Because We Can’t All Be Martha Stewart

 One of these days, I’m going to buy an apron that reads “Yes, It’s Supposed to Look Like This”. Because, it pains me to admit, my cooking skills are seriously lacking. Given, I can occasionally bake a pretty decent loaf of bread, or make a pie that isn’t very runny, but I have had more cooking disasters than I can count on my fingers and toes.

Case in point: My love/hate relationship with apple pie. Half the time, my apple pies taste great! I go through all this trouble of making homemade crust and it’s perfectly buttery and flakey and oh-so-good. However, the other fifty percent of the time has resulted in some major apple pie baking disasters.

Perhaps the one my family likes to regale most frequently is the time I ended up setting our oven on fire baking an apple pie. It was really quite embarrassing. We had some friends over for an impromptu dinner and I decided to impress them by baking a homemade apple pie from scratch. Everything was going great. The crust was firm, the apples weren’t bruised, and I had made a pretty little design on the top out of left over pieces of dough. The main problem lay in my innate talent to always undercook an apple pie. I’m constantly sticking it back in the oven for another ten minutes after everyone has already gotten out their plates and forks and everything.

Anyway, on this particular occasion, I cut into the pie and little bits of runny filling gooped out. Laughing it off, I put the pie back into the oven. Fatal mistake number one.

Fatal mistake number two wasn’t really my fault, because I can’t help it if the filling of a pie continues to run out once it’s in the oven. I also can do nothing to change the fact that half-baked apples are extremely flammable. Within a matter of minutes, the smoke detector was going off and I ran over to open the oven. Sparks were flying. Orange flames danced around, clouded by smoke. The pie baking experiment had turned absolutely lethal.

In the end, we swatted out the fire with some damp towels and rescued the pie. It was very good, although a bit runny. (Because life isn’t fair, after all) We laughed it off (*ahem*–my family laughed it off; I turned red in the face and muttered something about ovens and pie fillings), but you would have thought my lesson had been learned.

It wasn’t.

Flash forward three years and you end up at our house, about two months ago. We were getting ready for a Christmas tea party, all dolled up in our Sunday best. As a Christmas present, I had decided to bake an apple pie for one of my friends. You’d think I would have remembered about the dangerous capability of a pie to leak all over everything. Instead, I blindly placed the pie in my lap. Wow, I remember saying, This pie is really keeping me warm.

Um, yeah. In case you haven’t already figured it out, it was the filling oozing out of the pie that was really keeping me warm. Icky brown cinnamon-flavored filling that got all over my black and white dress and favorite coat. I was absolutely devastated, but my friend assured me that the pie was actually very good. I still haven’t gotten over the tragedy. I can’t bring myself to throw away the coat either, so now it sits, all stained and wrinkled, in a corner of a laundry room. Maybe one day I’ll discover I have a fairy godmother, and my first wish will be for her to make it like new again. 🙂

One day, when I’m a fabulous culinary connoisseur, I know I’ll look back on this and laugh. I’ll toss my head and wrap up the absurdly hilarious story (as if I would do that now!) and then ask if anyone would like another bowl of raspberry crème brulee. But, until then, I’ll just have to deal with my wounded pride. It just goes to show me that, as if I didn’t know, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I set ovens on fire and ruin beautiful pink coats. But in those moments I remember that God can take my messy life and make it beautiful. And then I’m encouraged to try and bake another pie, because one of these days I’ll get it just right!

Anyway, if you have any comical kitchen fiascos to share, please do. I promise I’ll laugh and possibly feel sorry for you if it involves you being any more embarrassed than showing up at a Christmas tea party in a streaky brown dress, reeking of cinnamon. 🙂



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  1. * 4kids4us says:

    When I was in high school, I took a cold dish of leftover sloppy joes out of the fridge and put it on the stove to warm up. It blew up! Two of my friends were with me at my house, and my parents arrived home right after it happened, as the smoke alarms were blaring.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
    • * rec804 says:

      Wow that totally sounds like something someone I know (*wink*) would do. 🙂 I have heard the story of my mom trying to cook spaghetti in a skillet, however, so I suppose my cooking skills may be hereditary! However, if my mother could turn into a wonderful cook, maybe I can too. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  2. * YaYa Tomczak says:

    Rachel, we’ve loved every apple pie you’ve shared with us, even when I over-heated them. If you ever do bake a perfect apple pie, it will be devoured and become a memory, just as all the not so perfect ones. Keep practicing, and the good ones will happen more often. Duncle volunteers to help you out with sampling them for you. Any time.
    We are loving your blog, and now we’ll know what you are up to!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Tierney says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I am the most cookingly challenged person in my family! I have been known to “bake” grilled cheese sandwiches, grate entire blocks of cheese in one sitting, over-and-under-cook pasta, and destroy entire packets of mince by cooking it in the microwave instead of defrosting it. I’m surprised my mother lets me in the kitchen at all!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 5 months ago

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