Friday, November 07, 2008

Flashback Friday: I'm a knockout

"Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?"

-Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Andrew almost got knocked out in the kitchen early this evening. You'll note the use of passive voice there. That's because I'm only partly to blame so I couldn't say "I almost knocked Andrew out in the kitchen early this evening," because that would be taking full responsibility; and it would sound funny to say "Andrew and I almost knocked Andrew out in the kitchen early this evening."

I am not entirely to blame in this situation because, although I was the one who opened the it, the cupboard door was already open when he bent over and I was in the process of putting things into the cupboard when he stood back up.

He hit it square on. It was a beautiful blow.

I only neglected him for a minute, to take Rachel out of her high chair, before showing some sympathy. I figured he was mostly okay because he was able to sit down instead of just falling over. He did hit his head pretty hard, though, and now he's working on a big paper he has due on Sunday. Don't worry, I'm planning on editing it before he turns it in.

This blog post will be dedicated to the time Andrew knocked me out in the kitchen a few years ago. Tragically the story was never recorded but it deserves to be because it was loads more humorous than this evening's knockout.

It was March 2006. We had been married for approximately 3 months and were eagerly awaiting our move to Jordan. We were trying to break out of our newly-wed isolation and actually socialize so we joined the ward dinner groups. We were scheduled to have dinner with two other families in the ward, one of which was a young-ish family like ours (although not quite as young since now they have 3 kids and we only have 1) and one was a well-established family with teenagers, a big house, and cars that actually worked.

I remember it was March because the dinner was scheduled to be around St. Patrick's day and we were asked to bring dessert. I was a little intimidated because we were going to be having dinner in the big fancy house of the well-established family and I had no idea what kind of dessert they were expecting.

Andrew really wanted to make Jell-o cake, which is Andrew's favorite kind of cake.

The occasion seemed to call for trifle or tiramisu or something a little fancier sounding than Jell-o cake, but I'm not the world's greatest cook and as a newly wed both trifle and tiramisu were a little out of my league.

So Jell-o cake it was. We didn't have the recipe, though, so Andrew phoned his mom to ask her for it while started cleaning the kitchen.

I had squatted to put away our pots and pans and was making such a racket that I didn't even hear Andrew come up behind me and open the cupboard door above the stove--he was checking to see what kinds of cake mix we had because we needed yellow cake mix for the recipe. He neglected to close the cupboard door when he had finished checking, however, and when I stood up...BAM!

I blacked out for a minute, and when I came to Andrew, who was still on the phone with his mom, was cradling my head in his lap.

"Ow," I moaned.

"So, that's two eggs?" Andrew asked, stroking my forehead while continuing to scrawl down the recipe, "And a package of Jell-o..."

He didn't bother to tell his mom that I had passed out on the kitchen floor. He didn't hang up or say, "I'll call you back." He did, however, successfully get the recipe from his mother. I suppose I'm lucky he even bothered to cradle my head or check on me at all, he was that involved in his beloved recipe.

We made the cake that very evening, although my brains were a little scrambled from the cupboard incident.

Andrew left me in charge of making the glaze so that he could finish some homework. I dove excitedly into my task, mixing together some lemon juice and powdered sugar. What could be better than lemon juice and powdered sugar?

It took me a long time to stir. It was pretty thick. I didn't think glaze was supposed to be thick but I didn't want to add any more lemon juice because I didn't want it to be too sour. So instead I just kept stirring and stirring and stirring.

When I finally had it all mixed in, I stuck my finger in to taste it. Then I gagged and spat it out. It was disgusting.

I had used flour instead of icing sugar.

Luckily I hadn't poured it over the cake yet. Not that it would pour or anything. It was much too stiff for that.

So I started the glaze again, this time being sure to use the powdered sugar and it turned out much better.

I cut the cake into squares and put it on the fanciest serving dish I could find. I somehow just knew that this was going to be a formal dinner party.

And when we walked in the door, I realized my premonition was correct.

Their dining room was decorated like a wedding reception. We had two plates, multiple forks and spoons, cloth napkins, and stemware.

I hardly knew what to do with myself.

They even brought out lemon gelato in little bowls between each course (yes, there were actual courses to this meal) to "cleanse our palates."

Suddenly my lime-flavored, bright green, Jell-o cake seemed a little tacky, although since it was close to St. Patrick's Day I suppose it was still an appropriate attempt at dessert.

I will admit, though, that I was further embarrassed by my dessert, if that was at all possible, when our hostess invited us into the kitchen--what she called a "less formal environment"--to have our dessert.

Had she known what I'd gone through to make that dessert and the humiliation I now faced because of it, she probably would have desecrated her dining room and served my dessert on the fancy plates she had sitting, preset and unused, on her table, and we would have used her delicate dessert forks (also preset and unused).

I much prefer informal dinners where you clammer for food, serve yourself and put all your "courses" on the same plate. But that might just be how I was raised.

The dessert was delicious, though, if I do say so myself. How can you go wrong with sugary lemon goodness?


  1. I am in a ward where some of the houses are those ones that belong in magazines or parade of homes......Mine on the other hand has old pink carpets and furniture that if there is a spill, the stuff that's spilled on them is probably worth more!

    However, my kids love me and I never remembered if we had the nicest furniture or not at home, I just remembered it as home. I hope my kids feel the same!

  2. That's too funny, well, now it is. Billy punched me in the eye once. He had just given me my engagement ring, and I was doing something in his mom's kitchen (probably cleaning it) I stood up, he turned and had been describing something to Candi with his hands, he clocked me right under my eye. It hurt and he felt really bad.

    Oh and thanks for reading my story, I was scared nobody would read it.

  3. Wow, what's with the fancy ward dinner? Sheesh.

    Aren't you glad you tasted the glaze, though?

  4. I know--that one was pretty fancy. The other group dinners went over a lot more smoothly (and less formally).

  5. Flour in the icing is funny and not to try to top you, but around 1982-3 I baked a beautiful lemon cake. One of the best I've ever done, couldn't cut it. Mom had put all the powder ingredients like flour, sugar and salt into plastic containers, she was gone and I wanted to surprise her, which I did as well as my self.I grabbed the salt instead of sugar and baked a beautiful rock-hard lemon cake. Now you know why I always taste while I cook.:)