March 28, 2021

The other weekend, I made a batch of pumpkin bread, which I have for breakfast most mornings. I put the pans in the oven, set the electronic timer on the oven’s interface, then realized that I’d entered the time wrong. For some reason, I always have trouble getting the timer to shut off. So I hit several buttons in order to get it to stop. Once the timer stopped, I set the correct time and went off to do other things, including having dinner while watching a movie on my laptop.

At some point, I turned around and saw that the display on the oven said the cooking cycle had ended. Yikes! I hadn’t heard the timer go off and I feared that I’d burnt the pumpkin bread. But when I went over to the oven, I discovered that the oven wasn’t even on. Apparently, in my attempt to shut off the timer, I’d also shut off the oven.

I took the pans out of the oven and saw that they were filled with mostly raw batter. Only the edges had changed color and texture due to heat. Dismayed, I let the oven preheat, then put the pans back in for ten minutes less than normal. That turned out to be the right call, because the bread was cooked just right when I took it out. Although the top of the bread was a little bit crusty, that didn’t affect its taste.

Unfortunately, this mistake put me too close to my bedtime. Normally, I plan when the pumpkin bread is going to come out of the oven so it has time to cool before I wrap it up and put it into the refrigerator. Since I didn’t have time to let it cool sufficiently before bed, I decided to leave it out overnight to cool.

I didn't want to drape a cloth directly over the bread in case it stuck the bread. So I jerry-rigged a tent setup with a number of juice glasses set around the cooling rack held the cloth high enough not to touch the bread, but allowed the cloth to drape and protect the bread from drying out and from bugs.

This is what it looked like.

It worked well.

As it turned out, that night I ended up having insomnia, so about 2 o'clock in the morning I went down and wrapped the pumpkin bread halves in tinfoil. Each half went into a freezer baggie. One half of a loaf went into the refrigerator and the rest into the freezer.

So, thankfully, it all turned out in the end. I’m really going to have to figure out the timer controls so this doesn’t happen again.

How about you? Do you have any near-disasters in the kitchen?

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