Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saint Jude, Patron of Hopeless Cases, Pray for Us! Celebrating (Near) Disasters in the Kitchen

When I was in (Catholic) high school, I was graced with a rather eccentric English teacher. At the beginning of every class he started with a prayer (not an unusual thing). He always ended it with “St. Jude, Patron of Hopeless Cases, Pray for Us!” accompanied by a shake of his thick, white hair.

I have often had recourse to this saint in extremis, and I thought it might be appropriate to consider some of the times when divine wisdom or intercession has saved us from what would otherwise be a culinary disaster.

Honestly, we have known so many disasters in our years of food preparation that it is hard to pick just one. But I think our family favorite would have to be the time that a birthday cake, lovingly prepared for the child of the day, was sitting on the kitchen counter. Somehow, someone jostled the spice shelf above it, and down came the pewter pepper grinder: right into the middle of the unsuspecting cake. With no time to do much—let alone bake another, my resourceful mother covered up the enormous hole with a nice spackling of frosting and no one (we believe) was the wiser.

So many times, when following a recipe, it seems like there is just no possible way you’ve done the thing right…and then, lo and behold, out comes your finished product, surprising you! My sister Anna and I recently had that experience with a recipe for Navajo fry bread. It just all seemed wrong, somehow. But at the end of the day, after we decided we’d go ahead and complete the seemingly-failed project, it was delicious.

I encourage you all to post your favorite experiences with “Rescued Disasters”—in honor of St. Jude, that great intercessor in all those “hopeless” cases. If you need a little additional comic relief, I recommend "Cake Wrecks"....

1 comment:

  1. I like this. Thanks for sharing it!
    I think I especially like the "I tried!"