Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scorching--Not in Reference to the Weather

I haven't had a certifiable kitchen disaster in a long time. This one wasn't my fault--I swear it. Look at what happened and then let me explain.

It was the oven. Seriously. I woke up early on a Saturday morning first to take my car into the shop (a great way to kick things off) and then to make hors d'oeuvres and dessert for my good friend's bridal shower. Salad went smoothly, and I made pesto with fresh basil from my mom's garden. I had whipped up some peach curd and lemon cream to fill tarts, meanwhile the oven went berserk. I rolled out the crust and filled the tins perfectly. I mean perfect. It was smooth; it was even. The world will never know because right before I popped these babies in the oven, it locked and kicked it up to "auto clean" level.

My dad surveyed the situation pessimistically. Apparently the oven had done this before, and it required a mechanic and a specially-ordered part to be back in working condition. I didn't have time for that. So when the oven unlocked after we had turned it off, I foolishly put two of my three tart shells in, hoping to bake them quickly and be done with it. Obviously, that was stupid. Within five minutes, the oven locked itself again and commenced scorching my tart shells right before my helpless eyes. I flipped it off. But these newfangled computerized ovens have a mind all their own, and it refused to let me save the tarts until the kitchen smelled of smoke.

I was at a loss. With only two hours until the party, I patently refused to remake the crusts. Too stressful. At the last minute, I ran out and bought a frozen pie crust and baked it at my neighbors' house. I had to put the crusts in the freezer to cool in time to add filling. My friend was very gracious about the tarts and pies, which turned out good enough.

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