Another Catering Catastrophe

OK – I’ve not had the best day in the world. The kitchen lurches towards completion and today the oven turned up. It’s a lot more sophisticated than my old one – which basically was just a warm box – and required much reading of the instruction book and under the breath muttering.

However, we got there in the end – the light came on and it roared into life. I bunged in stuffed peppers, fish cakes and four jacket potatoes. Task completed, I returned to the Christmas Story – something I need to get a move on with after a telephone call from Accent Press this morning which covered such wide-ranging topics as my failure to understand megabytes and their purpose, my failure to deal rationally with deadlines, Hazel’s non-use of a bucket in a field in Wales, my stupidity in completing the next St Mary’s full-length novel instead of the Christmas Story, exactly why didn’t I have a kitchen yet, the pre-orders for Dark Light, why hadn’t I finished the Christmas Story, making A Bachelor Establishment free for a while, and why the bloody hell hadn’t I finished the Christmas Story yet?

I’ve completely forgotten where I was. Where was I? Yes – the oven. And my failed attempt at catering.

I have to say oven technology has moved on a bit. I reached in to see how things were going – you know, give everything a bit of a poke but everything was ten times hotter than I was expecting  and I burned myself really badly on a potato.

I shrieked in pain – all those people who think Max is based on me have no idea how wrong they are – and somehow – don’t ask me how – the potato leaped from the oven and rolled across the floor, finishing up under the units, obviously, because the plinths aren’t in yet and I had to crawl about on my hands and knees and retrieve a red-hot tuber from – obviously – the furthest and most inaccessible corner.

It was still burning hot so I slung it back into the oven asap and it bounced straight back out again bringing the other three with it. They all rolled across the floor, one in each corner where they lay oscillating between incandescent and inaccessible.

I eventually got them bundled back into the oven and, worried it might have cooled in my absence, I very, very gently placed my last unburned hand on the fishcake and the crust caved in and the next minute I was up to my wrist in  a lump of molten lava – or fishcake as it misleadingly said on the packet.

I swear, at this point, I didn’t have a single unburned digit. I’d only been cooking for twenty minutes and I’d already lost the use of both hands. Imagine the state of me by Friday.

I’m now sitting watching The Big Bang Theory and holding a pot of frozen yoghurt in each hand. Yes, I know I look ridiculous. No, I don’t care. It’s been made very clear to me that NOTHING must stand between Accent Press and the receipt of the Christmas Story so enough whimpering and more work. And, for anyone still interested,  I’m only eating  sandwiches for the rest of my life.

47 thoughts on “Another Catering Catastrophe

  1. LOL, I do so love reading everything you write 🙂
    I shouldn’t laugh really, I’ve been there with microwaved soup all over my hand, which was so badly scalded that I actually cried. So you do have my sympathy.

  2. Sorry to hear about this disastrous meal ~ hope your hands are healing. I have been there myself. . . I love your humor! Everything you write is wonderful

  3. So funny! Sorry I shouldn’t be laughing at your pain, just the image of a gang of marauding hot potatoes lunging out of the oven. I once used a liquidiser for soup straight out of the saucepan, big mistake. The pressure caused the lid to fly off covering the whole kitchen in dripping tomato soup. My hand got scalded but luckily nothing else as I dived for cover, took a while to clean up!

    • I’ve had to draw a large arrow on my liquidiser to stop me turning it the wrong way and ending up with soup all over the floor/counter top/ cupboards..

  4. Dear Jodi,

    It seems to me this ordeal has brought to the light your most reasonable options for the near future :

    A) use a radioactive products remote-controlled manipulator in your kitchen, or
    B) ask Accent Press to equip your computer with Dr@gon Dict@te or suchlike for a hands-free approach to creating literature , to benefit your faithful, devoted and ever-impatient readers (including muggins).

    All joke apart, awfully sorry for your kitchen mishaps, burns are nasty, long-healing and painful.

    Now, what about this Christmas story ? 😉

  5. This is so funny. Cooking is dangerous and should be left to the idiots who enjoy it!
    That said, The Big Bang Theory is great and sandwiches are not that bad.

  6. Bless you for making my day! sorry to say I had a good laugh at your mishap (it’s the way you tell them). I have been sat at the computer for what seems like hours looking to hire a car – why is it so flippin difficult to hire a car when you are over 70. so, once again thanks for the light relief. Sue

  7. Sandwiches are good and come in a variety of flavours but do watch out for those requiring sharp knives for preparation. Ready prepared sandwiches anyone? You must keep your strength up to finish our new Christmas story!

  8. Cooking should always carry a health warning and a supply of blue plasters.
    It could be that those were not just hot potatoes but time travelling ones from the Spud Fifth Dimension. Just as well they aren’t magnetic I say or they would be all over us like a disaster ….

    Hope your hands are better now, Hazel has a lot to answer for… now where is the Christmas story exactly…. ???

  9. I seem to remember an old Julia Child TV episode a lot like this. Well, except she wasn’t writing a Christmas Story.

  10. Been there except with microwaved beans and an exploding bowl well slightly cracked bowl breaking in half as it came out of the microwave and showering me with baked bean juice scaldignmu face …. not a pretty sight either!!
    Hope the hands are on the mend and looking forward to the new St mary’s Take and the Christmas story too! X

    • Ah yes, your culunary expertice obviously exeeds my own, having, after six months just mastered turning the microwave oven on and watching the porridge bubble over out of the dish coating the inside of the oven. As a result I am a lot slimmer than I was and have saved a forune on Gym fees. Sandwiches are things I am sticking with, you only have to open the package, those from the Co-Op appear cheapest and best.

  11. It has taken me three years to master one setting on my new oven, I don’t dare try any of the others as they always seem to destroy food rather than cook it, in fact I tend to leave it to my hubby and our teen who seem to understand it far better! Hope the frozen yogurt worked and you are back with your nose to the grindstone, your DM’s need their Christmas fix…

  12. Oh Jodi, I don’t know why you say Max is not like you. This whole ordeal sounds very much like something that would happen to Max! That being said, I too am sorry for your owies (ok, I’m a stay at home mom of a toddler so yes, I just said “owies” 🙄). Unlike your publishers & other fans though, I don’t feel the need to pressure you to GET THE CHRISTMAS STORY DONE (*ahem*), because you, my dear, have never disappointed us in the past. I have no doubt that come Christmas time we will hear that story, despite whatever horrible injuries (hey, there’s that word my mom-brain couldn’t come up with earlier) you inflict on yourself along the way. Feel better!

  13. Oh dear. I hope you heal quickly. Maybe we could all chip it to get you some dictation software while you get better. 🙂

    None of my disasters have been quite that disastrous. However, they have been bad enough that my husband keeps me out of the kitchen. Is it really that important that all the food be hot at the same time and free of burnt bits?

  14. Sorry I laughed but that said Lavender Oil really helps, tastes horrible, if you happen to touch your mouth though. Feel better soon x

  15. Ouch ouch ouch, tell Hazel if she wants the Christmas story she will have to come and cook for you. Healing thoughts x

  16. I also burnt two of my digits this week (in nowhere near as comical an incident as yours) and after spending the evening with my kids’ lunchbag ice packs wrapped around my fingers, I eventually snipped the top off one of my aloe Vera plants and rubbed that on the burns. Instant relief. I highly recommend that remedy which sadly allowed me to be typing at work again the next day.
    Best wishes healing and with that Christmas story.

  17. Just wondering, next time Max visits her son in the future can she check out if they still have to cook and have their own Mrs Mac or if they’ve invented replicators like the ones in Star Trek. Oh and please don’t upset Angus by showing him the Christmas Turkey in the oven!

  18. So sorry for your troubles. Since retiring, we eat nothing that can’t be cooked in the microwave in less than five minutes. Our youngest cat, six months old and perpetually crazed, was chewing furiously on the stove burners today. Has absolutely no idea what it is and I plan to keep it that way.

  19. Thank you for a good laugh this morning Jodi. Your way with words is magic. I am sorry for your troubles with the oven really, well I will be after I stop laughing ..

  20. This really does sound a awful lot like something that Max would do. I hope your hands heal quickly and I can’t wait to read the Christmas story,

  21. Two things: (1) this is why I eat salad; and (2) there is always Orthodox Christmas (gives you an extra two weeks). Wait, did you say which year?

  22. I recently started a diet. Not one of those where you go and get weighed and go every week to see how you have shaped up.. no I couldn’t put myself through that . I went for one of those diets that comes ready made, just add fruit and veg, you know the sort I mean. And, it works. its tasty stuff, but most of all, it cooks in 3 minutes in the microwave! so from empty table to full meal on the table in five minutes, brilliant.all you need is somewhere to store the box of goodies. I did think, if I ate it all in one go would I get slimmer quicker, but no. however I have lost the 22 pounds I had added and am still inching downwards happily.
    So if you get fed up with sandwiches and takeaway, try a buy in special and you can add your own ice lollies!

  23. Send the oven back and use the money for catering American style – someone cooks for you! Aloe vera for the burnt digits and maybe a dictaphone to finish the Christmas story?

  24. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams (Who also knew a thing or two about making sandwiches…)

  25. I am so sorry to hear of your injuries! I had a similar culinary disaster. I, not understanding kitchen physics, poured a gallon of boiling hot chocolate into a large thermos. I then screwed on the lid tightly and proceeded to shake the thermos. The buildup of steam inside created a hand held nuclear bomb. The lid blew off, missing my teeth by a miracle, and shattered the ceiling light which sprayed shards of glass everywhere. Boiling chocolate covered every inch of the kitchen, including the ceiling and myself. My family came running at the BOOM and my screams. They stifled their giggles behind masks of concern. Heal quickly 🙂

  26. Hi Jodi,
    I’ve just read the Nothing Girl,Little Donkey and Something Girl.I love them so much and cried with laughter at the Patagonian Attack Chickens.So,I was wondering,is the Christmas story going to be set at the farm?Or could you manage another novel there?

  27. Accent press needs to provide you with eye candy. They must have mad typing skills and be usefull in the kitchen until you are healed. Then we get our Christmas story and you can have a pleasant and leasurly recovery. (PS. I live in the land of potatos. They are sneeky little mosters from the time they are in the field and continue right up till they scramble flaming out of the oven. I would not turn my back on them if I were you.)

  28. Oh my goodness I had to remind myself that this was your story, and not that of Max! I’m sorry to hear about the great hot potato incident and fish cake fiasco of 2018. Well… almost sorry. The story was just too good!

    I’m delighted to know you’re a fellow Big Bang fan, a fact I only recently realized as I re-listened to the audio collection (so far) for St. Mary’s and caught the “Cooper/Hofstadter papers” reference this time!

    Equally delighted to hear the next full length novel is finished, and… oh heck, I think you’ve heard enough about the Christmas story for now!

  29. Wow, what a disastrophe! (Disastrophe being a word created, as far as I know, by my favorite daughter, and in any case, one whose use I advocate at every possible opportunity.) Might I suggest, at the very least, oven mitts? I like the elbow length ones myself.

    Hi, I’m a noob. Discovered the Frogmorton Farm books, well the first one anyway, several months ago, perhaps as much as a year ago, and finally have got around to St. Mary’s. I love the quirky misfit characters in both series, all people I would in life gravitate to myself, I think. And I’m a sucker for anything time travel too, whatever Dr. Boss Man and Chief call it. And well narrated audiobooks make me very happy. 🙂

  30. Oh, and I nearly forgot. Thank you for such a lovely screen reader friendly website. With, you know, text on it. And not a lot of unnecessary clutter. And properly labeled things.

  31. *Growl* Those last two comments were from me. I really don’t like making anonymous comments, I want my name attached to my thoughts. Sorry about that y’all, noob, remember?
    –Buddy (in case logging in by WordPress still makes me anonymous)

  32. Jodi,

    You really make my day. Thank you for all of the great stories and laughs. You write the way my mother spoke – always a crack up. Sorry about your damaged digits, but it is all worth it in the end, right? You know – anything for your public!
    Really, though, Max and the folks at St Marys have given me such enjoyment. I have never done this before but just had to write and say, THANKS!

  33. Well it seems like, at very least, Max’s cooking prowess is based firmly on your own 🙂

    Hope things heal soon, and your potato juggling exploits don’t cause you too many Bairstowesque penetrating stares from your publishers for additional delays in the chriistmas story.

Comments welcome - but not spam!