I've had a culinary calamity! For those of you who know me, you know how rare this is (not surprising, perhaps, but rare nonetheless.) For those of you who don't, let me give you a brief synopsis of my background.
I come from a family of foodies. You wouldn't know it to look at us, but my family loves food and really knows how to cook it. One member has even gone on to become a top class chef. Family conversations are invarably peppered with tales of culinary extravaganzas or tips, tricks and techniques on how to recreate Grandma's best biscuits and Uncle Mark's Sunday roast. My mother cooked from scratch every night when I was growing up and often threw small dinner parties, designing her own menus and executing them in Cordon Bleu style.
Not surprisingly I progressed from sampling the leftovers, to creating my own cakes, pastries, breads and main courses at an early age. To me cooking was like falling off a log and soon I could do it in my sleep. This is probably why I did not elect to pursue it at school. I just thought that everyone could cook, so what was the big deal.
Consequently cooking has just been something I do at home. I cook every day, am passionate about REAL food (the stuff that comes out of the ground not a box) and have shared tips and recipes with friends and family. I even catered my own kids christening.
But......even good cooks can have a bad day. On Wednesday I was distracted by the girls watching Susan Boyle on YouTube just when I was putting a Chocolate Brownie in the oven. It had been a while since I'd made one and I knew that it didn't look quite right, but I slammed it in anyway. BIG MISTAKE. Thirty minutes later the Brownie was a sloppy half-burned mess and had risen up and out of the pan (which was obviously too small for the mixture) and was now sending a putrid burning smell wafting around the kitchen.
I threw it into the sink in disgust and resolved to set the cooker to 'clean' mode to sort out the large globules of brown stuff that were now stuck all over the shelves and base of the oven. Dinner might be a little late, but I'd get that Thai Chicken Curry sorted out afterwards.
Well, "the best laid plans" and all that...........When P.A. came wandering in the door and I told him what had happened, he informed me that the oven's cleaning process takes 3hrs(!) and that once it's started, you can't stop it. Unless we wanted Thai Curry at 9pm, then we'd have to eat out. I was mortified. This mess up was going to cost us an arm and a leg. He however thought it was hilarious. A few humorous hours and many dollars later, all 5 of us got back home to discover that in fact, I had not set the cooker to 'clean' as I intended, but merely switched the fan on. The oven was not locked and I could indeed open it to see those same large globules of brown stuff sitting there just as they had done before. The look of horror on my face was, apparently, quite a picture.
The question now is, dare I pick up my knitting? If this is what happens to a skilled cook, I don't hold out much hope for a semi-skilled knitter!