Cooking Catastrophe Stories: Halloween Horror Brought Laughter

A personal account of a cooking catastrophe.

| November/December 2011

My most memorable cooking catastrophe took place October 31, 1963, when my husband, Jerry, and I were living in Alameda, California, and had been married less than three months.

Jerry and I had become friends with another young couple from our church, and I thought it would be nice to have them over for a company dinner.

Excited to entertain

On the evening of the dinner party, I was excited for the opportunity to impress and entertain our friends. Our little kitchen table was set with my lovely new linens and place settings.

Our finances were minimal, to say the least, but I had managed to prepare a hearty stew, coleslaw and dinner rolls.

When Jerry came into the kitchen, just moments before our guests were due to arrive, I proudly offered him a taste of the stew. He took a bite, and then his bright smile suddenly turned to a look of shock as he spit the stew out.

I tasted it, and figured out what had happened. Apparently when I went to thicken the stew, instead of grabbing the cornstarch, I picked up the baking soda by mistake. It tasted horrible.

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