Monday, January 15, 2007

Suzie Homemaker

Saturday, I had spent much of the day cleaning, and was preparing for the evening meal. (OK, I'm lying. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap.) So, yeah, I was feeling guilty and decided, when Dr. B took Lucy for her late afternoon walk, to be ultra-efficient. I would throw laundry in the washer, do the dishes, bake a pie (albeit frozen) for dinner at our friends' the next night, bake some corn muffins, and start the sausage creole for supper. Dr. B came home and headed to the store for me to pick up some ice cream for the pie, and I got to work. I set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees, popped the pie and muffins in, and began soaking the sausage to remove some of its saltiness.

I can do this! I am incredibly effective, and quite the time-manager, let me tell you. Like a well-oiled machine, that's me. Donna Reed, eat your heart out.

I was elbow-deep in dishes when the smoke alarm went off, about 4 minutes later.

What the??? Hrmf. Must have been some cheese or something on the oven floor. Oh well, it'll stop. I thought.

I continued with the dishes. It didn't stop. I took a damp towel, waved it near the alarm, and it quit. Good. Back to the dishes.

I washed a few more things, and it started going off again.

Stupid thing! Man! It's called baking. Duh! It's not the house afire! Ratsfratsafarkinstupid... I opened the front door, and waved the storm door back and forth to clear the "smoke" away from the detector. It stopped.

For a second. Then it started again.

I went to the back door, and opened it to let some more of the supposed smoke out. Lucy ran for it, and headed to the backyard, giving me looks that said, "MOM!!! Make it stop, NOW!!!" Then the upstairs one started going off.

Oh. Now this is just brilliant. Stupid smoke detectors. It's only a pie. It's on a baking sheet, and foil--it's not like it's burning up. The dumb thing was frozen, and it's only been in for 8 minutes. EIGHT MINUTES!!! I mean come on! Hello? You can't burn a pie in 8 minutes. Dumb thing. You'd think these things would work nowadays. They can send a man to the moon... Stupid smoke detectors...

I boiled some water, hoping the humidity would help. It didn't.

For the next 3 minutes, I ran back and forth with the damp towel, trying to clear the air. I waved the front door, to no avail. I waved the back door. Again, nada. Lucy came running in, tail tucked between her legs, shooting me dirty looks over her shoulder. She ran to her bed to hide. I finally opened the kitchen window, despite the 15 degree temperature outside.

The downstairs one stopped.

Just then, Dr. B walked in. I explained what was going on. Then I went to "prove" to him that it wasn't my fault.

And I saw the hanging thermometer inside our, shall we say "dated", gas oven.

It read 600 degrees.

Sigh. No wonder the oven knob is slightly melted.

The pie was nicely browned, so I topped it with foil and turned down the oven, hoping to salvage it. The corn muffins were "black-bottom", and perfumed with smoke, so those went to the compost heap.

I took the pie out of the oven later, but strangely it never bubbled. Because I was afraid it had totally dried out and would also be "blackened cranberry-apple pie", I decided to seek another alternative for dessert. (I like my friends, and I want to be invited again!) Luckily, I had seen a recipe on the food network that really tempted me. And, it involved no baking whatsoever. Perfect.

So I made this, substituting Grand Marnier for the almond liqueur, and making only 1/2 the amount called for. (1/2 the amount served 8 anyway.) I served it over angel food cake with a sauce made from frozen and thawed raspberries and strawberries in syrup, with a little lemon juice. (The fruit this time of year tends to taste like it came from the Cardboard Farm.) A little light whipped topping on the side dressed it up even more (I would have done cream, but the hostess still has a few lbs. to lose from her recent pregnancy. I was trying to be sensitive.)

It got RAVE reviews. Highly recommended.

Anyway, I guess I still have a few things to learn about our kiln oven.

I'm a little scared to cut into that pie. (At least it's not this one.)


MagE said...

Suzie homemaker I am not either. funny you should mention burning desserts... was hosting friends on Saturday was trying to do a dessert de MagE - carmelized sliced pears in chocolate dessert cups with whipped cream and sliced almonds. well had added too much liquid to the pears so I left the stove while we ate to reduce and concentrate the liquid... and when din din was over - so was dessert - the carmelized pears were overly carmelized...aka burnt and stinky! sigh. The new hubby had been in the kitchen several times during dinner... no notice of burning pears occured. but in the end we were all too full to actually care about dessert. :) Ahhhhh welll... R - it happens to the best of us - hmmm? you had a lovely solution... and evidently a better idea in the end. mine was just to fuhget about it. :)

PutYourFlareOn said...

oh my gosh, what a funny story. I can see your waving a wet towel around like a crazy woman. And your oven goes us to 600 degrees? Insanity!

I want to try to make that recipe you talked about... angelfood cake is one of my favorites. I think with a rapsberry coulis for Julien it will be his favorite too. :)

La Rêveuse said...

It's the Freeform Cheesecake custard stuff that will get you--to die for. In summer, the cake will be pointless--much better just over fruit. (But what can you do in WI in January?) I think Julien will love it! Make it with Chambord!!!

afoos said...

See, this is why I hate gas ovens, you just never know! I've been complaining about ours since we got it a year ago, but can't get Etienne to budge to get a decent one (which I think would be a great investment, seeing that we'll be here for awhile). Hmmm, how many times do the cookies have to burn to a crisp for him to change his mind?

And, remember, it's never your fault, it's the oven's.

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