There was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. There have been economic depressions, wars and hurricanes, but looking back throughout history, nothing quite compares to:
The Great New Year's Day Breakfast Disaster of 2007
It all started so innocently, like any other New Year's Day. We had all stayed up late and didn't get up until mid-morning. We cuddled for a while in front of the Rose Parade on TV, telling our kids stories of the years we used to spend the night on the streets of Pasadena to have a good seat to watch the big event. Then, abruptly, Andy got up off the couch and resolutely announced that he and Tano had a job to do. With that, the boys disappeared into the kitchen to make a big breakfast for the family. The girl and I snuggled into a blanket.
I smiled. This was better than Mother's Day, which always occurs on Sunday morning, which means breakfast must be rushed through as we get ready for church.
The smells of a big traditional artery-clogging breakfast began to fill the house--pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Mmmm...we were hungry.
Then things began to go wrong. The way our house is laid out, we can't see into the kitchen from the living room, but I could hear distressed voices coming from within. It wasn't until we were served that I realized the full extent of the tragedy.
The pancakes had failed miserably. The creative combination of ingredients had not worked and the slightly chocolately pancakes were crumbly mush. "They melt in your mouth," Tano tried to offer helpfully. Elli went back to the kitchen for spoons.
In the midst of the pancake chaos, the bacon had burned. A thin, grey haze filled the house.
The eggs, which would have been yummy with green chiles and who knows what else added in, had been started too early and were cold.
It was just so unlike Andy and Tano. Although he doesn't do it often, my husband can find his way around a kitchen. He can make a good breakfast. I have bragged about his abilities before. Who could forget the breakfast quesadillas at the little cabin in the woods? The man can cook. But nothing went well today.
We sat down together and ate the breakfast, stifling giggles. Andy was frustrated and disappointed, but eventually relaxed after I assured him that I was truly enjoying it. Last night, in the twenty minutes leading up to the midnight hour, we had taken turns sharing fun memories that we had of 2006. I predicted that this breakfast might make the highlights reel for the next New Year's Eve.
We ate quietly, save for a little laughter here and there. The pancakes, for all that they lacked in texture, had good flavor. I made a point to have a second one. Tano politely commented that the maple syrup was very good. The hot tea was perfect.
The meal took much less time to consume than it had to prepare; no one lingered over seconds and thirds. The kids left much of their food on their plates and we didn't have the heart to insist that they finish it. Andy began the task of disaster clean-up in the kitchen. Elli went to get the dog dishes and I scraped the contents of our plates into them. The dogs had been whining on the front porch, smelling the smells, anxious to get their share of the holiday meal. We let them in and they made short work of cleaning up the leftovers.
Andy and I joked as we cleaned up the kitchen that it was indeed a meal fit for a king. "Here King, come here boy! Come and get it!"
Minutes later, Elli squealed that there was something disgusting in the entry way. I walked toward her squeals to discover two very large matching piles of dog vomit.
The final insult.
I assured my husband that this was a rare and unexplainable unfortunate event, and that it didn't excuse him from his bi-annual breakfast project.
Happy New Year, everyone.