By Becky Van Drunen. In the world of food blogs and Instagram and Facebook it might seem like those of us who cook meals every night really have it together. Somehow we work full time jobs, own small businesses and keep our kids alive. Somehow we find the time and energy to search for new recipes each week, make it to the grocery store and cook homemade meals our families love. Well, I am here to tell you, as if you don’t already know, that things don’t always work out as you had planned.
Very recently, on a warm spring evening, our good friends were coming over for dinner. We don’t get to see them much since life is crazy and we were really looking forward to sharing a meal and some good conversation. Of course I had planned out something wonderful for dinner: Asparagus Ribbon and Whipped Ricotta Pizza with Prosciutto. Obviously it was going to be amazing. In an attempt at achieving “effortlessness” I had prepped all the ingredients in advance and all that was left to do was cook the pizza. Easy. I preheated the oven to 475 degrees as usual for my pizzas, threw the pan into the oven and went to relax in the living room.
A few minutes later I went to check on the pizza and shouted to my husband “THE SMOKE DETECTOR IS GOING TO GO OFF!” Perhaps alerting him of the smoke detector was a bit redundant, but I called out to my husband for 2 reasons.
Number 1: Get ready to fan the smoke detector and apologize to our guests.
Number 2: Prepare our 2 year old who is about to go into predictable hysterics yet again over the smoke detector.
The smoke detector goes off. No big deal. I can handle this. I pull the pizza out of the oven. Yep. A little too dark on the bottom. “Hmmm … weird” I think. I’ve done this a hundred times at this temperature. Alright let’s pull it out of the oven and get it on a cutting board.“Mmm, prosciutto looks nice and crispy … I bet we can salvage this even if it’s a little too brown …” I call out confidently. Famous last words.
Cue hysterical toddler screaming for mom.
Cue Mom reflexes kicking in as I look behind me while holding a very hot pizza pan while simultaneously attempting to gently ease the pizza onto a cutting board. Darn you multi-tasking.
A series of frantic actions followed and the pizza began to slide off the counter. Of course I attempted to use my huge silicone oven mitts to catch it and then when that didn’t work my reflexes failed me again as I lifted up my leg to try and correct the angle of the pan. Oh, I was wearing shorts on that warm spring day. Did I mention that? Yep. Major burn on my leg from that screaming hot pan.
Needless to say, dinner ended up upside down on the floor. And the cupboards. And the fridge. This sent my already hysterical toddler into a full blown melt down. “What happened! Clean up the mess! Get if off the fridge! Get it off, get it off, get it off!”
There really was nothing left to do but laugh. Wince in pain. Clean it up. Apologize. Laugh again. Then order pizza.
And so, you see, things don’t always go right in the kitchen, even for me. Our friends have already committed to having two-thirds of our family in their wedding party 16 months from now so although I will keep an eye on my Facebook friends just to make sure, I’m pretty sure they won’t de-friend us for now. Pretty sure. It’s at moments like this that you really understand “No use crying over spilled milk,” even if it was $40 worth of specialized ingredients and an hour of prep and 15 seconds of embarrassment. You move on. You try again.
No big deal.
Becky Van Drunen is a happily married momma to a toddler and owner of the food blog basilandbacon.com. As a healthy living enthusiast, she offers Meal Planning and Culinary Services to clients across Canada.