Those of us at a certain age will remember that Irwin Allen was a famous producer/director of disaster films. The Towering Inferno, Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure were but a few of the highlights from his impressive oeuvre.
The cooking and dining experience can also be fraught with disasters (even if they don't involve quite as much as an immolating skyscraper, car-eating cracks in the earth or Shelly Winters climbing an upended Christmas tree). Witness the above: a gorgeous chicken molé in a somewhat ungorgeous condition. I'd just switched off the burner under the Dutch oven -- or so I thought -- and was asking everyone to take their places at table.
Next came a terrific explosion and sound of crashing glass. I was absolutely convinced that someone had just fired a bullet into the house and hit the stove. In a second, though, I realized that the Dutch oven had burst and the molé was smoking and bubbling on a red-hot burner.
I hadn't turned the burner off. I'd turned it to "high."
As a host, one must exhibit a high level of aplomb. Thus, I calmed my guests quickly, told them to please be seated, and set about rescuing enough of the chicken and molé to feed my guests. Luckily, I was able to scrounge enough to provide a satisfactory entrée to each diner -- without any ceramic crunchies!
Last night, disaster struck again. As my guests and I were conversing, a loud crack sped to our eardrums from the top of the living room bookshelf...one of the candles atop it had shifted in its candlestick and come to land against the wall, seriously singeing it and then falling to the shelf below.
Again, calmness prevailed. Even with the wall afire, one must not alarm one's guests. The blaze was immediately extinguished and it was time for the rosemary-red wine sorbet.
If these things come in threes, I'm in trouble...
What's your worst dining disaster (short of a fallen soufflé!)? Tell me about it in the comments...