The F Word

30 Nov

I NEVER want to hear the F word again.

I mean EVER.

You know the one I’m talking about.

It’s shameless.  It’s evil.  And it’s disgusting.

I’m talking, of course, about Flan.

*shiver* Even typing it gives me the willies.

I never knew I felt this strongly about it until the other night.

I received a text from 16 year old Amp earlier in the afternoon:

“Mom.  We are supposed to cook a Spanish dish to bring in to class tomorrow.  I am making caramel custard. Depending on when you get home I may need your assistance in acquiring the following:  sugar. A pan in which to melt the sugar into caramel.  Milk.  Vanilla extract.  A cupcake pan.  Eggs.  A roasting pan.  Thank you for your help.”

Sounds easy enough.  I had all the materials and ingredients.  I knew caramel custard was a fancy name for *swallow* flan.  I’d never made it before, seeing as I don’t really like it, but I was willing to help him out.

A little later I received another text from him.  This one stated he wouldn’t be home from his scholar bowl match until 8:30 that evening.  Ugh.  I wasn’t willing to stay up all night making this Mexican dessert so I asked him if it was okay for me to start without him.

I dug up an easy recipe off the internet and got to work.

Three hours, 4 dirty pots, and 5 pounds of sugar later, Amp walks through the door.

“How’s it goin’?”, he has the nerve to ask.

I looked at him with smudgy eyes, frazzled hair, and sticky fingers.

“Great!”  I reply, dripping with sarcasm.  “I’ve been on the FIRST STEP for THREE HOURS, and for the life of me I canNOT get the sugar to melt and then turn to caramel.”

I was on a rampage now.

“I searched over and over again for tips and tricks on how to melt sugar.  And EVERY. ONE. FAILS.  I am done trying.  I suggest you take pictures of ALL the dirty pans, ALL the sugar in the trash, and the burnt sugar that will forever be stuck to the stove. and turn THAT in.”

He shrugged, with his calm, laid back, easy going personality, and began snapping pictures.  Then he grabbed something to eat and headed off to his room.

Taking a cue from his carefree attitude, I dumped the rest of the sugar in the trash, threw the pots in the sink, grabbed my ice cream and plopped on the couch.

I have since calmed down and regained my composure, but I swear…

if I ever, EVER hear that F word again….

I may just…



Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Baking, Blunders, Family, Humor


Tags: , , , , ,

27 responses to “The F Word

  1. towardshealthylife

    November 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    oh….sounds very frustating! Especialy if the person you are helping doesn’t care too much…sugar can be tricky…Thank God you can turn around and bake a batch of those delicious cupcake of yours 🙂

    • shadowrun300

      December 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      I know! I kept asking him, “Don’t Mexicans eat cupcakes??” 🙂
      Good to see you again!!

    • The Thin Lady Inside

      December 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      🙂 Hey! Good to see you around!

  2. Abby

    November 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Omigosh, I remember the effing *flan*! Wolfgang chose that for HIS Mexican food day a few years ago.
    It’s all quite foggy, but I remember helping him. The carmelized sugar goes on the bottom, right? I think we got it to sort of carmelize, then we poured everthing else on top and hoped for the best. It was consumed and what the flan did I care? I wasn’t getting graded on it!
    I like your solution. When all else fails, get photographic evidence of your attempts!

    • shadowrun300

      December 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Yeah – he said it was a participation grade only, but I never could get the sugar to “pour”. I coulda clumped it down I suppose. I blame my light bottomed pots and pans. I don’t think they distribute the gas heat as evenly as the heavy bottomed ones. I refuse to get heavy bottomed just for flan though.
      He brought baked churros the next day – I don’t have a fryer either….

  3. Sandi

    November 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I’m so sorry for clicking “like”, I’m not laughing at your misfortune, but you’ve used some great phrases to turn what sounds like a simply horrific evening into a funny story … I can just see you ‘plopped’ on the couch with your ice cream!

    • shadowrun300

      December 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      The only thing that kept me from totally losing it that night, was the fact that some day I would find it funny. I was pretty testy during the process, though. My hubby tiptoed around me all night, afraid that any false move would set me off.

  4. territerri

    December 1, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I know how frustrating that must have been, especially for someone who loves to work in the kitchen and produce successful masterpieces! I’m so sorry. You gave it a good effort!

    • shadowrun300

      December 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Very frustrating, since as you know, I like things to be just right. But I also have tons of determination, so I never thought to quit earlier and try something else. In fact, at 5:30 the next morning, I briefly thought about going back to the kitchen to try again. But then I came to my senses and went back to sleep. 😉

  5. agg79

    December 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Ditto what Terri said. I imagine that for a consummate culinary expert like you, not being able to master an “easy” dish would drive you over the edge. Somewhere along the line (probably around the 3rd pot) I would have either gone out for a 5 mile run or start drinking scotch. Bravo for making the attempt, even if it wasn’t successful or appreciated.

    • shadowrun300

      December 2, 2012 at 3:55 am

      At first, I thought I was doing something wrong. By the end of it, I was blaming the pots and pans and my gas stove. After all, I AM a consummate culinary expert. It definitely wasn’t anything I was doing wrong. 😉

  6. The Thin Lady Inside

    December 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    oh my goodness shadow… I am so so so sorry! you and I should’ve shared phone numbers so you could’ve called me and I could help! Making flan is easy … for me… a Mexican tee-hee! … and I would’ve had something even easier for you to make which involves flan! it’s awesome and totally worth it! Now I am in this quest of getting you to make it so you realize how easy (forgiving) and delicious this dessert is! I actually just made a “choco-flan Cake” yesterday … I’ll share the recipe with you! you HAVE TO try it … And I know you love challenges…

    • shadowrun300

      December 2, 2012 at 3:59 am

      All the sites I went to said how easy it was…. I was feeling like a complete failure! 😦
      As usual, Amp waited until the last minute to tell me about the project, so I had no chance to contact you. I was thinking of you, however.
      If you share the recipe for the choco-flan cake, I will try it – but only once. If I fail, then I’m going back to my trusty cupcakes. 🙂

      • The Thin Lady Inside

        December 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        Don’t be afraid… you can’t mess this one up! I am telling you! Nobody can! 😉 I promise you everybody will love it!

      • shadowrun300

        December 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        You’re right. It certainly looks easy. As I was trying to melt the sugar, I wondered if I could just use caramel topping, but I didn’t have any – or at least was too frustrated to go check. I’ll try this recipe soon and let you know how it goes! I hope I’m not the first one to mess it up. :/

      • The Thin Lady Inside

        December 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        Shadow… to make the sugar let me just give you a tip and very clear instructions 🙂 … use 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp. of water and 1/4 tsp. of lemon juice… put it all in a saucepan, start the heat at medium and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves, once it’s dissolved, turn up the heat to high and stop stirring, don’t stir at all again, once it turns to amber color remove from the heat IMMEDIATELY and use it right away… it’s super easy! 😉

      • shadowrun300

        December 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        So the sugar does dissolve in 2 tbsp of water? And I’d read that using lemon keeps the sugar from burning, however I didn’t have any at home. You’re making me want to try it again, but my Hubby has asked me to warn him. He wants to be sure he’s out of the house at that time. 🙂

      • The Thin Lady Inside

        December 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        Please try it again, just the way I’m telling you and you’ll see it’s easy peasy! I sooo wish I had known you were going to be making it and I would’ve shared all my secrets with you 😉 …. yes… don’t forget to add the water to the sugar from the very beginning… mix and dissolve as it cooks at med. heat… then once it looks almost clear just turn the heat to high and don’t stir again… it will turn amber in about 4 minutes… 🙂 You’ll LOVE IT!

      • shadowrun300

        December 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

        Okay. One more try. Maybe this weekend. I’ll be sure to post an update.

      • The Thin Lady Inside

        December 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        oh! And much better than caramel topping 😉

  7. Rock Chef

    December 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    This sounds rather different to what we use that word for over here.

    As for the caramel, I would have bought a tin of the stuff already done. Last time I tried to make my own I ruined one of my wife’s favourite saucepans…

    • shadowrun300

      December 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      I didn’t ruin any saucepans, luckily. And I was definitely wishing I had time to go out and just buy a can or jar of caramel, but it was too late. I actually suggested he just bring in chips and salsa. That’s Mexican, right?

  8. The Thin Lady Inside

    December 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    If caramel seems impossibly stuck on the pan… just wash with hot water… it just dissolves away… 🙂 It might seem like a pan is ruined… but it’s just hardened sugar… it melts 😉

    • shadowrun300

      December 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Yeah, right. Maybe YOUR sugar melts… lol After my first mess up, I put the pot with the sugar under the tap and was amazed to see it freeze up, then adhere itself to the pan. I just added more water and put it on the burner to boil while I tried a different pot.

  9. The Thin Lady Inside

    December 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Actually that’s one of the reasons why I love melting sugar… once I get rid of the caramel my pot’s never looked cleaner 😉

  10. meleahrebeccah

    December 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Fuck, Flan!!!! lolz!!

    • shadowrun300

      December 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      My thoughts exactly… although I’m being convinced to try one more time. I’ll let you know. 🙂


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