Ann is a long-time friend from Dayton. She’s always the star of a party whether as guest or hostess.
Well, let me back up on that hostess thing for just a second here. No issues as far as having fun. That was always a given. But things can happen in Ann’s kitchen that are inexplicable and, even, sometimes cause for alarm. Remarkably, a single head of broccoli, cooked in one pot, can become bi- or even tri-colored. Lemon bars can come out of the oven upside-down for no apparent reason. Everything still tastes good, but one does wonder.
In all fairness, I’ve had my share of oopsies in the kitchen, too.
So, when Ann and I decided to have an engagement party for a good friend’s son, we wisely decided to have a professional caterer prepare the main dish. The young man’s fiancée had not met any of us and we wanted to impress her. We knew that bad things could happen to good people…(us)… in the kitchen.
Despite our good intentions, things went a bit awry. As we opened the oven to check on the status of the professionally-prepared dish, a little hot oil splashed onto the burners. Flames exploded, setting dish, oven and, almost, us, on fire. My husband was quick with the fire extinguisher. Thank goodness.
But now, the food was covered with a thin gray chemical icing. (As were my beautiful navy blue counter tops but that’s another story.) Ann and I quickly set to work with spoons, carefully scraping off the offensive anti-inflammatory stuff so as to get on with dinner.
Someone (who wasn’t even supposed to be in the kitchen) rudely suggested that even a small amount of that substance might not be good for our guests….might, in fact, be poisonous. Go away, we said. We have hungry, and now seriously over-wined, guests. Let us get on with our work.
That same individual had the gall to call the poison-control center.
Alas. We had to present ourselves to the hungry crowd, without the professionally-prepared and now-determined-to-be-poisonous dinner. Of course, they all knew that with us in charge danger could lurk in the kitchen. We watched as eyebrows went up. Furtive glances were exchanged. We heard murmurings of “Oh no, not again.”
To appease them, in addition to pouring a little more wine, we offered a financial reward to any one who could correctly guess what went wrong this time. No money exchanged hands.
And no pizza delivery person was ever more warmly welcomed.