"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adventures in Cooking..and Explosions

My buddy, Just SO, posted about a pan exploding in her oven. It brought back some pretty vivid memories (I like to dwell on the past a lot, too).

When I was a blushing bride, I decided I would cook most of our meals. Hey, I was pretty handy with a spatula. The Man wasn't a picky eater. No worries, right? I had a small notebook (still have it!) that I carefully copied down my favorite recipes from my mom's collection. It was a treasure trove of goodness and down-home cookin'. The Man would have the Best. Wife. Ever. He was so lucky and he didn't even know it yet.

Then came my first attempt to make my new husband actual food. It was the day after the wedding -- a Sunday -- and we were pulling ourselves away from...uh...gazing deeply into each other's eyes long enough to realize we were hungry. I scurried to the kitchen and pulled out a box of Pasta-Roni. None of that mac n' cheese for my man! I was gonna make pasta in a slightly different shape with a slightly different color of cheese-like product. So gourmet.

That was when I realized that amongst the six wall clocks, four sets of towels, myriad gift certificates, and a planter shaped like a house that we had received as wedding gifts, no one had given us a pot. I had no way to boil water.

I think we ended up eating leftovers from the reception.

From the heirloom recipes, the Man really liked my mom's chicken and rice dish. Who could blame him? It was tender chicken simmered in cream of mushroom soup, laying on a bed of rice, and soaking in love. So one evening, I scurried to the kitchen yet again (see, back then, I was the size of a mouse so I did plenty of scurrying and scampering) and put together a batch. I had it timed perfectly to be finished mere moments after he came home from his last class. I'd made it plenty of times before and thought nothing of popping it in the oven and leaving the room. I then proceeded to practice writing my new name dozens of times study hard for my classes while I waited. So I wasn't at all prepared for the very loud popping noise and subsequent wet slopping sounds that soon emanated from the kitchen.

The pan had exploded.

Along with the "broken windshield"-like glass crumbs, my oven was now coated in creamed mushrooms, crunchy rice, and half-baked chicken. The love was gone.

When the Man arrived home, I was kneeling on the kitchen floor, tearfully scraping the remnants of our dinner and cookware out of the oven. After he stifled the laughter, the Man picked me up off the floor and declared "Let's eat out."

And I fell in love with him all over again.

Of course, that love dies just a little bit whenever he tells friends and near strangers this story as a fine example of my cooking abilities when we first married. But I don't make him Pasta-Roni anymore. We're strictly a mac n' cheese family.

What was your worst cooking disaster?


Kristina P. said...

I haven't ever had anything explode, but I have had melting spatulas on more than one occasion, and I spilled a boiling hot pan of browned butter all over my hand.

Amber said...

I tell my cooking students the best way to learn is to mess up- and then I share stories of times I messed up. Like when I mistook 'tsp' for 'Tbsp' when adding salt (oops) or when I forgot to add sugar to my pumpkin pie...

Mamarazzi said...

oh no! poor you! the first turkey i cooked and the first year i hosted thanksgiving...i didn't know to take the bag out of the bird. burnt plastic, nice.

i was a mess. my guests ate side dishes and everyone had a good laugh as i cried.

it's funny now that i am looking back on it!

Mary said...

EVERYTIME I cook, something goes wrong, there are way too many stories to pick one. I have a short attention span and often get distracted and end up burning almost everything...unless it only takes 5 minutes to cook (love me some boxed couscous!!).

Just SO said...

I think you win with this one because chicken and rice sounds like it would be MUCH harder to clean up than just a few peppers and tomatillos.

I love newlywed cooking stories. I have an awesome one that involves a meatloaf dish that looked like and armadillo.

Jillybean said...

You want me to chose just one cooking disaster?


I've had so many failures in the kitchen that they all just kind of blend together......

I will tell you about the time my daughter had a friend over and they decided to make cupcakes, but when they pulled them out of the oven they were still runny. She was convinced that something was wrong with the recipe and thought it told her to put in too much water, until I pointed out that the oven was not on.
(in her defense, it was on when she put the cupcakes in, however, it turned off soon after) (What? Your oven doesn't turn itself off at random times???)

Then there was the time that my son made a cake and the batter was really runny, but he baked it anyway. We later discovered that while he had followed the directions on the cake box perfectly, he had used the frosting mix instead of the cake mix.
It was a really funny looking cake.

Annette Lyon said...

I cannot count how many pots I destroyed our first two years by boiling them dry.

The first real kitchen disaster involved a bowl of peanut butter cookie dough falling upside down onto the orange shag carpet of the TV room. Yummy.

Nat said...

Ha ha ha! So funny!

Here's my story:

hairyshoefairy said...

Such funny stories!

In HS I was watching something for my mom while she was out for a minute. I had to baste some chicken in the over and scrape under it every 10-15 minutes. There was also something on the stovetop - probably green beans or something. The first basting/scraping came and went and I was so proud of myself. My friend called and I was telling her how domestic I was being. I wasn't really in those days. We continued talking and I basted/scraped again. I'd set the spatula down on the stove between the burners and the oil had dripped off it onto the stove. We had a gas stove and I noticed the oil had made its way into the dip where the burner was on. I knew that was bad and I had to clean it up so I grabbed paper towels. Without turning off the burner (cuz that would make sense) I started wiping up the oil that had dripped down that I didn't want to catch on fire and the next thing I knew the paper towel itself was on fire. I shouted something about how I was burning down my house and hung up on my friend so I could put out the fire I'd just started. I was able to get it all under control fairly quickly and when I got to a rehearsal later that night my friend (from the phone) ran up and asked if I still had a house.

Heather said...

We were newly weds living in Italy and our stove have the weird glass lid to it. I assume it was so you had more counter space when it was closed. You would have to open it up when you cooked. I decided to make a delicious mexican food feast for my hubby. I as using all the burners on the stove to make various things and I was about halfway through dinner when the lid to the stove came crashing down knocking every single pan on the floor. I was covered in food along with our entire kitchen. I was in tears when my husband found me. He laughed a bit and then suggested that we go to the Spaghetti House down the street - after I got cleaned up!

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