Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Frances' Souffle

Frances got an awesome cooking set for Christmas. It includes an apron, real kitchen tools (measuring cups and spoons, whisk, pastry brush, etc.) and recipe cards written for kids. One of the things she wanted to try was a cheese souffle.  So while we were at my parents' house for the New Year, we decided to try it out.  It was a pretty simple recipe using croutons, eggs, cheese, milk, and some other seasonings.  She even got to separate eggs and whisk egg whites!  We put it all together and then put it in the fridge overnight.  The next morning, she woke up fairly early and we went down to the kitchen to put her masterpiece in the oven.  It was supposed to bake for an hour, so we were hoping that the rest of the family would be up and ready for breakfast around the time it finished cooking.
I left the oven light on so Frances could watch her creation baking.  One of the things the recipe indicated was that the souffle would rise up and over the pan, but then after about 5 minutes out of the oven it would fall bake down.  Frances had fun watching the souffle getting bigger in the oven.
When there was about 20 minutes left, I sent Frances upstairs to tell everyone that breakfast would be ready soon.  My mom, dad, and Henry came down to the kitchen and my mom started making other breakfast preparations.  She turned the stove on and put the kettle on to boil, she set the table, etc.
When the timer beeped, everyone int he kitchen got excited and I took the souffle out of the oven and set it up on the stove.  We were finishing getting the table ready when my mom said, "Oh! Look!! It's smoking!!"
My reply was that it must be the air escaping right before it falls.  And then...
The whole casserole dish exploded! Apparently, it wasn't the souffle getting ready to fall.  It was a combination of the fact that I had set it on the stove and that my mom had turned on the wrong burner!  The glass casserole dish cracked right through the middle and shot a few pieces of glass onto the carpet in front of my bare footed self.  My mom apologized over and over while I stifled a laugh and kept looking at Frances to gauge her reaction.  She did not seem to upset, so I let out a laugh and got my brother to vacuum the carpet so I could move.
We ended up eating the very edges of the souffle, where there was no cracked glass underneath.  It was quite good.
Then we each came up with our own critique.
I was impressed with how the flavors exploded in my mouth!
My brother said that it was all it was cracked up to be.
My mom was still busy apologizing.
Later, when describing the incident to her father, I asked Frances how her souffle had turned out.
"Daddy-it was smokin'!"

And I never did get my cup of tea that morning!

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