Monday, May 21, 2007

My Dad Could Mess Up 'Shake 'n Bake'

And he frequently does. I have seen my father ruin a perfectly good sandwich, screw up scrambled eggs and destroy a bagel while trying to get it into the toaster. What he does to meat loaf defies explication and is inexcusable. His superpower, the ability to ruin food just by being near it, would be forgivable if he stayed out of the kitchen. Unfortunately it's his favorite place in the whole world. Guess what his one and only hobby is.

Yeah, he cooks.

Last month I wrote about how much I love playing Golf despite the fact that I'm a really bad golfer. So I understand. What I don't understand is where he gets his crazy ideas from.

Like the time I caught him cutting up green peppers and bakers chocolate to put in the Chili Con Carne. I don't care if it works for Martha Stewart, it's doesn't work when dad tries it. Or the time the 'Shake 'n Bake' just wouldn't stick to the chicken pieces so he laid them in the baking dish and poured the crumbs over the top. Or the time he redecorated the kitchen while boiling a cabbage.

I walk in to find a huge uncovered pot on the stove, with a large uncut cabbage sitting in it. The pot had been full of several cans of V-8 juice, but he'd been boiling it so long the liquid had reduced and turned into a sludgy red sauce. Where had the excess liquid gone? It had evaporated... onto the ceiling. The kitchen was covered in a thin patina of tomato goop. Everything in the house smelled of boiled cabbage, including my freshly dry-cleaned suit. Brilliant.

Mom used to be a good cook, but she's been hanging around my dad too long and you know what they say about bad association. A few winters ago she decided she was going to have roasted chestnuts. So I went out and got her a big bag of fresh chestnuts. She arranged them on a baking sheet, got the oven fired up and put them in to roast. Then she sat down with a book and completely forgot about them.

When tendrils of smoke started sneaking out from the stove door, she remembered. She jumped up, opened the stove door and pulled the tray of fiery hot chestnuts out. With her bare hands. She screamed and dropped the sheet. Hitting the ground was too much for the already overstressed chestnuts, they exploded on impact. Chestnut meat shot everywhere.

We managed to clean up some of it, but when mom's housekeeper arrived, she asked her to please clean the ceiling fan in the kitchen. The girl looked up at the fan and gasped. The ceiling fan was dotted with stuck bits of exploded chestnut. I have no idea how she managed to get it clean, but she did.

Someday I'm going to come home and find out that my parents have burned the house down... while eating ice cream.
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P said...

Chestnuts in an oven are a very bad combination. I sympathize. My mother, too, enjoys roasting chestnuts in the oven. She forgot them in the oven one evening -- I will never forget that night. I have never seen flames shoot out of an oven and hit the ceiling with such gusto. The firefighters had to be called. It was GREAT!

...we haven't had roasted chesnuts since.

the Nightbreeze said...

As I continue to read your Blogs, I am left to conclude that calamity runs as thick as cold molasses through your bloodline, and your family might be the one bullet point on which detractors can refute the merits of Natural Selection as a Scientific Theory/Premise.