Monday, May 26, 2014

Things Don't Always Work Out

Lots of friends and relatives across the nation were watching Georgia softball hoping the Dawgs would go to Oklahoma City, but our week ended with two disappointing games at Super Regionals. Katherine had her television all set ahead of time for both games, so no matter what she could see her niece play.  Leslie and Mike were at their favorite restaurant in Nashville, TN, for lunch yesterday just so they could see the game there.  Cousins Barbara and Bob were watching in Oregon. Mary Ellen stopped work and arrived with snack bags for each of us to watch Friday’s game.  I was disappointed that we lost that first game, of course, but I did not have a doubt that yesterday we would win two..  But we didn’t.  Baylor will be going to Oklahoma instead of us.   It was exciting this evening to see Kentucky win over top-rated UCLA and win their first trip to the World Series.  At this level of play, anything can happen, and you have to grin and bear it knowing you had a good season despite its ending.  Things don’t always work out.

Gerald and I were half way to church this morning when a text message arrived from Katherine that her aide was not coming in this morning to give pills.  We debated what to do and quickly turned around and were a good way back when a second text explained she was hoping we would come and give her the morning pills at noon after church.  She uses a voice-operated system to make phone calls and send texts since she cannot use her hands, and the system leaves a lot to be desired.  She has incredible patience with the digital voice who writes absolutely crazy things instead of what she clearly says.  She will cancel and try over and over to get it right. I so admire her patience.  But sometimes she just has to send the message, even though crazy, and hope the recipient can figure out her meaning.

We were able to adjust her, give her morning pills, fix her breakfast and feed her, feed and water the dog, and some other tasks as well as watch a sermon and part of a softball game with her in her bedroom.  We left her watching a movie in good shape we hoped for the next aide who was to arrive at 2.  When we left, Gerald was wondering where for us to go for a late lunch, and I suggested a taco place for a light lunch since I had a chicken already spiced up and in the fridge to roast with a new recipe for our evening meal.  The chicken  had to be in the fridge for 24 hours, so I had not planned to fix it for our lunch.  After almost being hit by a car running a stop light in our lane out on the highway, we gratefully turned off safely and parked and went into the taco place. We were met by three friendly and apologetic teenagers who explained someone had used a debit card without the correct amount of money or something—and everything was shut down until somehow that problem was solved.   We were eager to get home and rest, so we went elsewhere for a burger rather than wait out this weird happening.

A little after five, I went upstairs to the kitchen and put the oven on the 500 degree mark called for by this new roast chicken recipe.  (I cook such skimpy meals for Gerald and me most of the time and rarely try out anything interesting, so trying this recipe was my effort to make amends.) I unwrapped the spiced chicken and stuffed in the five cloves of garlic I already had laid out and waiting. But my first problem was that the directions said to cook the chicken on a rack, and the rack was a bit too large for my 9 by 13 metal pans.  I always use a smaller oven in our kitchen, and my large metal roasting pans with handles do not fit it. So  I quickly put away the non-fitting pans and dug down for a favorite but seldom used very large lovely green glass baking dish.  The rack fit perfectly, and pan with its chicken fit perfectly in the now ready 500 degree oven.  The  chicken must be cooked 15 minutes, and then the temperature turned down to 475 for 15 minutes and then to 450 for the last half hour.  I added a couple potatoes to roast, and set the timer for the first turn-down time. Then I fixed some apples to bake with sweetener, raisins, and walnuts to put in the oven for the last half hour and went over to relax and watch Book Notes on the kitchen TV.

My relaxation was short lived because of one of the loudest noises I have ever heard in my kitchen.  And when I opened the oven fearfully and carefully, that favorite glass baking dish was in 10,000 pieces.  I did not count the pieces, but I am sure I am not exaggerating. The oven bottom was full of the broken glass, which also tumbled out on the oven door when I opened it, and now the door would not close because of glass there. That was one hot oven to cope with. I don’t think I have ever heated an oven that hot before (unless it heated itself that hot when self cleaning).  Oddly, the chicken was sitting prettily on the rack and seemed to be unscathed.  What to do?  I tried not to panic, but the glass pieces were unbearably hot to touch with  my hands . 

I grabbed out a collection of hot pads and took away some big glass pieces that had gone to the side of the rack and not fallen through, and I threw them into the kitchen wastebasket.  Then I got a dust broom set with a large stand-alone collector and used the little broom to sweep the glass from the door onto the floor.  I still could not shut the oven door. I kept trying and finally I had removed all the glass from the door, but there was no way I could even imagine clearing out all the broken glass on the bottom of the hot oven. It would have to stay until another day allowed the oven to cool. I thought I would sweep all the broken glass on the floor into the dust collector and  throw those burning hot glass fragments into the waste basket.  My next thought was that might catch the paper contents of the basket on fire.  Things were not going well.  So I swept floor glass out of the path of foot traffic and faced what to do about the chicken.

 I had not used a jelly roll size baking sheet because I was supposed to collect the juices underneath the rack and spread over the chicken at some point in the baking, and I was afraid that pan’s shallow sides might not hold the juices.  Fortunately the chicken had not been in long enough to have juices falling through to the oven bottom, or I’d have had a kitchen full of smoke.  Now when I had no choice but to use the small jelly roll baking sheet, I somehow lifted the rack with its chicken and moved it to its new pan. I realized I should have used this pan to begin with. 

I put the chicken back in the oven to finish its first cycle and wondered if it would be fit to eat. I set the table and went back to watching TV until the timer went off for the first reduction of heat. And so on.  Finally I boiled frozen corn-on-the-cob from last summer. Gerald came in and avoided the glass on the floor and said my troubles made me part of the human race and was pleasant about the delay in our meal. The chicken was delicious.  So tender and moist. 

The glass on the floor is cleaned up now, and maybe tomorrow I will have the time and nerve to tackle the glass on the bottom of the oven. Maybe not.  I am not sure if I can ever find a glass baking dish as large and pretty as my many splintered one.  Things don’t always work out, but sometimes they do.


Anonymous said...

Oh, My, Sue! I made a broken glass mess recently when I dropped a coffee mug while taking it out of the dishwasher. But small compared with yours! Hang in there.

Sue Glasco said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Tossie. I did get most of the 10,000 pieces out of the oven today, but I think there are some inside oven door. Gonna take awhile to get oven back to normal. GRRR.