We have celebrated Valentine’s Day as a family ever since we had our first child. Each year I have fun planning the day, sometimes cooking a big meal sometimes going to a restaurant. Six years ago was one Valentine’s Meal I will never forget because of the breadsticks.
I had decided to make heart-shaped breadsticks to go with our dinner. Yes, yes I agree; I do get a little nutty about making everything pink, red, or heart-shaped this time of year, but it’s SO fun. My kids think so anyway! My day of cooking took me longer than I had planed because I had a hard time figuring out how to make the breadsticks keep their shape. Once I figured that out, there was the butter dilemma. The recipe called for half a cup of melted butter to be brushed on the breadsticks before baking. Well, I brushed them all with butter, but I still had quite a bit left over. At this point in my cooking I still thought that the only way to make something was to follow a recipe to the letter. So I just kept brushing on butter until it was all gone. I was worried that it was going to run off the baking sheet, but you know…that’s what the recipe said!
Relieved that I was through making them, I put them in the oven. Pretty soon I started smelling something burning. I stopped short when I saw the oven. It was on fire! I don’t mean there was a little flame. The whole oven was on fire. I was scared to open the door so I just turned the oven off and hoped it would go out. Meanwhile the fire alarm was going crazy, and I was frantically waving a dish towel in front of it so it would hush, praying the whole time that I wouldn’t burn the house down.
Finally the flames went out. Very carefully I opened the oven. All that extra butter had of course run off the pan and had caught fire. I have no idea where my common sense was that day except that I was pregnant with my third child at the time! Pregnancy is always a good excuse! I took the breadsticks out. They looked fine, except they weren’t done. In that particular house we had a double oven so I put them back in the second oven to finish baking them. When they were done I took them out and you would never have known what all I went through on that day.
As we ate our meal Jason bit into the breadsticks, “Mmm,” he proclaimed, “These are the best breadsticks I’ve ever had.” Sure enough they had a smokey flavor and were delicious.
“Don’t get too excited,” I told him, “I’ll never be able to make them again!”