Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alert! Another Kitchen "Misadventure" and Update on my Dad

Admit it. Sometimes you think I make things up, especially about cooking disasters. Hence, I created the label you see at the top of this post which records actual data when I mess up incredibly weirdly and report it to you. It's like my own private Ripley's collection.

But I am considering a new label: "Epic Culinary Failures." And today I created what would be a first entry into that new label.

As a treat for my father who was just released from the hospital last night, I decided to bake a fruit cocktail bread. I must tell you that my dad is one in ten million people on this earth and maybe a few on another planet who like fruitcake. That's a badly written sentence, but you know what I mean. Actually, that was a poorly written sentence. Oh well.

So I put it all together and baked it. And baked it. And baked it. I could never be quite sure it was done. So I baked it more. And more. Finally, when the outside looked like fossilized amber, I took it out, slid the knife around the edges, tipped it onto a plate, and watched the juices flow.

FLOW? Bread isn't supposed to flow.

So I scooped up the caramelized parts and some of the inadvertent compote parts and plopped them back into the loaf pan and stuck it back in.

And here's what came out:

So Jorge, hair rising on the back of his neck in anticipation of my explosion, swiftly offered a deflection: "Hey! You made a cobbler!"

No, I concocted a puddle of molten flour and corn syrup with some bald grapes thrown in for fun.

Seconds, anyone?

I didn't think so.

I also made a batch of gluten-free brownies for my mom which I think turned out OK except I'm not sure why it folded over on itself.

And now the rest of the story regarding Dad, which actually has a twist worthy of a TV drama.

Saturday night: ER with chest pains, tests. I went home at 1:00 AM.
Sunday: Observation and interpretation of tests. All looked good. Lots of time at the hospital where my brother pestered me.
Monday: Observation and two more tests. Brother continued pestering. Test results showed small "blip" on lower portion of heart. Ordered to stay another night to be seen by a cardiologist Tuesday morning.

Segue: My mother told me on the phone that he had to be seen by a specialist, and she couldn't remember what kind (she's 83) so she said, "It sounds like Ollie-ologist." So I said, "Oncologist?" And she said, "Yes," and I said, hesitantly, "That is a cancer doctor." I fully expected the pieces to fall into place for her and that she would break down, but she just said, "Yes."

So I get to the hospital and through the conversation of two nurses figure out that the specialist is a cardiologist, not oncologist. (Duh. But I just didn't think differently after Mom confirmed oncologist because there was a spot on his heart. Cancer seemed plausible to me.) Later Mom told me she thought she said it sounded like "oncologist" but that that wasn't it. However, she did not complete the thought with me. That explains why she was so emotionless at the threat of cancer, from my perspective.

Then--get this--last night about 9, a doc came in and told Dad that his record had been switched at the hospital with someone else's and that he was free to go home-just like that!

Can you believe it? Oh, it was good news, all right, but I felt so sorry for the person at home who would get the call with bad news!

Anyway, thanks for asking and caring. I haven't talked to him yet today, so I'm going to call him now. I wonder if he's feeling up to a fruit cocktail volcanic compote created by a chef called "Lid?"


Kim said...

One of these days I hope to meet you in person, Lid. But I'M bringing the food! LOL

Seriously, so glad your dad's doing okay. If our internet will cooperate today my hubby's going to call his mom and get an update on dad. Lately our internet has been super slow AND sketchy, just cutting out for a few minutes every so often. Makes trying to skype a little difficult.

[And don't feel too bad about the cake/cobbler -- even great cooks have disasters on occasion. Besides, you can write like nobody's business so that makes up for any tiny itty bitty small wee little problem you might have in the kitchen!]

Mocha with Linda said...

I'm so sorry you went through that scare. Glad he's home and okay.

Yeah, fruitcake is always made with dried fruit. Guess now you know why!

Major hugs to you, my friend!!

Joyce said...

maybe stupid question but when you say fruit cocktail bread are you actually putting canned fruit cocktail into it? I've never heard of that....from your post I don't think I'll be trying it but am just curious....glad your dad is back at home

Dawn said...

Glad your dad is well and home. I know mistakes happen, but I do hope someone is taken to task for the error and the undue stress it caused all of you. (Not to mention the other person and their family after they are called!)

I liked the cobbler "save." I say serve it warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream and no one will be the wiser!!!

Mrs. E said...

So glad things are going well for your Dad. And I love your husband making lemonade out of your lemons for you--cobbler. He is quick on his feet!! : )

Dawn said...

PS - I have a recipe for fruit cocktail cake and you have to drain the can of fruit - unless you substitute the juice for another liquid. Maybe that's where you went wrong?

Susanne said...

We could start a club for baking disasters. I so am not a good baker and have had a few volcanic messes myself.

So glad the news is good for your Dad and that he's back at home.

skoots1mom said...

so sorry your fruit cocktail cake pooped out on you...such a sweet sentiment for your sweet daddy!
he will love knowing you made him one even if he doesn't get to eat it :)

so glad he's better and that his news is good (It always makes me nervous when I listen to stories of mixed up charts or tests...makes you want to get a notary to get a signature and stamp to ensure you're getting the REAL truth)

Rest up, Papa...sending prayers your way

The Bug said...

Sounds yummy to me! My mom used to make a fruit cocktail cake - boy that was tasty! Sadly we can't find her recipe. My dad's new wife tried to make something similar but it was too dry - mom's cake was super moist. Mmm - makes me want to see if I can recreate it.

Glad your father is doing well.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Glad he's home.

Did you drain the fruit cocktail?

Kelly's Ideas said...

Funny - your baking is similar to mine but I do cook well.. Glad your dad is okay - I have enjoyed your blog.

2Thinks said...

Good news for dad here. Hope all continues in the healing direction.

I'm thinking just warm up the bread, flip up the top and scoop out the fruit. Warm fruit is a treat in and of itself, don'tcha think? It'd be kind of like when you serve cold fruit out of a carved watermelon. The bread would serve as the serving dish. Elegant.

See, things aren't as bad as they seem.

I'm happy to be home reading your blog again, funny girl.

Anonymous said...

When I was younger (not wiser), I had a pin that I wore at Christmas that said "Get Revenge...Give Fruitcake! I'm just sayin'.

I'm glad that your Dad is home and doing well!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

I don't think you make this stuff up; nobody's THAT creative.
Love ya! he he

Jenny wren's nest said...

Linda, do your Dad a favor and don't feed him anything you have baked! I'm sure you have a friend with a leftover fruitcake from Christmas. I'm so glad your Dad is feeling better.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Well, at least you tried with the fruitcake....I would never!! I mean, I can mess up fixing a cake from a box of cake mix!!! Just not in me to bake!!!

Glad your dad is okay...what a scare for sure!! Makes you wanna ring the neck of the one who mixed up the charts!!!


bethj said...

Glad your dad is really ok-your blog was funny about the cooking. It sure makes me feel better about MY cooking (although I'm usually better at baking). I like the idea of a cooking disaster club. We all need each other's support. The pictures really made it. You're a great writer. Thanks for the laugh.

Brenda Susan said...

I enjoyed this post a lot Linda & I too am sorry for the mix up with your dad but it is great that he ended up with the good news rather than the bad.

Cooking disasters never happen to me.....I refuse to try! No try = No fail! Terrible I know.