I believe that today was the first time I had ever made an Easter brunch for my family. I had read and reread the recipe, recruited a friend to take me to buy the ingredients, cleaned the house the day before, and even had gone out for a movie last night before beginning the task of actually making the brunch.
Before I went to the movie, I had assembled the ingredients that I would need last night. I was making Overnight French Toast, where you make the caramel sauce and pour it into the baking pan, then lay the bread slices down into the sauce, and then mix eggs, milk, and vanilla together and pour that mixture over the bread. Then cover the pan and let it chill out overnight in the fridge while you go do other things like clean up the kitchen, set the table, and lay your clothes out for church in the morning. Everything was going according to plan until one mishap after another caused me to think that maybe I shouldn’t try to cook any more. The caramel sauce had just started to boil, and I stirred it constantly as directed. It burbled and boiled, just like the recipe said, but when I poured it into the baking pan after 5 minutes, it immediately hardened like peanut brittle. I looked at the recipe and discovered my error. I read the recipe like this. “Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.” Where I failed was that the next line, which I hadn’t read, said, “Or until it boils.” Oh well. At least I didn’t spill any of it on the counter or the floor, and I didn’t burn myself or make a mess on the stove. I gently but firmly placed the slices of French bread on top of the hardened caramel sauce, praying that when it baked this morning, it would soften up and soak into the bread. Next was the milk and egg mixture. The recipe called for 4 eggs. I was so confident that I had at least 4 eggs left, that I hadn’t bothered to check. Nope. Only 3. Oh well. So the milk mixture wouldn’t be so rich, and maybe it wouldn’t brown, but I just had to pray that it would still work out. But I hadn’t spilled any of it, and I got it poured evenly over the bread.
Now it was time to stick it in the fridge and clean up the kitchen, which involved several bowls, 2 big plastic spoons, and 2 saucepans, all of which had hardened caramel sauce both inside and out. Oh well. They could soak overnight. I was also loading the dishwasher with tools that weren’t covered in hardened caramel sauce, when I suddenly thought of something else I should do. I have no idea what that was, because what happened next took away all thoughts of the next task. I completely forgot about my hard and fast rule of never leaving the dishwasher door open, and yes, you saw this coming. Not only did I trip over it, I actually thought in that split second that maybe I could avoid wrecking my shins by sailing over the top. Well, I almost made it, twisting my body so that I landed on my right shoulder and right hip, with only a ragged scrape down my shin.
But wait. there’s more. Today, Easter Sunday, my son and his girlfriend together figured out how to set the timer for the oven to come on by itself and start baking while we were at church, and it seemed that all would be well,…. or maybe not. As we opened the front door, we detected the definite odor of melting plastic, and smoke was exuding from the oven. My son swung into action, removing the melted plastic that I hadn’t noticed in the disposable pan and saving the day. He kindly suggested that I might want to sit in the living room and watch the kids discover what was in their Easter baskets. In other words, how about if I get out of the way and let him rescue the brunch. Great idea.
Because the weather was pleasant, we unset my beautiful table in the kitchen and moved everything outside to the patio, where we had much more room, and we couldn’t smell the melted plastic.
Before they all left, Steve set the oven to clean itself, a beautiful ending to an adventurous day.