It was a happy evening in my home on cold snowy night in Dec. 1986. I was happily wrapping gifts, then on to Christmas Cards, checking one chore after another off my list. When suddenly my daughter (then 11) announced she needed 4 dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Christmas Party at school, 'the next day'. Oh yes, she had volunteered this baked goody two weeks earlier but forgot to mention it to ME.
I became rather enraged with a loud 'WHAT'???? Finally going into typical 'mother mode', I said, 'fine, but you are helping'..... so we start. Get out the cookie sheets, line up all the ingredients, preheat the oven, and start measuring the ingredients into the mixing bowl. I decided to do a double batch right from the start to save time.
Suddenly the phone rings, (and as some may recall, that often meant going to another room to actually answer the phone) my son (then 15) answers and yells, 'mom, phone, its grandma'. So I leave my daughter in charge of the mixer, telling her to shut it off after a minute.
15 minutes later I come back to the kitchen and she is indeed waiting by the shut off mixer for me to continue, all was going well, til I thought, 'oh dear, where was I'..... I looked down and the batter looked perfect, even tasted perfect, so now I added the chips and was all set to scoop out the dough onto the cookie sheets. We got two huge sheets covered in neat little globs and put them in the oven.
Moments later my daughter is looking through the glass on the oven door, with the interior light on and says, 'oh mom, something is wrong with the cookies'. I look and to my sheer horror they are melting into pools of hot dough. I immediately get the pans carefully out of the oven and into the sink, thinking, what is happening, what did I forget? (I couldn't for the life of me figure it out, although later I was guessing it was the baking powder, course that was a moot point by then.)
Then to make matter worse my mind thinks, 'put it in a 9x13 pan and make bars instead'. (Why in heavens name did I think it would solidify just because I put it in a pan?)
So now the second half of the batter goes in the oven in the 9x13 pan. Everything appeared okay, but about 15 minutes into this episode, I smell something burning and both my daughter and I let out a scream....the entire bubbling contents of the pan is seeping through my oven door onto the kitchen rug I had in front of the stove.
From all the screeching my son now comes in the kitchen saying 'what is going on'..... now at this point my daughter is just standing dumbfounded with her hands clamped over her mouth, and I yell to my son, 'get the wastebasket'. I open the oven and Lord have mercy, the bubbling dough is everywhere on the bottom of the oven, and literally erupting out of the pan. My son gets the wastebasket and I grab the pan with hot pads, ( I still had sense to do that right) and I thrown the whole mess into the wastebasket and say, get this out to the trash.
I turn around to survey the mess, shut off the oven and wonder where do I start to clean this up, when I hear another scream from my daughter. My son lifted the hot mess out of the wastebasket by the flaps on the white garbage bag, and due to the intense boiling liquid, the bag now has melted through and every bit of it is all over the back door, the wall and the floor.
At this point, all 3 of us stood for a good 30 seconds, starring at the mess ALL OVER the kitchen, and then with nothing left to do, we burst out laughing. We knew at this point, it was out of control and nothing more could possibly go wrong. We could have been a TV sitcom that most people would say, 'oh come on, that could never happen'. But I live to tell you IT DID HAPPEN.
Yes it took a good 2 hrs to clean up. It was 10 pm when we finished, and I had no more chips in the house. (in my defense I always kept a fully stocked baking pantry but we used 4 bags that night.) So like any good mother, I drove to the 24 hr. grocery store near the house and bought out all their cookies left that night at 10:30 pm, brought the bags home and told my daughter, 'this will have to do'. We all huffed off to bed.
Now it is 2013 and yes, one of my kids (who are both married with children of their own now) did say over this last week, 'just don't ask mom to hurry and bake ANYTHING!!
The 3 of us still get hysterical laughing remembering that night. Their spouses just sit and look at us like we are nuts, but it was one night, we 3, will never forget.