Want a good reason to eat out?

Thanks to everyone who entered our recent ‘Funny baking or dinner party stories’. I found some of them so reassuring. Yes, I thought it only ever happened to me! Here is a selection of the stories you sent in. With a couple of mine hidden amongst them.

From Giselle Berger – Hilarious!
My funny story is about the very first dinner party I had when I was 19 (a lot of years ago now) – I thought a cheese souffle to start, duck with orange sauce with vegetables for main and mint choc ice cream for dessert would be fine. There were four of us. Well, the cheese souffle did not rise, so we had a cheese omelette to start . The orange sauce for the duck was a custard. And when I started carving the duck, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Poking up through the carcass was the plastic bag complete with giblets etc!! The brussel sprouts were rather too hard but the potatoes were alright. The mint ice cream melted before it was in the bowls – this is in the days before freezers and all we had was an ice box in the fridge!

Another time (10 years later and also a long time ago now) I was making a Chinese dinner from scratch – home made pancakes for the Peking duck, stir fry chow mein and ambitiously I was making toffee apples. Into the saucepan went nearly a whole bag of white sugar but it didn’t seem to caramelise. So I took a fork put it in the boiling mixture and attempted to see if it was caramelising by putting it to my mouth. Well .. Apart from being very hot – it caramelised on my teeth… very attractive! And very difficult to remove I seem to remember!

From Debbie King
I once cooked pizza and when I noticed a funny smell realized that I had failed to remove the polystyrene packaging underneath the pizza base. The whole lot had turned black and melted with the pizza base. How did I realise, you ask? When I opened the oven, the black smoke which billowed out kind of gave it away…!

One of mine
One of my friends was a professional cook and often served up a gorgeous, moist coconut cake made from mashed potatoes!. I loved this cake, and she often made it for me. Fueled by the novelty value of this she told me she could make a mince meat tart (as in mince pie) using cabbage and stewed apple. She made me some and we served it up for dessert. All the family knew what the greenish filling to the tart was, but couldn’t make too many remarks as we had unexpected visitors call in just as we were serving up dessert. Yes, they said they would love some. We had to hide our smirks, and then – yes! They said they would like more!!!! It was more than we could bear, the cat had to come out of the bag. I don’t think they ever called at a meal time again.

From Kay Dawn Wilson
When I was in college several friends of mine LOVED having Mexican Food, but could never find any of the ingredients or even restaurants that had anything worth trying. So, about once a semester we would have our parents send us needed supplies and we’d spend a day cooking and enjoying each other’s company. I was in charge of making a large pot of beans and had everything going just fine. I’d always used a slow cooker, so I wasn’t used to the fast temperature a stove would release or the amount of beans I was cooking. Well, about an hour later someone came rushing to my dorm room asking if I was cooking something because it was obviously burning. I ran to the kitchen only to find the hallway filled with smoke & reeking of beans. Alarms started sounding & the whole north end of campus was evacuated. No damage was done, but the girls on that particular floor did not like the idea that their whole hall smelled of burned beans for weeks on end. Needless to say, we had our lovely Mexican dinner that night without the fresh beans.

From A Roe
The most unfortunate dinner party I ever hosted was decades ago for my then in-laws. Shin of beef in a delicious sauce, probably Elizabeth David inspired. After faces being pulled, the in-laws asked why the meat was so grisly, ought they to have a word with the butcher?

I told them no. I hadn’t realised, being the early days of married cookery and meat dishes having been a rarely affordable special treat till then, that I should have cut the wiggly strings of grisle out. So I nearly earned a reprimand for the butcher, who supplied us with the perk of discounted meat, from the shop which the the in-laws had recently bought . (I’ve since given up meat and in-laws, bless them)!

I’m not owning up to this one
My friend did the catering for a local hostel. Packed lunches taken, and all residents out for the day, she set to to make a bread and butter pudding for the evening meal dessert using the remains of the bread from the bread bin. It was lovely, full of fruit & nutmeg and cinnamon sprinkled.

When the residents tucked into their pud later that evening, one of them got a terrible surprise – a spam sandwich in the middle of their pudding! Yuk!

From Lorraine Vaughan
I was making a chocolate cake for a family dinner party. It came out like a Frisbee, then I realised that I had left out the flour from the mixture.
I broke it up into pieces and liquidized it, together with the double cream that should have been in the middle of the cake – and served it up as chocolate mousse !
Delicious – and nobody was any the wiser !!

From Celeste Jacques
When I was at school, I was instructed how to make bread by our Home Economic teacher.
However, I was guilty of being your typical chatterbox, so of course my friends and I missed the explanation about exactly how much yeast to put into the bread…..
Well, it came time to put the bread in the oven and I proudly placed mine in.

The first thing that my mate and I noticed was a strange almost breathing sound coming from our oven. It sounded like a panting beast. We discovered this was actually our bread contracting and then expanding. We decided to ignore it and hope for the best. The next thing we knew there was an almighty bang as our never to be loaf exploded all over the oven. We (and the class and teacher) had never been so frightened. This was followed by hysterical laughter and a lunch time spent cleaning up the mess!!!!

From Linda
My worst experience was many years ago when friends were around for dinner(before my kitchen became the healthy eating zone it is now!). I was cooking chips in a deep fat fryer next to an open window…..a huge crane fly flew in & (overcome by the steam) dropped into the fryer & ejected all it’s legs amongst the chips…….yuk! (no we didn’t eat them!).

From Maureen Feldman
I very carefully made a cheesecake in a loose bottom pan to be used as a dessert cake later that day. I then cleaned the worktops and floor of kitchen carefully and when the oven was at the right temperature I picked up the cake tin to put this in the heated oven when unexpectedly the loose bottom fell through on to the floor with the whole contents of my carefully made cake spattering everywhere !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Mary Humphrey
My Aunt and Uncle were coming to lunch for a ‘flying visit’ so Mum had prepared a posh lunch with a Knickerbocker Glory type dessert which she had place in the freezer to set quickly.
Well, you can guess what happened – yes the dessert was frozen solid.None of us realized this until we tried to eat it and could only tap at the surface!
It certainly ‘broke the ice’ and had everyone laughing.
Mary Humphrey

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