Sunday, January 3, 2010

Smoke & Sisters

This is actually two posts in one. I couldn't really separate them, and you'll soon learn why.

My sister, Jamie, is expecting twins, and on Saturday was her babies' shower. I offered to bring baked french toast, a delicious treat one of my professor's had once made for our class. This french toast is a two day process, and I was careful to measure out exactly 1 lb of bread with my new digital cooking scale. I even doubled the recipe because I knew it would be THAT fantastic. In fact, I was so excited to make this dish that I measured/broke up the bread and measured out the liquid early Friday morning, pouring it over that night, so that I knew I would be making it out of joy rather than a last minute obligation. It was special.

Saturday morning rolls around and I am over the moon excited. I boiled the topping-brown sugar and butter- on the stove and then poured it over the bread/liquid mixture. While the 45 minute bake time occurred I showered and got ready. I went down and peeked in the oven-perfection was before my eyes. I pulled the 3 glass pans out and put them on top of the stove. I sampled one... oh, my. It was amazing. Perfectly browned and delicately crisp with that warm sweetness that only butter permits. I then smelled a little burning. Hmm. It doesn't look burnt. I stood puzzled as the scent increased. I sampled each of the corners of the large pan because it started boiling, and I figured it burnt underneath the perfect top layer. Nope. It started smoking from underneath as I finally glanced to the stove dials. I had left the largest burner on high, the one beneath the perfection-filled-pyrex. I quickly turned the dial off and reached for the hot pads to remove it when..... BANG. The dish SHATTERS. I'm talking shoots-across-the-room-like-a-gun-shatters, and then a flame bursts. Ceej was ice fishing, and I had no idea what to do. I ran outside in my slippers and yelled to a neighbor a few doors down, who happened to be outside, whom I had never met. In a panic, I yelled, "do you have a fire extinguisher!?" She must have known it was urgent (I wonder how), and she hurried inside to retrieve one and send her husband over to help. I ran back and blast it out. Ron, the husband of my new friend Cheryl, helped me remove the smoking pile of baked french toast and do the first round of sweeping up glass (more to follow. Believe me.). Had I thought to remove the other 2 pans before hitting the extinguisher, I may have saved some for the babies' shower. But, unfortunately, I was in panic mode. Also, had I thought to use salt or baking soda, Ceej and I may have saved 3 1/2 hours of HEAVY cleaning that night (we're talking wiping out every single cupboard, dishes, food, walls, floors, even living room furniture got hit with powder... the downstairs of our house is now as clean as it ever will be. It's absolutely pristine.) The picture below is of the shatter/destroyed larger dish carried out in the medium-sized dish to save my house from more smoke.

Anyway, back to right after it happened, Ron left and I stared at my poor kitchen and the thick, smokey air and my poor, unfortunate stove top. Burst into tears. I ran upstairs to shower and sobbed my way through it. Calmed down, got out, called my aunt who was hosting the party and cried again. I kept crying. I tried calling my fisherman but didn't get a response, not wanting to have him come home to the state of our home, I left the following note (posted for my aunt and sisters).

I had to hurry to get ready and get out the door... but I kept crying. It was recover of the adrenaline rush more than anything. I couldn't believe what had happened or what COULD have happened. Scary stuff for a brand new bride! On the hour and a half drive to Stillwater I talked to a couple people about it, as practice for the party. I kept crying about it, even though I know it happens to a lot of people throughout their lives. They just kept flowing. For those of you that are wondering, I did end up crying as I talked about it at the party. Oh, well. Live and learn.

After I stopped crying (which is a great way to begin any party), the event was great! We had a yummy breakfast and played games and ate cake. Jamie got some very cute things for two very lucky little girls.

Not that I'm proud of this, but after washing the billion towels and wash clothes used to scrub our downstairs I needed to do laundry and managed to mess that up, too. My coat smelled of smoke, so I threw that in. Took it out of the dryer and it was crinkled down a few sizes. Yep, it melted. Rats. I did that with my coat 3 years ago, too. Needless to say, this weekend was not my most impressive. Blame it on the stress of starting my second semester of grad school tomorrow, blame it on the blue moon. Whatever. I sucked.

The Recipe.

Baked French Toast
Whisk together:
2 c. milk
1.5 c. half & half
8 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. cinnamon
Take one pound (stale) bread torn into pieces and put in greased 9x13 pan.
Pour liquid over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2: Boil 3/4 c. real butter and 1.5 c. brown sugar on the stove for 5 minutes (then, TURN OFF THE BURNER). Pour on top of bread mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.


Chelsea Barnes said...

wow. Thank goodness for your neighbors, and your strong problem solving skills!!!! :) Glad nothing tooo serious happened, although I'm sure it was still devastating!!!!! I love the note by the way!!

Tabitha said...

Ohhhh....what a weekend. I can only imagine what CJ's face looked like when he saw your note. I would also blame it on grad school. What's the french toast recipe, I am interested:)

adam and andrea said...

I would totally do that! Glad you didn't get hurt! Your note is priceless, you have to keep that. Glad you have your snuggie comfort you! : )