November 27, 2014 2 Comments
What’s the most elaborate, complicated meal you’ve ever cooked? Was it a triumph for the ages, or a colossal fiasco? Give us the behind-the-scenes story (pictures are welcome, of course).
It became known as Disaster Day.
We were camping on a quiet camp site on the Isle of Wight. We weren’t a small party – there were four adults and eight children in two large multi-bedroom frame tents. And it rained. And it rained. And it rained some more.
Thankfully, it stopped before morning.
But when JJ got up and opened her suitcase, Oh shit, it’s full of water and very wet clothes.
List of things to do now:
Find Leaky spot. Ah, it’s the entire roof.
Drop frame down so the tall man could paint the roof.
Get canvas sealant to coat the roof.
Hop in car, drive to Newport, which is the main town on the island, slap bang in the middle.
Find camping shop (this was way, way before Google – Youngest was two. Maybe three. He’s twenty-three now) and buy sealant.
Think, well, we may as well buy lunch. Burgers, Sausages, Baked Beans, Bread – that should do for a camping lunch.
And that was MY complicated meal. It sounds simple, really. But there were eight children to be watched. So that took Karen. There was a tent to be dealt with. So that took Husband and JJ. That left me to cook. Burger, sausage, toast, baked beans and a fried egg each. For eight hungry children. On a calor gas stove with two burners and one grill.
I honestly cannot remember how I did it, but I got eight children’s meals out pretty much together, and then four adult meals after that. Then I sat down for a cup of tea, Karen washed up, children were playing happily and…
Youngest jumped off something into something, and fell badly, putting his front teeth through his cheek.
Back to Newport, where we had fortunately seen the hospital on the earlier trip. Triaged and home in an hour, which was pretty fantastic. Poor lad. Next day he looked like he’d had a stroke; the whole side of his face drooped, and strangers were looking at him askance. He made a full recovery and was back to his normal self by the time we went home.