I was just recalling some of my favorite kitchen disasters this afternoon.
- Red Chief's second birthday cake: triple-ginger pound cake made in a sandcastle-shaped Bundt pan. The bottom half came out, but the top half never did, despite the religious greasing and flouring I gave the pan. I had to scoop it out in crumbs. We had guests coming. They knew it was his birthday, but luckily they didn't ask about the cake.
- The first and last time I tried to make a jelly roll: powdered milk instead of flour. Oops. The whole thing turned into a giant bubble.
- Sunday spaghetti: Mr. Mordecai was making Sunday dinner when we were first married, and I directed him to use the bit of leftover tomato sauce in the fridge. It was El Pato. Ugh.
- Turnip puff: I naively grew turnips in my garden in the heat of summer. They tasted a bit like radishes, not like I remembered they should. I found a vintage turnip puff recipe in one of my old cookbooks and thought that the cheese might mask the taste. It didn't.
- Smoke alarm: I volunteered to make cinnamon rolls for a church activity on a Saturday morning. Everything went well until my caramel topping overflowed onto the bottom of the oven. The smoke alarm went on and would not go off; since it was hardwired we couldn't just remove the batteries, and it had no shut-off (I do not miss that apartment when I remember how many times that silly smoke alarm went off). I had to turn off the oven or cause a stir among my neighbors, but I also had to finish baking the cinnamon rolls. Luckily, our patient neighbors allowed me to use their oven despite the risk of burnt sugar, and everything turned out well in the end.
- Mixer hairdo: Mr. Mordecai will tell you this one if I don't, so I might as well out with it. When I was ten or so, I was making a cake from a mix. Before I pulled out the electric mixer, I tied back my long hair as my mom always reminded me to do. As I was beating away at the cake, I flipped my head around to see how much time was left on the timer I had set, and my ponytail got caught in the mixer. It was a bit of a mess.
Okay, what have you done?