Somethings are just not meant to be.
Like our lunch party yesterday. mrpeenee has hosted more dinners than I could begin to count. I like 'em. Even so, I am not immune to catastrophe in them, as witnessed by this lunch. Four friends, an easy menu, no big deal, right? Huh.
I made chicken pot pie with a cornbread crust, an almost effortless recipe, forgiving and actually benefitting from having the sauce, chicken and vegetables cooked the day before and then combined just before you eat. Everything's going along swell and I step into the kitchen 7 minutes before it's done to check on it and discover the cornbread crust is black and smoking.
Did I panic, fall to ground cursing and shrieking like Linda Blair? I did not. I announced lunch would be a little delayed (what's the point of pretending?) and went back in the kitchen prepared to pry the crusty crust off and make a new one. My equanimity was rewarded, too; when I pushed a spatula under the burnt part, it came right off and revealed a perfectly done, unburnt layer below. Thank you Saint Donna of Reed. It was actually terribly yummy. I wish I had saved you some.
Of course, I forgot to mention I had also burned a pecan pie earlier that morning and NOTHING would save that sombitch. It was one of those stupid recipes where you put the pie in at one temperature and ten minutes later turn the oven down to a less blasto range, but I overlooked that step. Oops. Pecan charcoal.
Two burnt pies in one lunch: what are the chances? I regaled our guests with the story of R Man's old friend Mike who came to dinner often and we had some disaster each and every time. I must have been a little too enthusiastic in the telling, because all the guests (one of whom is an Episcopalian priest. I think he may have worried I was accusing him of some kind of anti-hostette voodoo) swore this was not their fault. I wasn't blaming you, I tried to say, but no one listens to me.
Anyway, the salad was delish. And not burnt.