Merry Christmas! I love to laugh and enjoy life I thought I would share some of my family’s mishaps in the kitchen as my holiday gift. Laughter is the best medicine, especially at natural disasters that don’t have any injuries or sad endings, except for the food’s demise.
Now, even though I eat very healthy, food is still an important part of my family’s life. Some of the most humorous and memorable times for my family is when an unexpected cooking disaster happens. The love of food has always offered a creative space where we try new things to make the food an experience instead of just a meal.
We have been cooking for years, so you would think that with our collective experience accidents are far and few between. Well, not true the number of mishaps and cooking accidents we have had over the years have been innumerable. Our tradition is to share our stories and laugh together.
Whenever something happens in the kitchen, the first reaction is horror, which always melts into laughter. Experience is not a guarantee that nothing will happen, it is usually a certainty that something will, simply because we believe we are more skilled and become a bit over confident that nothing will.
Never Multi-Task When Making Breakfast or the Mic will Catch on Fire
It was the weekend, I used to always put more on my to do list then I could handle. Whenever I made a meal on weekends, if there was a way to put something on to cook and go do something else then I would.
It was early morning and I wanted to get my laundry started, so I decided to get the bacon going and go start the washer. I put the bacon on the browning rack, put it in the mic, turned it on and walked out of the kitchen.
I was busy with the wash when I detected a strong smoky smell. I ran across the apartment to discover enormous flames shooting up in my microwave. When I moved in front of it, I saw the flames were coming from the bacon rack. I freaked out, started yelling, (I have no idea why) and began running around, not sure what to do. Then, I remembered no water on a grease fire, so I grabbed the box of baking soda, popped the door open and tossed it on the flames. They died down then they burst up again. Then I grabbed the salt and threw it on the now higher flames that were shooting out of the open door and brushing the bottom the kitchen cabinet. Again they went down but didn’t go out. So in a fit of desperation I grabbed a big glass filled it with water, stood back and threw it on the burning pan. Thankfully this time flames finally died.
Relieved, I pulled out the blackened bacon and ashes still on the greasy, watery pan and tossed it in the sink. Then there was the burned, salty, powdery, watery mess in my microwave and a smoke stains all over the bottom of my kitchen cabinet. Comforted that the kitchen didn’t burn down, I stood there laughing, assuring myself that I would never multi-task when making breakfast again.
I Couldn’t Stand Chocolate for Three Days
I love chocolate, I mean really love it The idea of hating chocolate never entered my mind until my mom and I decided to go into the candy making “business” for three very long days one Christmas back in the 80′s.
My mom and I decided to make homemade chocolate covered coconut candy for holiday gifts. We were both eager to start our candy “factory”, little did we know what we were letting ourselves in for.
First, I want to praise to all of the chocolatiers in the world who happily do this for a living. My mom and I found a simple recipe for chocolate covered coconut candy. We agreed it was a wonderful and unique gift to send to our family for the holidays. Before we started we read the instructions which seemed pretty simple.
We donned our aprons, had our holiday spirit on and started our candy making adventure. We took out all the ingredients all set for some holiday fun. I put the coconut balls together while my mom prepared the chocolate.
The recipe said to, Melt the paraffin and add chocolate chips. Stir until blended. Place toothpick in balls and dip into chocolate. Let them drip a little. Place on wax paper until set. An important part of this story is we lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Christmas is rarely cold there, so the kitchen was fairly warm (I believe we had the sliding glass door open). Mom melted the paraffin and added the chocolate.
I took the coconut/nut mixture straight from the fridge, rolled it into balls then put it on toothpicks and started dipping. The first few went fine. What we didn’t realize was as the coconut balls that sat on the counter were starting to melt in the heat. Because we were going amateur speed, it didn’t take long for things to go wrong. I can’t remember who it happened to first, but as we dipped the coconut balls into the hot chocolate mixture pieces of coconut started to fall off to into the melted chocolate, a piece here and there, so we stopped, We began fishing out the coconut pieces out and put the tray back in the fridge. As we started again, things got worse, not only did pieces of coconut fall off, the candy was now breaking off into the chocolate in chunks. I could have cried, but we both laughed and finished what we could.
Knowing this was for Christmas gifts we hung in there for three days of this candy making mess. When we closed the last tin, we vowed we were out of the candy making business forever.
My Mother’s Famous “Drop” Cake
Making desserts was something my mother had done most of my life. She used to clip recipes from magazines and newspapers so I cannot remember where she got this incredible custard filled lady fingers cake recipe (that we now affectionately call ‘Mom’s Drop Cake”) that she decided to make, but I remember the ingredients were expensive and there were a lot of steps.
Mom began by lining the spring form pan with a layer of lady fingers. Then she made the wonderful custard filling to finish the cake. She turned on the oven and set the temperature. I hung out in the kitchen visiting with her watching as she put the ingredients together. She carefully poured the mixture over the bottom of the pan, filling it nearly to the top of the lady fingers. It looked heavenly, she gently put her hands around the spring form pan, slid it to the edge of the kitchen counter to put it into the oven. She announced, “here we go” grabbed it and as she held it up, I watched in horror as the entire cake dropped out of the pan and spread all over the kitchen floor. She stood there stunned, after the shock of what just happened subsided, I felt an uncontrollable urge to laugh. She looked at me very seriously and said, “Don’t you dare laugh”, but it began to bubble up anyway so I bolted down the hall to the bathroom, shut the door and laughed until I cried.
As I got control of myself, I went back out to the kitchen which was an indescribable mess to find out that mom had forgotten to close the spring on the springform pan. Still giggling I told mom I would clean up the mess, she told me she was going to the store to buy all of the ingredients and would make it again when she got back. The second recipe turned out fabulous.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Peace and Love