This is not a recipe... it is a story of misfortune which I believe foreshadows my future cooking career. It's because of the incident below that I feel I have no recipes or helpful cooking and baking hints to share with the Clausing family, but I cannot pass up this opportunity to put my name down in history. And so...
It was October 12, 2008, the day after Mark and I returned from our wonderful, tropical honeymoon where we were well-fed all the week long with delicious meats and succulent delicacies.
In an attempt to wow my new husband just minutes into our marriage, I decided to have an extravagant Italian dinner on the table for him upon his arrival home from a long day of work.
I tossed a divine salad which was not just a bag of "Lettuce Express" or what-have-you, but freshly chopped veggies and the finest and greenest greens one could imagine.
The noodles were boiled to the point of perfection and I even threw one at my kitchen wall like a professional (despite having no clue what the tossing of the noodle was trying to tell me).
I slaved over a home-made sauce with my secret combination of herbs ... oh wait, I may have used a jar of Prego that Grandma Vos cleaned out of her cupboard ... let's move on.
The table was set, candles lit, wine poured and it smelled of Roma in our quaint, cozy home. Surely he would be so splendidly happy with his choice of bride after this production.
But wait ... garlic bread! His favorite! How could I neglect such a staple of an authentic Italian meal? No problems, I'll just whip it up in no time. Oh no, he's pulled in the driveway. In a rush, I turn on the broiler and start buttering up some bread like a maniac. Mark enters our home as parmesan is flying. He appears to be quite impressed, but I can't let on that I'm not prepared.
"What's that smell, babe?"
"Oh, you mean the delicious Italian cuisine I've cooked up just for you?"
"Well, yes, but other than that... something must be burning."
"Not possible. Nothing is even in the broi....."
... I thought I had nearly pulled off the perfect first meal, but a mere slip of the mind caused a lethal turn.
"Mark! There's fire in the oven!!!"
"I don't know!!! I was just using the broiler! But it's big, big fire! Do something!"
I open the oven and flames come shooting up, nearly licking the hairs off my arms. In a panic, I run to the other side of the kitchen screaming and doing nothing productive, while Mark yells something about a fire extinguisher. I've nearly blacked out when I hear a loud sizzle and see a pouff of fire. Mark dumped a pot of water in our stove which initially caused the flames to reach the microwave above, but then smothered the fire in its entirety.
Needless to say, my perfect Italian cuisine was sitting ruined on the table. The salad was wilted and the spaghetti cold as ice as we cleaned smoke residue off of every surface in the kitchen and fanned at smoke alarms to please stop their screeching. The meal may have not been as wonderful as I had planned, but the evening will now remain a favorite memory of all times.
And my word of advice: If company is coming over for morning coffee DO NOT EVER, in a rush to clean up your home in order to impress your company, toss your brand-new all-purpose polyethylene cutting boards in the drawer below the oven to hide them because it is apparently the broiler and it will, indeed, ignite them.