Baked Potato?

I don't know what category this story fits into, but it still cracks me up. Well, I say that as if it cracked me up at the time. It did not.

This is from the "diaper days" as I so lovingly (not-so-much) refer to those toddler years. The church we attended at the time had 3-4 potluck luncheons a year. Wonderful, right? Not so much. They also requested that you bring _3_ dishes of food to feed 12-18 people each. So I would get up between 5 and 6 a.m. to finish up and get all of those dishes cooked and up to church so that they could be served stone cold AND (always my favorite part) I would return home with 3 dishes of food, each with about 2 spoonfuls taken from them. Can you tell I'm still bitter? I am. Actually what brought this story to mind was reading a recent bulletin of theirs -- they're still pulling it off. God love 'em! :-) So I was always looking for different things to take that would be easy -- I was frequently tempted, but never did bring a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter.

One time I had the fabulous idea to bake potatoes to take (12-18 potatoes, of course). What could be easier, right? I got them all prepped the day before, woke up and turned on the oven. We had a little cooler to take them in -- maybe they would even still be warm! All went well -- until THE SMELL. "WHAT is that smell?!?" The kids were marveling, "MMMMMM, it's baked potatoes! Yummy!" But something was definitely not right. I finally realized that in our little tiny kitchen Troy had fed the dog and put the Rubbermaid pitcher of dog food down on an oven burner. Not just any oven burner-- the one where the oven vented air approximately 200* hotter than the oven was actually cooking. When we realized what it was, Troy jerked up the pitcher. Or, what was left of it. The bottom had, of course, completely liquified and dog food spewed all over the kitchen -- including back down into the oven vent. Yes, we were smelling grilled dog food along with melted plastic. The dog food was charred and stuck to the burner, and the plastic was still so melty and ooey-gooey that it was EVERYWHERE. Just one of those wonderful moments of meditation and quiet we all like to have on our way to church. We cleaned up the best we could, took our potatoes to church and had our luncheon. That afternoon, when I came home with 11 potatoes, the smell was still awful. But the kids were ruined, "Yum! It still smells like baked potatoes!"

Oh, but that's not all. Don't you love that God has such a fabulous sense of humor. Only a funny God like ours would have put a dog food processing plant between our house and Troy's work. So on the best of days when the dog food plant was really cranked up and we happened to be going to see Daddy or whatever we could drive by and smell that fabulous char-broiled dog food smell AND the kids never failed to say, "I smell baked potatoes!"

In my more clever moments, I may be able to make some sort of analogy about Satan leading us to believe the world has yummy, fluffy baked potatoes to offer when it's really just burned dog food. But not tonight.


Karene said...

I don't know how you consistently pull up these things from your memory, but I loved this and I laughed out loud! Thanks for the laughter.

Sarah said...

Do you honestly think that you would ever be able to forget burned dog food and melted plastic that your children believed to be the odor of food cooking?

Amanda said...

You really do crack me up. I have so missed reading your blog the last couple of weeks. I just have to keep saying to myself: "one more week of classes....one more week of classes..."

Matt Elliott said...

For some reason, the part of this post that made me laugh aloud was the mention of you returning from church with ELEVEN potatoes...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading your stuff, too.

The Troy Stirman Family said...

Folks- scary, but true. Sarah remembers everything and not always to her immediate family's advantage...the nursing home years will be so fruitful. Me and my memory lapses, Sarah and her constant "Remember when we..."

"Just like peas and carrots..."
-F. Gump

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