crispy critters

I promise not all posts will be about cooking but what can I say? I love to cook. It’s kind of my life.

In a spirit of friendship and love, Joshua and I invited his parents and brother for dinner one Saturday night. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about having them in our home for the first time, cooking dinner for them for the first time, entertaining them as hostess (instead of vice versa) for the first time…

Comfort food.

Works every time. Makes people…comfortable.

On Friday, I made this massive spaghetti pie. It’s a go-to family recipe, super-easy, practically no-fail. Basically, it’s spaghetti and sauce and cheese, and how can anyone go wrong with that?

While it was baking, I began a small project for my husband’s birthday. It so engrossed me that I not only forgot about the pie, but forgot that I hadn’t set a timer.

Once I had finished phase 1 of the project, it dawned on me that there was a dish in the oven.

Horrified, I sprang up and opened the door. Dark, burnt cheese with tomato sauce helplessly bubbling around the edges greeted my agonized eyes.

Of course I’d ruin the dinner for the in-laws. It couldn’t be a measly weeknight dinner that could be replaced with a burger from the freezer, or something like that. No, this was the important casserole for the following day’s important dinner.

Then, a brilliant idea.

I quickly pulled the cheese off the top of the pie – it was one, melted, blackened mass. Down into the far reaches of the trashcan it went, buried beneath wrappers and eggshells.

I sprinkled a new layer of cheese on top of the pie and popped it back into a hot oven. I sat down on the floor in front of the window, with the oven light on, and watched it melt and start to turn golden brown. I wasn’t going to risk burning another one!

Aside from the black edges of casserole surrounding a suspiciously lightly-browned top layer, things looked perfect. They tasted fine, too.

<sigh of relief>


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