Looking over my last few entries, I realized that I was starting to come across like I actually might know what I am talking about. This is grossly untrue. Therefore I decided to start a tradition of posting ‘Lessons Learned’ to prove that I am still in fact learning thereby lowering the standards if any of you readers come over to our house for a meal.

1. If you touch one of the burners inside an oven, the oven will turn off. This is also linked to…
2. When baking salted eggplant and zucchini, juices from the veggies do not come off the pan and start a fire. Thank God. Also linked to…
3. Always check to make sure the oven is on when you think something is baking.

So when making Garden Casserole, the recipe told me to put my slices of zucchini and eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Now despite our very generous wedding guests, we only have one very old rimmed baking sheet. I also needed to toast breadcrumbs for this recipe and quickly decided (based on a previous lessons learned) that it would be far worse for a 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to end up on the bottom of my stove than a slice of zucchini or eggplant.

So I put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack and prepared my sliced veggies and put them on two of my new unrimmed but awesome cookie sheets (Thank you Aunt Ellen!). This actually leads to another lesson learned:

4. Two cool unrimmed but awesome cookie sheets do not fit on the same rack in my oven.

Manatee and I developed a plan and rearranged veggie slices on sheet #1 so we could overlap them. Then I went to put in sheet #2 and I swear I wasn’t throwing it in the oven, but in the process, one zucchini slice flew off the sheet (in slow motion) and landed under the racks and under a burner in the oven. Manatee came to the recipe with his new grilling fork (Thank you Aunt Bev) and in process bumped a burner.

Fast forward twenty minutes as I impatiently check the veggies and alas they didn’t seem to be making much process. After I sighed and probably slammed a drawer shut, Manatee examined the oven and determined that it was no longer on. Oops.

5. Don’t give up on something if you think it sucks. It may taste better tomorrow.

I hated the stuffed mushrooms we made on Monday. But Manatee didn’t let me throw them away. At the last minute, I decided to reheat them with the garden casserole and with some additional baking time, they actually tasted good. Was it my low expectations? Maybe. The glass of wine I drank BEFORE dinner (see above lesson learned)? Maybe. But I am glad we tried them again.

6. If your oven locks down and starts to clean itself WHILE you have two pans of food in the oven, unplug it. When you plug it back in, it will reset and unlock.

Did I know this when it happened? No. Manatee figured it out. I could have also made this a here’s what not to do:

6. When your oven locks down and starts to clean itself WHILE you have two pans of food in the oven, do NOT
1. Scream.
2. Call your mother who will also freak out.
3. While your poor mother is on the phone, pull on the oven door, yelling OPEN! Please Open! (Amazingly ovens do not respond to vocal commands)
4. Tell your husband that this is actually great because you can now get that stainless steel oven you have been fantasizing about.
4. Also tell him you will need new baking pans, a new refridgerator, new kitchen table to go with new appliances, or maybe just a new house…

Print Friendly

Related posts:

Even More Citrus Love: Sweet and Spicy Tofu

Cookbook Sneak Preview: Clean Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter Frosting

Mango Cucumber and Avocado Salsa