- Several stories of cooking catastrophes suffered by family and friends who probably prefer not to be publicly ridiculed
- A dash of smugness about your own impeccable kitchen record
- A cup of bad karma
Combine all the humiliating stories, being sure to include such tales as:
- The woman who prepared her first bowl of potato salad for a group picnic but lacked the listed finishing touch of paprika, so she covered the salad with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon.
- The newlywed who excitedly prepared a pan of lasagna but was confused by the terminology and used not just a single clove of garlic but an entire bulb.
- The grandmother who baked her three-year-old grandson his much coveted Elmo birthday cake, and then frosted it with an icing which melted and dripped in such a ghastly fashion that the cake resembled Elmo-On-Acid and prompted the horrified child to scream, "I don't like this kind of cake!"
Meanwhile, prepare a huge pot of chili. Make a big enough batch to share, because people will fall all over themselves in gratitude for your culinary prowess.
The rest of this process is complicated, so be sure to follow these directions carefully:
Brown a couple pounds of ground beef. Add a few cans of Brooks Hot Chili Beans. Peel and chop a half-dozen tomatoes and dice a couple onions. Pull an assortment of peppers from the freezer: Add a couple bell peppers and a few jalapenos. Remove the seeds from the jalapenos, because not everyone can handle the heat like you can.
Next, ponder the freezer bag of quarter-sized orange peppers which came from an unidentified plant in an assorted nursery pack. Although you never tasted one, they are tiny--and you have a big kettle to fill. Cut up seven or eight and toss them into the pot.
Within a half-hour, you should nearly collapse from the excruciating pain of your burning hands. You will know the pain has fully set when you feel you'd prefer to have a root canal without Novocaine. This signals it is time to Google a cure, as we know is the M.O. of any proper homemaker.
You will find 154,000 hits for "hot peppers burned hands." This will not immediately relieve your physical pain, but it will ease your mental anguish to know that more than a hundred thousand people were as stupid as you.
Be sure to attempt every listed cure: Wash your hands until you are qualified to write a memoir about OCD. Lather them in aloe. Soak them in rubbing alcohol. Pop potentially lethal quantities of Tylenol and antihistamines.
Finally, plunge your hands in bowls of ice water. Be certain to sigh with the ecstasy of immediate relief. Use up every available ice cube in your freezer. Within a few hours, the pain should subside enough for you to face the next step.
Eye your pot of chili. By now it should be bubbling much like a witch's cauldron: one eye of newt, two dragon teeth, and eight devil peppers.
Sample a spoonful. You will immediately forget the pain in your hands--because now your tongue and mouth will be on fire.
Rush back to Dr. Google. Ignore the first noted cure, which is drinking milk. Also disregard Cure #2: sugar water. Proceed promptly to Cure #3: alcohol.
Consume several cold beers.
Next, return to the still brewing pot of Demon Soup. Recall, in your half-plastered stupor, that sugar is supposed to neutralize heat. Pour in a bit of sugar and stir well. Swallow a big spoonful.
Cry, "Holy Mother of God!" Dump in the rest of the bag of sugar. Drink another beer.
The next day, recall that you made soup while you got stewed. Sample your pot of Candied Chili. Cringe. Dump the entire thing in the garbage.
Now, return to your original recipe for a humiliating blog post about your loved ones' pathetic cooking catastrophes.
Toss that too.
Eat crow instead.
Any kitchen disasters you care to share? Has Bad Karma bit you in the ass lately?