Thursday, September 3, 2009

And that's why I don't cook...

I wrote this shortly after moving to Texas, three years ago. I have just discovered that it's not in this blog... only in my original one, which has been laid to rest.

So, I thought I'd share one of my oh-so-brilliant-ideas with you this weekend... and no, I'm not hosting a labor day BBQ on Monday. It just wouldn't be right!

I got the bright idea this morning to bake. I haven't done it in such a long time and I really used to enjoy it.

My mother used to make simple things: Banana Pudding, Dump Cake - all things you've heard of, and as a kid I thought my mom was the greatest cook. She made such "exotic" dishes that I loved!

So, today I decided to make one of her exotic dishes. I am home after all and should be playing the role of "Susy Homemaker."

I read the recipe and I had all of the ingredients that this great dish that I remembered my mom baking required. I was short on the pots and pans though - after all, I don't collect those since I rarely have a need to use them. But alas, I found most of what was recommended to use for this dish.

Oh, what dish was I making? The "Original Banana Pudding". Recipe on the box of the Nilla Vanilla Wafers. Easy enough, I thought. My mom used to make it. Couldn't be that hard nor could it take that much time. I do have a furniture delivery today but I'd be done WAY before he came.

Anyway, I had most of the pots needed but I was missing a "double boiler." Who has a double boiler, anyway? Well, since the recipe called for one, I would use one. Except I don't have one. But I could improvise. I have two sauce pans. One big, one smaller. I'll just put the smaller one inside of the larger one once the water was boiling. That should do it. The recipe called for me to stir all the ingredients in the top of the "double boiler" while the water boiled underneath. And my two saucepans would surely do that trick.

So, I proceeded. Carefully measured everything out and then put them into the top of my makeshift double boiler. I set the timer for 10 minutes. The recipe called for me to stir constantly so I was definitely nearby my two pots. I stirred and stirred. The timer clicked down and the "pudding" began to thicken. I was pleased with my accomplishments.

But I didn't get to revel in my achievements for very long... All of a sudden... KA - BOOMM!!!!!

The double boiler decided to tell me that it really didn't like being a double boiler. It exploded all over the kitchen... and me.

Not only was pudding everywhere but so was scalding hot water. Into the toaster, all over the floor and all over me. Remember, I WAS standing nearby... My shirt was soaked with VERY hot water and thus stuck to my stomach causing, you guessed it, quite an array of burns. Water burned my arms and my right hand. I may never type again... oh yeah I will.... I still have one functioning finger.

Rick, ever the loving and knowledgeable caregiver, ran to rescue the vanilla wafers that were swimming on the countertop. Rick didn't seem to notice that I was shrieking in pain. Once I set him straight though he told me to go lie down. I don't know why, but I did. I hobbled to the bedroom, laid down, like that was going to ease my pain. I then realized that I could save that pudding and got back up to see if it was salvageable. Since it had nearly finished cooking, it was.

I continued the whole cooking process all the while cleaning up the previous mess. Within 20 minutes I had salvaged enough pudding, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, and put the entire concoction into the oven to lightly brown the tips. I did all this with cold compresses on my stomach and arms, too. I did all this in the eye of the furniture delivery man who decided to come early, wouldn't you know it. I set the timer for five minutes even though the recipe called for ten. I didn't want my lovely creation to burn. It had been through enough.

The timer went off dutifully in five minutes but by that time I was so involved in finishing my cleaning up, talking to the furniture man and tending to my wounds that I couldn't remember why the timer was going off. I decided that it must've been ringing from long ago when the explosion happened. So I ignored it. That's me. I can't remember why something is happening so I just ignore it.

And I'm sure you can imagine what happened. Yep, it burned. Just like my stomach and my arms.

My mother never had this trouble. My mother probably didn't ignore timers. My mother probably had a double boiler.

Today I hung up my apron.

1 comment:

Herbie J Pilato said...

Put that aprin back on, Mrs. Carmichael. For who would the world love if we couldn't love all you "Lucys."

I can only hope that you would cook one day for me. And on that day, "I" would pour as "YOU" drink.

HJ :)

Aka: "Mr. Mooney"