounted to the counter around and leaned into it. "Manager assistance requested at the counter," she said. Straightening up, she addressed Pinkie. "She'll be with you shortly."

"Thank you," Pinkie said. After a pause, she added, "Actually, we'll take six of the oatmeal raisin while we wait."

The cashier filled a paper tray with six cookies and handed it to Pinkie, who produced a wad of money from her skirt, then led her friends over to a quiet corner table.

"Alright, whut're you up to, Pinkie Pie?" Applejack asked as she took a cookie.

"Solving our kitchen problem, I hope," Pinkie said as she took a bite of cookie. "Mmm, these are good."

"Thank you," a woman's deep, soft voice said from just above them.

Fluttershy let out a startled squeak. Applejack raised an eyebrow.

A woman wearing khaki pants and a yellow polo shirt stood beside the table. She couldn't be more than perhaps fifty; her brown face was faintly lined with wrinkles, and her short, curly hair was dark. She wore rimless glasses which had left deep furrows in the bridge of her nose. Her face was placid, devoid of expression. "May I help you?" she asked softly.

Pinkie looked up at her, an uncharacteristic serious expression on her face. "I've reconsidered," she said quietly. "I'm in. Twelve dozen a week for twelve weeks. One condition."

Oatmeal Raisin's expression didn't change. She didn't say anything.

"Next Friday and Saturday night, unlimited access to the kitchen for me and my friends."

Oatmeal Raisin's lip twitched. She calmly sat down next to Applejack and leaned forward slightly. "The bake sale," she said.

Pinkie nodded. "We need a place to cook."

Oatmeal Raisin frowned almost imperceptibly. She glanced at Applejack. "I trust you'll be supplying your own apples?"

"We'll bring as many supplies of our own as we can," Pinkie promised. "We just need your ovens and nobody hovering over us."

Oatmeal Raisin folded her hands. "Twelve dozen a week for twelve weeks," she repeated.

"That's the deal," Pinkie said with a nod.

Oatmeal Raisin sat back, a small smile on her face. "Very well. I wish you the best of luck." She started to stand, then stopped. With a cautious glance at Applejack and Fluttershy, she leaned forward and whispered, "I had hoped for a more permanent business arrangement."

Pinkie shook her head. "You know why I can't." Her face became unusually grim. "Unless you want to go up against Maud."

Oatmeal Raisin sat back, her face once again placid. "I know when the risk exceeds the reward," she said. She stood. "Twelve dozen a week. Twelve weeks. You have the kitchen for two nights beginning next Friday." She nodded to Applejack and Fluttershy. "Enjoy your cookies." She turned and walked away.

Once she was out of earshot, Pinkie sighed. "Boy I hope I can pull this off."

The other girls stared at her. Applejack raised an eyebrow. "Okay, whut'n th' heck's goin' on?"

"Not here," Pinkie said. "I'll explain later."

* * * * *

Pinkie Pie pulled a hot tray of steaming cookies out of Applejack's oven, set them on a cooling rack, and stepped back. She took off her oven mitts and removed her safety goggles. "They're ready!" she called.

Fluttershy and Applejack walked into the kitchen and looked around at the complicated chemistry setup Pinkie had erected around the Apple family kitchen, trading an uneasy glance. "I'm...I'm almost afraid to even ask," Fluttershy said.

Applejack frowned. "You're cleanin' up this whole mess yourself, you know," she said.

"Yeah, sorry for the mess," Pinkie said. "This recipe's a little complicated." She waved the girls forward. They walked up to the counter where the sheet of cookies sat cooling.

"They're sugar cookies," Applejack said.

"They're blue," Fluttershy noted.

Indeed, just over a dozen broad, puffy sugar cookies sat on the sheet. The cookies had a faint clear blue tint to them.

"So they're blue sugar cookies. Big deal," Applejack said.

"They smell tasty," Fluttershy said. She tore a paper towel off the roll hanging over the counter, laid it flat next to the baking sheet, and took a spatula from the utensil drawer. She carefully pried a cookie from the baking sheet and laid it on the paper towel.

"Careful," Pinkie warned.

"I know, they're still hot," Fluttershy said as she picked it up.

"Yeah, but that's not—"

Fluttershy took a bite.

Her pupils expanded to fill her eyes. "Ohhhhhhmygoodness," she said in a wavering voice.

"Oh boy," Pinkie said softly, taking a careful, deliberate step away from Fluttershy.

Fluttershy suddenly started vibrating. She grabbed Applejack by both hands in a strong, shaking grip that made the farmer wince. "You know what I wanna do?" Fluttershy asked giddily. "I wanna go upstairs and grab your brother and YAY! and you know what else? You should totally go up there with me and we can all YAY! and oh! Oh! Oh! You know what'd be fun? You, me, and your brother could all go out to the barn and YAY! in the HAY! What do you say? Wanna YAY! in the HAY!?"

"Uhh..." Applejack wrestled herself free of Fluttershy's grip and backed away from her. "Pinkie Pie? Whut'n th' hell's IN them cookies?"

"Yyyyyeah..." Pinkie said slowly, watching Fluttershy vibrate in place and giggle to herself. "So here's the thing. You've heard of Party Dip, right?"

Applejack frowned, her brow furrowing. "Ah think so," she said. "Ain't it that stuff they took off th' market like, back before we were born?"

Pinkie nodded. "Yeah. It was basically concentrated sugar, and it did, well...this." She gestured vaguely at Fluttershy. "Well, my sister and I were perfecting our rock candy recipe a while ago when we accidentally created a brand new form of concentrated sugar, twice as potent as Party Dip." She idly loosened the cookies from the baking sheet and slid them into a paper bag. "What happened next is a really long story but basically we found out about this whole black market for homemade Party Dip, then I got the stupid idea to sell some, then we had these Dipheads coming after us for the recipe, and then we met Oatmeal Raisin, who runs this secret black market cookie ring for Dipheads, selling sugar cookies made from Party Dip. She tried to get the Blue Dip recipe from me and Maud, but Maud, well..." Pinkie shook her head. "Anyway, after that she tried to make a deal with me to bake Blue Dip cookies for her for a really really lot of money, but I said no because I didn't wanna get involved."

Applejack stared at her. "You're...you're kiddin', right?"

Pinkie pointed at Fluttershy. "Does that look like I'm kidding?"

Fluttershy had taken the mustard and ketchup out of the fridge and was busy squirting thick rivers of condiments into her hair. "Look at me! I'm Sunset Shimmer! Whee!"

Applejack facepalmed.

* * * * *

The night before the Bake Sale arrived swiftly. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy arrived separately at Las Galletas Hermanas; Big Macintosh dropped Applejack off, Fluttershy arrived in her van, and Pinkie Pie drove her powder blue party scooter. Ever since coming down from her Blue Dip high, Fluttershy had been moody, lethargic, and embarrassed, and was only just beginning to return to normal.

Oatmeal Raisin met the girls at the doors. Pinkie passed her a large brown paper bag; Oatmeal Raisin gave her a brief, placid nod. "You will be done by opening time?"

"We'll be out of here by nine in the morning," Pinkie promised.

Oatmeal Raisin frowned, but nodded. "I can afford to open late for one weekend." She unlocked the doors, then headed to her car and drove off.

Once she was gone, Pinkie turned to the other girls, a serious expression on her face.

"Let's bake."

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