I’m just a chatty chat chatter tonight, huh? It might have something to do with the 6 glasses of sweet tea that I’ve consumed this evening!
When I came across “baking soda” in that last recipe I was typing, I was reminded of some of my misadventures in cooking. Now keep in mind, I was always an adventurous child in the kitchen. Fearless Mary! (That’s what they call me, you know.)
The one and only time I made brownies from scratch, I was probably 12 or 13. Somehow, some elbow macaroni had fallen into the flour canister. But I did not realize it when I measured out my flour. Then, I accidentally got tablespoon and teaspoon mixed up. Which probably wouldn’t have been quite the disaster that it was had not the ingredient I was measuring been baking soda! Oh my gosh! Those were the worst brownies on earth! Biting into one was like biting into a box of baking soda. And that’s if you were lucky enough not to have gotten a piece that contained dried elbow macaroni! My sister swears that it was years before she could eat brownies again.
Around that same time, we were on vacation in Colorado and my dad had caught a bunch of trout. Which he fried. Later that evening, I decided to make popcorn. Since the cabins at the YMCA out there don’t have microwaves, I was forced to resort to stove top popcorn popping. Well, I didn’t see any reason at all to have to wash a whole other pan (the cabins don’t have dishwashers either) so I just used the pan and oil that the fish had been cooked in. (Yes, I was a greenie recycler before it was cool.) Okay…have you ever had burned-popcorn-encrusted-trout? If not, you don’t know what a culinary treat you are missing! ha! Yes, burned-popcorn-encrusted-trout is probably the best thing ever!
Unless you have fully (or even moderately) functioning tastebuds that is …
Then there were the great perfume and playdough disasters of 6th grade. Did you know that nail polish remover has a fairly low flash point? And that it does not actually produce a soothing fragrance? I didn’t either. Until my friend across the street and I poured a bottle of lemon-scented nail polish remover into a hot sauce pan and mixed it with marigold heads. I blame her – she’s the one who said, “Perfume is mostly alcohol, so we need to find some alcohol to put in it.”
I do come by it honestly though. One night when I was about 6 or 7, my mom was volunteering at Children’s Mercy Hospital and my dad (who is really one of the smartest people I know) was put in charge of making us macaroni and cheese. From a box. He proceeded to cook it just the right amount of time – until all the water had boiled off. Biting into that stuff was like biting into a delicious piece of Velveeta chewing gum. Deeeeee-lish! We told him it was gross and his response was, “It can’t be that bad, just eat it.” Of course, his tune changed shortly after his first bite! I was 16 years old before I ever ate macaroni and cheese again.