Yesterday I decided to do something different. I’m tired of being the invalid. It was an off day from work and I’m starting to feel better. Also am getting desperate to restore some aspects of a normal life. It’s been a couple weeks of doing the bare minimum and going to bed. No art class, no extra outings, not even going grocery shopping–one of the great joys of life. I love buying food, there are so many wonderful possibilities.
So I decided to cook a fancy dinner. Started by going to the grocery store by myself. It’s difficult to navigate a shopping cart on crutches, but I’m please to announce I managed it. Put together the menu for a fancy dinner:
Herb Crusted Salmon
Garlic boiled and seared potatoes
Swiss Chard (steamed with herbs)
Fancy fresh baked sour dough bread
and for dessert
Pound Cake with Icecream and Blackberry Sauce.
Yes, many courses and very fancy. Got the hankering for the salmon from Cooks Illustrated magazine which Bob got as a christmas present from my folks. Anyway, started by making the pound cake. FUBAR number 1 was using the wrong kind of tube pan. I thought an angel food pan would be ok. IT WAS NOT. Batter started dripping out of the bottom as the cake mixture started getting warm. Ugly mess, batter on the bottom of the oven, on the counters, and all over me. Eventually was able to save some of the batter to make a dozen pound cupcakes.
The cupcakes did taste great. And I sort of got the mess cleaned up. However during the clean up, I spilled my purse on the floor with dollar bills flying all over. One of the bills got stuck to an cabinet under hang right next to the floor and was too hard for me to pick up. Left that for Bob who found it very amusing in the midst of chaos later on. He picked it up and kept it. Cleaned up the first set of pots and pans (there were lots by the time I was done rescuing the pound cup cakes) and put the set of clean dishes next to the stove.
Started on the second part–making the rest of dinner. It went fairly well although by this time I was getting tired. Did manage to push things a bit much yesterday. So by the time Bob had gotten home, pots were on the stove waiting to finish cooking (potatoe’s and chard). The salmon was merrily brinning with herbs and bread crumb toppings waiting beside.
Bob usually cleans the kitchen to a beautiful state every friday morning, this week had been no different. Then he left to go help the humane society give away puppies for 6 hours. In that time, I had managed to transform it including leaving a dollar bill down on the floor. There was a second pile of clean dishes waiting to be put away and the table was set. And there was another pile of dishes in the sink waiting to be washed and his pristine clean kitchen had a slight air of griminess all over it.
We looked at the oven and talked about using the self-clean function of the oven. FUBAR number two. Turned it on and the stove immediately locked. Dinner was on the table and looking great. Unfortunately we had gotten no further than starting to serve food when smoke began roiling out of the oven. Lots and Lots of smoke. Fire alarms were going off, the whole house was filling with this yellow smoke.
Kate and Bob raced around getting fans going and pulling the smoke alarms. The dogs were put outside in their compound. I moved outside and stayed out of the way. Bob fussed about the fire department showing up, there was so much smoke. We ate a cold dinner standing or sitting on the porch. Kate had gotten me a chair.
Finally got the oven turned off, the smoke chased out and got back into the house. At that point, I took Kate to her friends house for a sleepover. Bob tackled the kitchen. But the time I got back, it had an air of being clean and neat although not as nice as it had been in the morning. This morning, Bob looked inside the oven. In his words
“It looks like the end of a witch in a bad science fantasy movie or the black crud from Time Bandits”
To complete the evening, we had a bonfire outside and waited for the almost full moon to rise. Nice end to an exciting evening. The dogs were pills, they did not want to lie down nicely outside. Instead they wanted to go visit doggy disneyland — the world of gophers, mice, and other small animals rustling all over the back yard. So they both got leashed. But the company was great and we were able to laugh about my disastrous venture into pound cake cooking.
And I learned something very important yesterday:
NEVER USE AN OVEN’s SELF CLEANING FUNCTION!