Cooking FAIL: 2-for-1 Edition

Yesterday started out well enough. This summer I’ve been spending a few hours writing every morning while Jesse watches the baby. Once I got my writing in, we started on the chores: Jesse and I worked in the basement, and I washed some clothes. For lunch, he decided to embark on a rare cooking adventure. He wanted to make his mom’s famous homemade macaroni and cheese – we had the ingredient list but were a little fuzzy on the details. Undaunted, he forged ahead. We were missing some of the exact ingredients, but found some reasonable substitutes and proportions were also approximated, while we both continued to hope for the best. In the end, it was an unfortunate imitation. Jesse sulked about his failure for a while, so I tried to comfort him.

Later I confidently started making soup for dinner. This is one of my favorite recipes from my mom and I’ve made it quite a few times in the crock pot, but this time I wanted to use the stove. Miette loves the stuff, so I went all out and filled our largest stockpot – enough for several meals, plus a week or two of baby food.

After mixing up the ingredients, I left them to simmer while I took Miette to the library. This way I could pick up my holds and get a vigorous walk in before dinner, and the weather was beautiful. We enjoyed the sunshine and I worked up a nice appetite. After lugging the stroller and books up to the porch, I headed inside with the baby. We were met with a wall of scent: black, putrid, and burnt. I rushed into the kitchen and found no flames, but opened the doors and windows anyway. Where was Jesse? Why didn’t he do anything?
He came tromping down the stairs, “Is something burning down here?”
“That’s what I want to know, did you not notice it?”
It seems he was like the frog in the pot – he must have adjusted to the stench as it developed.
Thankfully, there was no actual fire, just a solid inch of burnt material in the bottom of the pot under the rest of the soup. I guess it didn’t need to simmer so long…

We let it cool a bit and tasted it, on the off chance we could salvage some. It tasted like pure liquid cigarette butts. After dumping the remains in the compost pile, we fed the baby something else and lit about a hundred candles trying to win the battle for our noses. We never ended up eating dinner and went to sleep smelling cinders.
It was marginally better this morning, and I’m hoping we can air it out more before our friends come for dinner tonight.


Joey McFeron said…
Just popped in to catch up on your blog posts -- oh my, this sounds familiar. Have you gotten the smell out of the house yet?

I once put a plastic honey bear with congealed honey in a small saucepan of water intending to warm it up and re-liquify the honey. I stepped outside for just a minute, did a little weeding, chatted with a neighbor and forgot there was something on the stove. Came inside to plastic honey smoke everywhere and a black mass stuck forever to the pan. To get the smell out of the house I had to wash the kitchen ceiling and walls.

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