Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Great Caramel Incident...

After sharing my EPIC FAIL with the Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, and receiving heaps of reassuring feedback from everyone, I've decided to share a story that with be catalogued in our family history for generations to come to laugh mercilessly about.

It has become known as
The Great Caramel Incident

Harken back about 10 years, when the relationship between myself and BM was still quite newish.  It was about mid-morning, and he was in bed sleeping as he had just come off a night shift.  I was still in the rosy I-want-to-be-a-domestic-goddess-and-astound-you-with-my-brilliant-cooking stage of the relationship, and decided to show off my culinary skills by making him a caramel tart.  BM has a massive sweet tooth.

I had been making caramel tarts very successfully for over 20 years and had never had anything unusual happen.  Well, I guess there's a first time for everything isn't there!

I was taught to make a caramel tart by boiling the crap out of a tin of sweetened condensed milk for several hours.  The longer you boil it, the darker and thicker the caramel becomes, when it's done you let it cool, and then  you open the tin and fill the tart shell, and bung it in the fridge to set.  Easy peasy.

So I ducked up to the shop and grabbed a couple of tins of condensed milk and a couple of sweet tart bases with which to amaze BM upon his awaking.

I put the tins into a large stock pot, and set it to boil.  While this was happening, I settled onto the couch with a good book.  Now, I love to read.  I'm one of those people, that can pick up a book and be completely transported into those pages.  The world as we know it can cease to exist for me.  Plus, I hate it when people interrupt me when I'm reading.  I mean, really?  Why are you trying to have a conversation with me - can't you see I'm reading???

At this point, I reckon you're probably saying to yourself - Ah! I know where she's going with this... she was absorbed in her book, forgot about the caramel and the pot boiled dry.  WRONG!

At this point in my life, I was very active in my local church, and was on the roster to deliver Meals on Wheels every couple of months.  I was supposed to deliver them this particular day, but it had completely slipped my mind.

I had been going to check on the water level in the pot, and topping it up as required for a couple of hours when I received a phone call.  It was my friend Sandra ringing to remind me that we had Meals on Wheels that day, and she was on her way to collect me.  This put me into a mild panic.  Down went the book, off I flew to the shower, got dressed and rushed out the door to greet Sandra.  We went and picked up our meals and headed off to deliver them,  and when we were done, she dropped me home.

I sat down on the couch and picked up my book - after having been so rudely interrupted - and didn't even get through a paragraph, when all of the sudden there was an almighty BANG!!  and a crashing sound... I waited, and listened, trying to figure out where the sound had come from.  I slowly stood up and very carefully began to make my way to the kitchen, when another almighty BANG  sounded and more crashing...

It was about this time that I remembered the caramel, cooking on the stove.  Mentally cursed myself, and ventured into the kitchen to find it was no longer cooking on the stove, as I''m sure you've figured out, the pot had boiled dry and both tins EXPLODED  in my kitchen spraying the entire room with caramel!

When I say ENTIRE  room I do mean ENTIRE...

It was all over everything, every wall, every door, every cupboard, every window, the floor and the ceiling.  The fridge was covered in it.  I couldn't have don't a better job if I had of gone in with a 4lt tin of the stuff and used a paint brush!

The force of the explosions was so great that all the cupboard doors popped open, and upon looking inside them I found that the contents of the cupboards were also  covered in caramel - including inside  the sugar bowl!!  How...??

When I saw it, I just stood there for a minute, put out the small fire on the stove, and just looked at it all with mouth agape.  Then I just walked out and shut the door behind me... and laughed.

What I hadn't noticed was my tiny black 3 month old puppy Dozer, sneak into the kitchen when I opened the door.  Well when I went back in to begin the cleanup, it was to find that Dozer had already made a start.  The floor was clean as a whistle, as was every single surface around that kitchen to a height of about 15inches!

That poor bloody dog has been on a permanent sugar rush ever since and I was promptly banned from ever making another caramel tart.

A girl makes one mistake, one mistake  and they act like it's the end of the world!


  1. Best... story... ever...

  2. hehe I've heard stories about those tins... which is why I always put mine in the pressure cooker without the seal so that if... if it explodes.... it has half a chance of STAYING inside the pot!

    Mind, I've not cooked caramel for I reckon 15 years now...

  3. These tins weren't the ones with the ring pulls - it was way before those, they were plain old 'you-need-a-can-opener-to-open-me-sucker' type... It's made for a good laugh in the family anyway, it gets trotted out at every family gathering.

  4. That is GOLD. I have a serious gooey caramel addiction so I'm with Dozer on this one. Good taste he has!