From Too Many Chefs -

April 13, 2005


Oh dear. It was almost a Little Women moment last night. Do you remember the chapter towards the end of the book when Dear John unexpectedly brings home a work colleague to dinner and poor newly-married Meg has spent an entire day unsuccessfully trying to make jelly? And it all ends in tears? Well, thank heavens I'm 37 years old and have a sense of humor because otherwise you would have found me weeping over the jam pots last night.

My dear husband told me last night at seven-thirty that he had forgotten a promise to help our friend Michael with his wireless network. Could he bring Michael over to watch the football afterwards? Ever the perfect housewife (well until May 2 anyway) I thought quickly and came up with a way to stretch two fish filets to dinner for three. The 45 minutes he would spend at Michael's working on the network would give me time to whip something up and I'd have a chance to show off how versatile and talented I am. (God has a way of punishing you for those kinds of thoughts, doesn't he?) To top things off, I had been experimenting with stuffed mushrooms and so the dinner would look really elegant. Oh yeah.

Until the moment when I pulled my lovely fish casserole bubbling and creamy from the oven. And the handle on the casserole dish gave way in my hand. And the casserole went crashing down to the floor. And I started swearing.

Thank God for Domino's! I'm sure if they existed in the 19th century, my poor namesake from Little Women would have coped better.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at April 13, 2005 3:12 AM | TrackBack

I don't know which makes me sadder - the destroyed dinner or the fact Domino's exists in Paris.

Posted by barrett on April 13, 2005 at 7:15 AM

I suppose it's a sad comment on our household that we have a Domino's menu kicking around...but it is convenient in a pinch. The lost dinner was definitely sadder, though.

Posted by Meg in Paris on April 13, 2005 at 7:27 AM

That is so sad and tragic! Even on the floor it looks like it was going to be really good!

It reminds me of the time many years ago that we learned one really is NOT supposed to put a pyrex casserole dish directly onto a burner. We had an fish in cream sauce that we foolishly put on the stove on low just to keep warm. As we were setting the table, the dish exploded and shattered into thousands of pieces. Luckily, there were no dinner guests coming. (I can't remember what we had instead though - peanut butter sandwiches??)

I must say that my first impulse to you would have been to suggest handing out spoons for everyone to scoop the dinner off of your really clean floor. But I guess there would be a hazard of scooping up casserole dish shards. But perhaps eating off the floor is just not done in Paris, even if there are Domino's franchises there. ;^)


Posted by ejm on April 13, 2005 at 8:02 AM

Elizabeth, I did briefly consider scraping it up but our dinner guest was the sort of person who brings his own milk when you invite him to tea. I did try a little bit myself and you were right on both counts - it was tasty but unfortunately had little shards of pottery. I really liked the dish, too, which was a wedding gift from my cousin Maureen!

Posted by Meg in Paris on April 13, 2005 at 8:08 AM

Consider if you will - Meg's leaping casserole - fish based; Elizabeth's exploding casserole - fish based.

The problem her is not with the crockery it's with the food. Fish explode when exposed to casserole dishes. You have been warned.

Posted by barrett on April 13, 2005 at 11:33 AM

Cream is also a common element...obviously something to be avoided too...

Posted by Meg in Paris on April 13, 2005 at 12:39 PM

Oh, Meg --- my heart goes out to you.

A similar incident, involving a massive and elaborate casserole intended to feed a coterie of business-types, has entered family legend as The Flying Chicken.

Posted by Elsa on April 13, 2005 at 5:20 PM

Nice work!

Posted by Sarah on April 13, 2005 at 8:08 PM

Barrett, you are right!! And here I was just about to go playing with fire by getting inspired to make Meg's fish in cream sauce - IN A CASSEROLE DISH!


Posted by ejm on April 14, 2005 at 9:41 AM

Oh No! I so feel your pain. The handle on my cake carrier broke and I dropped - upside down on outside steps - my first Tarte Tatin. No one got dessert that night!

Your casserole sounds delicious though.

Posted by molly on April 14, 2005 at 12:09 PM