Why did they let me do it?

Laurel Beechey, The World is a Stage

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It seems like everything I do in the kitchen gets screwed up.

Sixteen years ago I decided to go to Mom’s cottage for a week or so for a little rest and relaxation and a chance to visit my brother and family who were there on weekends.

Although I can claim insanity, there was no excuse for the rest of the family taking me up on the stupidest offer I ever made, which was to cook the eggs and bacon breakfast on Sunday morning. My brother raised his eyebrows and gave me the look that said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it,’ and the gauntlet was down!

Mother went off to her bedroom to pray that the house didn’t burn down and even my niece, the ever-helpful Jessie, disappeared as I began gathering the tools needed to construct breakfast.

I immediately set about with hammer and screwdriver chipping a few slices of frozen bacon out of the package for each of us. I learned this trick from my Mom who uses every tool but the table saw in the kitchen. After much muttering and a few expletives the bacon and a small piece of one finger were merrily cooking in the pan. I thought it was a good time to put on some calamine lotion on the rash I get when I stay in the kitchen too long, and promptly forgot that I was unthawing bacon. After a few minutes I realized something in the cottage smelled really good so I ran back to the kitchen to find the bacon all unthawed and in fact a little singed along the edges. Not to worry, this was nothing my big brother wouldn’t expect from my culinary expertise.

Jessie was conscripted to make toast in the other room.

I discovered that there were only five eggs to cook. Fortunately Karen doesn’t eat breakfast and Jessie usually only has one egg, so Mom and I decided to be martyrs and have only one egg allowing Rob the coveted two.

I transferred the bacon to a small pan (on low this time) to keep it warm while I got cracking, well smashing might be a better word for it. I was very pleased that only one broke before hitting the pan and the counter didn’t get too messy.

With Mom’s hundred year old cast iron frying pan, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to flip and not break these eggs so I put a few drops of water in the pan, put on the lid, and let the steam solidify the slime.

They were perfect! Very gingerly I got the little darlings on the plates with the singed bacon and began handing them out. I was so proud of myself but should have known that things were going just a bit too good.

I checked the stove, made sure all the burners were off, picked up my plate, and swung around to grab my tea and head to the table. Alas, my breakfast never made it. My hands were a bit sore from painting (that is my excuse anyway), and I lost my grip on my plate. My juggling friends would have been proud as I tried to catch my plate and have all the food land back on it. I failed. The bacon went one way the egg another (my shirt, then the floor).

I had to fight the three dogs for the bacon but I did let them have the remains of my egg.

Being an experienced martyr I refused one of my brother’s two eggs (I think it was the original broken one anyway). I declined the bacon from the floor and had peanut butter and toast for breakfast.

What I would like to know is why anyone let me do it in the first place?

lbeechey@rogers.com

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