Though the last four years, I've slowly grown to love to cook. I relish cook books. I love my pots and pans. I want another apron. Cooking shows are my porn.
I am not what you might call "a good cook," and I know that. But I enjoy the process of mixing and measuring and stirring so completely, that I don't really care. I cook more because I love the time spent in the kitchen forgetting about everything else in life than for the goodies that time produces. And the few times my results do turn out yummy -- the times when they illicit real, heart-felt compliments, and you can always tell the difference -- those times are just the icing on proverbial the cake.
But sometimes, things go so horribly awry that it's just ... well... funny. Or maybe embarrassing. But I'm going to stick with the more charming, "funny."
Like today. Today I decided to make this cake, a recipe I have eyed for a few weeks from a blog I really love. I made her lasagna about a week ago, and it was scrumptious. I got real compliments for it. (A nice, backhanded, "Honey, this is legitimately good!") So today, I thought, it's time to make that cake.
Everything was going alright. The cake was in the oven (set just as she said to 350 degrees, timed for 20 minutes), the frosting was ready in the saucepan, and I was cleaning up the massive mess I'd created when I split some cocoa powder on the floor, stepped in it with my bare feet and walked all over the kitchen. Then, with about six minutes left to go on the timer, my oven went ballistic. It beeped over and over and it flashed letters on the clock screen. Something like FR, FR, FR.
That's when I noticed my entire house was filled with smoke. You can't tell much in this picture, but believe me. Had our smoke detector been plugged in the way it is supposed to be, we would have been beeping awake the entire neighborhood.
I pulled the cake out of the oven, turned it off and ran around opening windows. Then I looked at my slightly charred creation and wondered what to do. Was it ruined? Who can tell? I mean, sure, it was a charcoal black color, but who is to say that's bad? So I poured the frosting all over it.
Apparently, you are supposed to do this very carefully, a concept I cannot really grasp. Because my frosting wasted no time spilling right over the edges of my sheet cake and waterfalling all over my oven. It even went down the side of the wall.
By then, Jimmy had awoke upstairs, no doubt to a cloud of smoke above his head.
"Baby?" He called groggily.
"I think our house is on fire."
"No, I took care of it!"
"Um, what does that mean?"
"Honey, just go back to sleep, it's OK!"
"Are we burning?"
I went upstairs to assure him our house was still standing, even though it was sort of hard to see that through all the haze.
He wasn't the only one worried.
But a half hour later, with most of the smoke clearing out, I tried my creation. One small square of burnt cake for me.
And you know what?
It wasn't awful. I ate it all. And besides the thin layer of crusty burntness on the bottom, I have to say, it was tasty.
Maybe I'll rename it... Sta's Special Smoked Sheet Cake.