Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homemaking mishaps: burnt offerings

Like most new wives, I want to cook my husband nearly everything he wants to eat. Steak and kidney pies are the exception.

My husband likes two different types of pies that I make, spinach & cheese and potato & bean. So on a couple of occasions I set out to make them. The trouble is that they ended up badly burnt on the bottom. The puff pastry on the bottom had to be scrapped off. I discovered that our oven is too hot and nothing can be put on the shelf nearest the element. These burnt offerings were honest mistakes.

My second example of a burnt offering is much stupider. I placed a tray of baked potatos on a hotplate, not realising that I'd left it on. Naturally, the bottoms of the potatoes turned black.

My third and forth examples of burnt offerings involve overflowing cakes. If you are unfortunate enough to decide to try and fit as much cake mixture as possible into a tin, you may find that as it cooks it spills to the bottom of the oven and makes a delightful, thick crust of charred cake mixture. The most memorable example of this was a lemon curd cake that kept overflowing so that I had to place a tray underneath it. I found myself eating lumps of lemon curd cake as it cooked on the tray. Unfortunately, a lot of the cake ended up on the floor of the oven, meaning the oven required a thorough cleaning before it could be used again.

Do any of you have burnt offering experiences to share?


  1. Sherrin ~ all your mishaps sound like "gotta experience it to learn" type of mistakes. These little learning sessions will probably occur long past your first year of marriage, too!

    My mishap was about 10 years into marriage and thinking I knew what I was doing! We had invited the church group to our new home, and I baking 35 potatoes while chili cooked in the crockpot.

    All of a sudden I realized that there was a FIRE inside the oven. I had placed all the buttered and seasoned potatoes on a cookie sheet that had slits on the four corners. There was enough butter/grease from that many potatoes to drip through those slits and onto the oven floor and coils causing a fire!

    My husband and another husband came running with the fire extinguisher all ready to douse the entire contents of the oven-- meaning, no dinner for all these folks!!

    Quickly I said, "W-A-I-T!!!!" And I managed to salvage the tray before the "firefighters" went wild with panic and sprayed the oven...and put out the fire...and saved the day...and didn't ruin the potatoes after all!

    Our kids and the kids visiting, of course, all came running with toy firemen's hats, hoses, etc., to "help" put out the fire. It is a treasured memory we share with the friends who were there. Unfortunately, I wasn't the camera fanatic I am I don't have pictures to prove it all happened!! LOL!!

  2. I had to giggle as I read about the overflowing cake, because I've done that! Not since getting married, but I have done that. I never seem to remember that it's better to throw out some batter (I hate wasting food!) or putting the extra in something else, than filling the pan to full!

  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Deb! I am sure that you are right that these mishaps will continue for a long time! I loved reading your story - thanks for sharing!

    Hi Susan, it sounds like you and I may be somewhat alike when it comes to cake batter :). The most prominent cake spilling episode occured because I trusted the recipe - it said a certain sized cake tin so I used that even though there was obviously too much. I only have one cake tin . . . so perhaps the "throw it out" option would be best for me! I'll see if I can enter that into my my anti-waste brain :).

  4. Too many, Sherrin,Too many...
    After 7 years, I've finally learnt-Do not try to multitask while cooking hubby's morning omelette. It's just not worth it!!
    (Multitasking is NOT my strong point)

  5. Hi Sherrin: funny post. I can't think of any burnt offerings in the past 17 years but I know there must be a few! What i like to do with leftover cake batter is pour the remainder into muffin cups (sprayed with PAM) and bake as cupcakes!

  6. Yes, Claire, I had a similar experience today! It did not involve a burnt offering, but it did involve insufficient attention to the task at hand! I put biscuit dough into the blender when the blade was not inserted, and then wondered why the blender was not doing anything - we hope no flour has got into the motor!

    Well, Faith, I am glad there is hope for me that I will have no more burnt offerings after some years of marriage :). Your idea re: left over batter is great! I'll have to try that!