Saturday, July 15, 2006

Life's Most Embarrassing Moments

Yes, I know it's only been a day since my last blog on the OFC, but I'm bored, so the nine of you who are reading this thing will just have to put up with me, okay??
OK, so here's the thing: I spend my life trying to avoid embarrassment. To me, there's almost nothing worse than doing something stupid and having someone catch you at it.

Falling -- I've done that quite a number of times. A few years ago, I did it three whole times in one week, including a spectacular fall down the basement steps while carrying a printer, though no one saw that one but my cat. (I'm sure he was laughing his little feline head off about it, though. Cats have a twisted sense of humor.)

And then there was the time I was attempting to impress my then-boyfriend by making a complicated apple cake recipe that had been circulating among the employees where I worked. Armed with a hand-me-down electric mixer and a hand-written copy of the recipe, I set confidently to the task.

The mixer I'd been given was one of those old detachable types, meant to be both a hand- and a stand-mixer, when it didn't quite make it at either. The hand mixer part hooked onto an upright arm that suspended it over a platform whereupon the mixer bowl was supposed to sit. Unfortunately, though, the bowl had long been broken somehow, somewhere before my time, so I'd had to improvise by using a bowl of my own that looked to be about the right approximate size.

The recipe called for a whole mess of ingredients that had cost me a bundle to buy at the grocery store, and it had taken me what seemed like forever to peel and slice all the apples. But nothing was too good for my boyfriend and I knew that once I'd demonstrated all my mad, mad baking skillz, he'd fall even more deeply in love with me! Me and him and Apple Cake 4EVA!!

So I started dumping all the ingredients into the bowl, one after the other, until very soon, the bowl was so full that the ingredients came to within about a half-inch of overflowing. Undeterred, I stuck it onto the mixer platform, lowered the spindly little beaters into it, and set the speed to low. Gamely, the beaters chugged along through the batter, doing a surprisingly good job of turning the mess into a smooth mixture. Once it was all combined to my satisfaction, I turned up the speed to medium.

I stayed there and observed the mixer for quite a while, making sure the bowl was turning as it should. The batter was supposed to be beaten for 10 minutes, so rather than stand there the whole time and be bored (I have the attention span of a house fly), I decided to set the timer and join my boyfriend in the next room.
When I thought the ten minutes were probably almost up, I got up and ambled back into the kitchen...
...just in time to see the beaters doing some amblin' of their own -- right off the mixer stand.

"NOOOOOOO!!!" I yelled, flying over the remaining stretch of kitchen floor in a panic.

But it was too late -- the beaters leaped merrily off their hook, knocking the bowl right off the stand. The bowl fell to the floor, shattering and spreading across the floor in an apple-and-glass-studded lava flow. Meanwhile the beaters, now free of their hook prison, continued to whirl, throwing batter high up into the air and all over the walls, ceiling, counter, and me, as they fell off to the side and upside-down, practically yelling "WHEEEEEE!!" in the process.

"STOP!!!" I futilely shrieked as I danced around, desperately trying to avoid the bits of apple batter getting hurled at my head. Frantically dodging the spinning blades, I finally grabbed the electric cord and yanked it out of the socket.
Blessed silence.

My cats, who had come to see what all the excitement was about, stared at me with round, frightened eyes. I had batter in my hair, my nose, my eyelashes, and all over my shirt and pants. There were bits of apple and splashes of batter everywhere I looked.

I collapsed to the floor amidst the goo and wailed, "All those ingredients -- gone!! All that money!! Stupid, stupid mixer!!!" And my boyfriend?
Laughed his fool head off. He hadn't been so entertained in...forever.
Which just goes to show, the way to a man's heart is not through his stomach, but through doing stupid things that make him laugh. Because boys are simple, and it's always good to remember that.

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8 comments:

Pink Armchair said...

Oh, it's so nice to see you over here! This was hilarious. Although I really felt for you, losing all your expensive ingredients in such an unsalvageable way. Of course, some people -- and evidently your boyfriend was one of them -- would have felt the laugh they got was well worth it. I once made the mistake of cooking for a boyfriend...I made beef stroganoff with GROUND beef. And the noodles came out looking like a matzo ball. A real mess.

Vox Vixen said...

Your cake story was hilarious. I've had pretty similar experiences. I esp. like when the batter overflows the pan in the oven. That's maybe why I gave up baking for the most part.


VV/EE

The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Funny Funny!

One time I was making a special birthday dinner for MrNan. We'd been together more than a year so it wasn't as if I didn't know him at this point. I saw a wonderful recipe for duck fanned out on a plate with cranberries and green beans - all beautiful in Gourmet or Bon Apetit. Anyway, duck ain't easy and I worked for hours on that sucker. MrNan sat down to dinner and I brought out the beautifully prepared plate - just as I sat it down in front of him, I realized . . . . He didn't eat Duck or Cranberries!!!!!! What was I thinking?

So glad you're part of ConCLAYve!

lakecat said...

Do you think you might be related to me? I am definitely accident prone.

I loved the batter flying around the room. I am guessing the next story will be about cleaning batter off the ceiling.

As a child I remember my mom making stew in a pressure cooker and watching as the lid came off of it with vegetables and pieces of meat flying around the room in slow motion.

Chardonnay said...

Jude that was hillarious! I can just picture it! And speaking of pictures... where did you get that one of my gramma's mixture???

Diamond said...

Jude, great story! I laughed my butt off!! I don't have any real cooking nightmares, but two weeks ago at Marshall Field's me and my enormous purse managed to knock over a six-foot-tall rack of necklaces in front of about 100 people. Eeek!! But it made a funny story afterwards :)

beauzzartz said...

Jude, you sly dawg you. You waited till I was gone to come over here and post that hilarious story. So what exactly were you doing for those ten minutes in the other room with your boyfriend? hmmmm? So do you still have that recipe?

geekette said...

LOL - I guess that beats my messiest kitchen disaster. But did you know that if you drop a bottle of orange soda it will geyser all the way up to the ceiling? Lovely shade of orange - still there!