Last night for dinner, we had ‘Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie’ – which would have been impossibly easy to prepare had I not flipped the dish upside down into the oven.
Just as the oven timer beeped, my husband’s gastrointestinal juices gearing up, I gripped the glass pie plate on either side with my ove-gloved hands and proceeded to do a spastic ground beef ballet. Time slowed down as it only can during inevitable and unavoidable catastrophe. I watched helplessly as the plate tilted at an ever-alarmingly steep angle and poured the eggy, cheesy, beefy crumbles down into the multifaceted cavity between the open oven door and hot oven floor.
My husband, on the phone with his parents, ran into the room to see what was the matter, alerted by my cries. I still can’t recall if what I said was appropriate for his parents, hanging in midair on the phone in his hand, to overhear. When he’d hung up and reentered the room, he asked how it happened – to which I do remember answering quite snippily that if I knew how it happened, I wouldn’t have let it happen. I said that I meant to do it, to spite him, to ruin the family dinner, that it was my intent all along. Yes, it was my grandest moment.
You see, it never really was about the impossibly irritating cheeseburger pie. I knew when I gripped it, my hold was tenuous at best. I was already floating off on some negative tangent as we’d traipsed the troop into the school gymnasium to vote. The kids flitting about on the periphery, drawing the dirty looks of the board of canvassers representative, didn’t help. My rotors, failing brakes, something squeaking all day as I drove down the road didn’t help. Money troubles and a possible looming lay-off didn’t help. The greasy mess congealed to the bottom of my stove was just the icing on an already slimy cake.
After I winged a plastic spatula just to the right of him, he thumped a couple of walls, I lied down on the bathroom floor for a good cry (all while the kids played doorbell ditch on their own home) – I set to cleaning the stove. I’m not sure I’ll ever want to prepare or eat this dish again. I discovered places in my stove I never knew existed – just wide enough to allow a chunk of mangled food in and just small enough to prevent my fingers to take it out.
The good thing about this all-around disgusting evolution is that my oven is now clean! It is ready for the onslaught of Thanksgiving like it never would have been had I not spilled food all over its-hotter-than-a-spilled-pie-plate-of-ooze insides. And that’s about the only good thing. I’m not proud of my behavior. None of the issues precipitating the great pie-plate debate of ’14 were resolved. I still feel pretty mushy about the whole thing.
If only it was as impossibly easy to wipe away the grime of our lives.