Kitchen Catastrophes

Let me tell you a story.

Not that long ago, I couldn’t cook. Not a jot.

In college I once tried to bake a potato in the microwave.

I didn’t even poke holes in it.

I was truly culinarily challenged.

There is still an infamous night, not as long ago as I’d want to admit, that I decided [in my PMSing student days] that I wanted nothing in the world but caramel popcorn.

A food I had never made before in my life.

And thus, attempted to make homemade caramel for the very first time.

Now, nowhere did the directions mention that the frothing of boiling sugar would be so sudden and so huge.

Immediately I wanted the terrifying caramel volcano to stop. To stop it burning my fingers and possibly setting fire to my stove.

In my panic, I whisked the pan from stove top to sink with a clatter.

When I nursed my second degree burns with soppy, whelping noises and a cold tap, my flatmate came to see what the deal was.

Over the running water and whimpering I heard her say “You got gunk on the washing machine”.

I looked down and the caramel volcano had spurted all across the kitchen on its journey [a 90 degree spin manoeuver I couldn’t have designed more fully if I had tried] across stove, oven, counter, cupboards, washing machine, drying rack and floor.

And, being a cold winter’s night, it had hardened instantaneously to each and every surface.

We spent the rest of the night and into the morning trying to scrape it off everything we owned. with butter knives.

It was a spectacular disaster.

There were knife marks and stains on that kitchen even when I moved out years later.

Well, you know all that Homemade Christmas Joy I had going on?

Replace caramel with homemade blackberry jam.

At least this time I had the sense to clean up while it was still syrupy.


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