When the Marshmallows Catch Fire

I tried a new pie recipe this weekend. We had a Pi Day Party and I had won the last time I had attended, so this time I just wanted to do something fun. What’s more fun than s’mores? Nothing. S’mores pie it is.

I’m a little bit known for kitchen adventures. I’ve set the temp and timer for chicken but forgot to put the chicken in the oven; I’ve splattered oil all over the wall in an attempt to fry tortillas; cheesecakes have imploded in my oven; I’ve melted plastic to the burner; I’ve blackened a glass pan after leaving it on a hot burner; and I’ve shattered Pyrex after putting the item in cold water straight out of the oven. Before you judge me, please keep in mind that’s only five mistakes over the course of 11 years. Before I got married, I had only one mishap, which was mistaking sugar for salt in a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Anyway, the pie was going really well until the broil part. Two minutes, and my pie was actually on fire. Not the cool, Gordon Ramsey kind of fire, but the not-supposed-to-happen kind of fire. Greg blew it out and I whisked my pie to safety.

Amazingly, my dessert was salvageable. I just had to remove the blackened marshmallows with a pair of tongs; they lifted right off and I replaced them with a new set, which toasted perfectly with one alteration to the process.

Maybe it sounds kind of simple, and maybe you’ve tried it, but maybe when things don’t go your way you can lift up and toss out that top layer and see what’s left. Maybe you can’t salvage exactly what you had planned, but maybe you can rearrange and make something new.

Sometimes it feels like life is catching fire and you’re powerless to stop it. But I firmly believe in – and I have experienced – the value of salvaging what’s left, rearranging, and finding the delicious inside the disaster. You’ll never convince me that process isn’t worth it. Life will so rarely go according to plan, it pays to have some tricks in my back pocket to deal when my marshmallows catch fire.