Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Perilous Saturday

So many things happened yesterday that could have ended badly...

We went to Wal-Mart of all places, on the Saturday before Christmas -- the busiest shopping day of the year. This was just asking for torture, but it couldn't be avoided. I only needed 2 items and since Justin was home sick, I had both girls with me. But I was blessedly surprised at the ease of the trip. Not needing to browse at all did the fact that every cashier lane was open. I'd never seen this before -- it was a corporate holiday miracle. Granted, the lanes were all filled, but with only one or two customers each, everything moved quickly. Narrow escape number one.

While at the store, I caught Lauren standing up -- all the way up -- in the cart's seat. I usually buckle her in for this very reason, but on such a quick trip, I forgot about it. As I was turned away once, I heard a gentle voice behind me say, "Ma'am?" I looked up and a worried elderly lady was pointing to my cart, seeming to have forgotten how to speak. She just gestured until I turned around to see Lauren doing a little tap-dance in the seat...dangerously close to toppling over the edge. I lunged to her side, sat her back down, and buckled her in tightly. Duh. Narrow escape number two.

At home, Lauren got into my not-yet-unpacked box of baking supplies from the baking party I attended on Friday. She found the bottle of red food-coloring among all the other non-dangerous, non-staining possibilities, and played happily with it. She'd opened the box, pulled out the bottle, and was shaking it while dancing around the house. When I caught on to the situation, she'd just begun using it as a pretend baby bottle, sucking on the cap and 'drinking' deeply. She was terribly offended when I confiscated her toy, but I sighed in relief that the cap was well attached. Narrow escape number three.

At my parents' house that night, I was making dinner for us. A favorite: Ugly Naked Chicken. (Basically, this is just baked chicken pieces with a sticky, sweet sauce added a few minutes before it's done.) My mom and I were both excited for the meal; my dad was cooking himself scallops, which neither of us wanted to eat. When the time came, I pulled out the oven rack holding the pan and bent down to pour the hot, saucy mixture over the chicken. My narrow escapes were all used up; as the last few drops fell down, the glass pan suddenly burst with a loud, shattering POP. The sweet sauce was puddled among glass shards and now-inedible chicken in the bottom of the oven. After a quick clean up, my mom improvised with some hamburger patties, but we were both as shattered as the pan...that chicken was going to be goooooood.

But, of all the things that almost went horribly wrong, I'm glad the last one was the only real casualty. Stressful shopping, hurt children, stained carpet, furniture, and toddler...these things all would have been worse than the broken pan and ruined dinner.

I can say that though, because it's not my oven which now needs to be deep cleaned. I do so love cooking at other people's houses.

Edited to add: Today at mom's house, my girls accidentally knocked over her Christmas tree, purposefully dumped out a decorative sleigh full of potpurri, and somehow dismantled a candle snuffer. We may be banned from Christmas Day festivities...


  1. the same thing happened to me last week. I was just making a poor roast and it was previously marinated so I wasn't basting it during the cooking. anyhow at the last minuet just as I was pulling it out I thought it needed an extra touch drop more of marinade on top...well the glass roaster shattered and my wonderfully smelling pork roast was no more. I was so mad...and so hungry!

  2. Ugly Naked Chicken sounds really yummy. I was sad for you and your mom as I read of its demise ;)

    Christmas week- wahoo!!!

  3. Oh, yikes! But when I first read this post I misunderstood and thought the door to the oven itself had shattered, which could have been really bad! Still, there's no trivializing the loss of Ugly Naked Chicken. After all, it sounds like a dish that demands respect!

    I'm just glad Lauren didn't fall out of that shopping cart. Penelope's been up to the same sorts of tricks and it's SCARY.

  4. Wow. The whole pan shattered? That does sound like the waste of a good meal. I'm glad that was the worst thing that happened, though!

  5. Yum...ugly naked chicken. I should make that again soon, my kids gobble it up. Hopefully we'll actually get to eat ours though! Sorry for your loss!

    Glad to hear Lauren didn't fall. That could have Bren a way worse situation than it was.

  6. Ugly Naked Chicken?
    Someone has been watching a bit too much friends I think:).
    So glad that was your only disaster (that day).

  7. I'm still in shock over the whole smooth Wal-Mart shopping experience. How does that even happen?? I'm glad for you though. I have a glass baking pan... never thought of the potential for shattering. Yikes! But you're right, it has to be less of a mess than the food coloring cap coming off.

  8. I had a glass pan explode like that with dinner in it once. That is such a frustrating experience and the clean-up is, as I can attest, definitely no fun.

    I'm glad that no one was hurt in all the adventures of the day. I sort of need to make a trip to either Wal-Mart or Target, and I really don't want to.

  9. I had the glass pan explosion happen to me once too--Just after I'd taken it out of the oven, with the dinner completely baked and company expected in 30 minutes! For just a minute I really wanted to try and pick the little pieces of glass out of the enchiladas so I would still have them to serve my guests...but reason prevailed. Actually I think my husband told me that I was under no circumstances going to serve food to people that may or may not contain broken glass. And in the end I whipped up sort of a quick and easy every day dinner dish, not a time-consuming company dinner dish, but my guests never knew the difference so it was fine.

  10. I'll bet your mom would be willing to have her Christmas tree knocked over every day just to have you and your precious girls near. I've been envying her all day :)


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