Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kitchen Disasters: Anniversary Edition

The sun was shining.

Despite the fact that it was that pale, unsettling, tomorrow-is-a-school-day kind of sun, there it was and the breeze was just soft enough that I was in a good mood. 

I usually never trust a good mood...what made today different?

Comparatively rare, good moods should be put to use. So, since Seth and I had celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary the day before, and I'd silently acknowledged that I haven't done anything charming, pleasant or spontaneous for, at least, the last decade, I thought I would create something lovely for Seth to eat--thereby validating his choice to marry me many years ago.

I genuinely thought that
"Thin Mint" ice cream
was my idea...
Inspired by the spontaneous purchase of two boxes of Thin Mints from a pair of steroidally aggressive girl scouts, I thought I might try my hand at what seemed like a logical step....Thin Mint ice cream.

I have an ice cream machine that I've used a few times to good result but it's been years since I hauled it down from it's spot in that almost impossible to reach cubby over the cut-out for the fridge.
...it wasn't.

Sure enough, there are several recipes on the web for just this decadent, minty concoction and off I pranced to the supermarket for the necessary ingredients. After all, did my redemption not rest in my ability to create a pleasing treat for my husband?

Upon my return, I combined the eggs, cream and peppermint extract as directed by the recipe. I stuck to the rules, not deviating as I typically do when following a recipe but treating this as I might a scientific calculation.

After all, I wanted the ice cream to come out perfectly, please Seth and perhaps be told how fortunate he felt that I tumbled out of the sky (from my spaceship which was hovering too low that day) and into his life -- nearly crushing him -- as I hit the ground.

I'd pre-frozen the "bowl" of the ice cream machine --a crucial step -- and the chilled mixture went in. Lovely in color and delightfully fragrant, it was sure to be a treat. A sleeve of crushed thin Mints waited hopefully on the counter, ready to be added when the mixture was about halfway frozen.

Smiling idiotically at no one, I turned the heat down on the corn chowder that was now simmering on the stove. I'd spent some time dicing up bacon, onions, peppers and shelling frozen shrimp for this delicious soup that's a favorite at our dinner table.
What should have
been this...

So promising were both the aroma and muted (meaning there'd been no sobbing or shrieked obscenities yet) sounds of industry emanating from the kitchen that Seth was now resting happily under the assumption that a delicious meal was in his immediate future.

Everything under control, I glided from the kitchen to gaze beatifically from the front window upon the Sunday landscape--kids on their bikes, dog walkers clutching blue turd bags and the weekend runners in gleaming spandex...when I smelled something unpleasant.
...became this.

Falling over  myself to get back to the kitchen, I found that the corn chowder had burned horribly on the bottom. Creamy in nature, the heat must have been too high and there was now a dark brown layer of acrid burn welded to the bottom of the pot's enamel interior.

Not only would I now have to soak it for about a light year before being able to clean it but, upon tasting, the flavor of the burn, which seemed to occur so suddenly, completely permeated the entire pot of soup.

That taste of "burn" is the kiss of death. Goodbye soup. Goodbye diced bacon, corn, cheese, credibility and final vestiges of self esteem, goodbye.

Palms sweaty, my default setting of profanity foaming in my throat, I turned toward the ice cream machine, expecting to find it halfway churned into the thick consistency of ice cream. Seth would forgive the loss of the soup when he wrapped his tastebuds around this delicious manifestation of my devotion.

It was still totally unfrozen. The thin mixture whirled and whirled....but did not become ice cream. Ever. Ever. EVER.
When stepped on,
this can squirt really,
really far.

By now Seth smelled the burned soup and had come up the stairs, only to find me wiping off the huge green smear that had squirted from the tiny bottle of food coloring from which I'd squeezed a drop to gently tint the ice cream. In the confusion, I'd knocked the bottle to the floor and stepped on it causing it to paint a wide green swath across the entire kitchen.

The meal was a total loss, pizza was ordered and Seth continues to question his choice of spouse, his assessment unchallenged by the arrival of burned soup and failed ice cream.

Next time I will remember to question a good mood. In the meantime, here's a link to a story about what can happen if you eat someone else's Thin Mints without permission.

If anyone has any idea why the ice cream didn't freeze, I'd love to hear it. Until then, I will simply continue to patiently chew my way out of this strait jacket....


  1. I know what you mean by that burn flavor. It's awful. Sorry things went so wrong.:(

  2. Maybe the bowl wasn't cold enough? Or the mixture?

  3. When I burn the bottom of the pot, I simply put the word "roasted" in front of the soup or stew's name. Problem solved and no one dares to say a word to me.

  4. Caligirl, I had allowed plenty of time for the bowl to freeze as well as chilling the mixture. It's worked before...I can't figure it out.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. Great idea, Michelle! Too funny! I will remember that. Unfortunately, this was one of thosr really acrid burns...the soup was ruined!

    "Roasted!" I love that! Thanks for reading today!

  6. Haha, I can;t get over the steroidally agressive girlscouts. HAHAHA! Sorry for your soup and icecream though.

  7. They were crazy, Anon...jumping and shouting. We were afraid for our lives...we bought the Thin Minys in order to escape a beating.

    Thanks for reading today!

  8. Now I really, REALLY want some corn chowder!!

  9. Really now....be careful what you wish for, Stajiebuns.