I am so grateful that God provided me with a sense of humor. I am also grateful that God provided my husband with a sense of humor. If it wasn’t for the ability to laugh, I’m not sure our marriage would have survived the first couple of years.
OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but let’s just say I did not come out of the womb a homemaker. Nothing about homemaking comes naturally to me. I used to hate cooking so much I told my mom I would have to marry a chef because I would not be doing the cooking. My first time dealing with a raw turkey carcass, I just about became a vegetarian. I do enjoy sewing, but for some reason every time I undertake a sewing project, I end up spending 5 times more money on materials and supplies than if I had just bought the item.
When I post a recipe on this blog, it is not something that just “came to me” overnight like so many other real-food bloggers. It probably took me months and my family eating a lot of really nasty “fails” to get to the final product.
I say all this because if I wasn’t able to laugh at myself, I would probably be in my room crying right now. Homemaking is hard! And so in the spirit of levity, I am going to share with you my top 5 homemaking fails. Believe me, we had a lot to choose from. I hope they bring you a laugh and encourage you in your homemaking pursuits – no one is perfect.
#5 – I washed my cloth diapers the wrong way for 4 years.
Before I had my first son, I was determined to save as much money as possible. I researched and researched cloth diapering. I bought my diapers and figured out a system, and followed that system for 4 years without ever thinking twice about it. However, after my second child (same diapers), we started to experience problems with the diapers burning his skin whenever they were wet. I stripped, and washed, and sunned and just thought this is what happens with old diapers.
Now that I’m pregnant with another sweet little life, I decided to get serious. I called the company that manufactured the diapers so they could help me trouble shoot and it turns out – I had been washing my diapers all wrong for four straight years! In my defense, the way I had been washing them was recommended four years ago, they had just changed their recommendations not long after.
#4 – I forgot how to iron (but not really)
When my husband got hired as a youth pastor we were still newlyweds. I wanted him to look sharp when he was at work, but no matter how much time I spent ironing his clothes, they always looked wrinkled. I remember watching him one day as he was giving announcements and was so embarrassed that his clothes were so wrinkled. That Christmas we went home to visit family and I had my mom give me ironing lessons. I was very successful ironing clothes at her house, but then when we got home, the same problem persisted. It wasn’t until my mother-in-law bought us a new iron that we finally realized the problem wasn’t me – it was that I was using a broken iron all that time!
#3 – Our fire alarms work.
I admit that in the first years of our marriage I set off the fire alarm a lot. However, you know you’ve set off the fire alarm a little too often, when just the mention of the word sends your 13 month old into hysterics.
On our private family blog, I wrote about those days of burned meals:
I don’t know what it is about marriage that makes me burn dinners. If burned food was a delicacy, I could open my own restaurant. I still think that Scott has not fully recovered from my special ten-month anniversary dinner that I burned just for him. And today, as I stared at my burnt chicken on the oven-top, I pondered this question? What are good wives supposed to do when they have burned dinner? Seriously?! Throwing it away is a waste, but eating it is unusual torture. If I was to carve off the burnt parts, dinner would be cold and the kitchen a black crumbly mess. Then I wondered after how many years of marriage does a husband stop offering to eat the burnt food just to make you feel better? It’s been almost 16 months for us now and Scott still puts on a brave face and pretends that he’s ok eating it.
Then…while I was pondering these questions…. I realized I burnt the cinnamon apples I was making as a special treat. It’s been a long day!
#2 – I burned bone broth
You can read the full story here. The short version is that the water evaporated out of the pot in the middle of the night and the bones just burned all night long. We woke up to the most horrible stench and the whole house in a foggy haze of greasy, burned bone smoke. My husband actually woke up gagging. The smell permeated every inch and surface of our whole house. We had to scrub all the walls and floors with vinegar, set all the furniture outside to air out, and re-wash every single piece of laundry in the whole house. All of that still didn’t stop people at church from asking us why our children smelled so badly. We had to keep our distance from other human beings for at least 3 or 4 days. It was bad people…really bad!
#1 – The day I ruined the neighbors dinner
Of all my homemaking fails, there is one that stands out among the rest. This one gets brought up at dinner parties and I will never, ever live it down for as long as I live.
It was the summer of our first year of marriage and long before our real food journey – so don’t judge!
It was our ten month anniversary and I was determined to do something special. Scott loved orange chicken so I found a recipe online and was determined to make it. I decided to do sopapillas for dessert. I spent all day in the kitchen, slaving away for the perfect anniversary meal. Somehow I left out a couple of key ingredients though. As I wrote on our family blog:
I served it up very excited to see the look on Scott’s face when he eats my delicious creation. He took a bite, stone faced, chewed and swallowed. I knew it was just expressionless enthusiasm for the fantastic meal I had made…. that is until I took a bite. It was horrible, bitter, and disgusting. I told Scott he didn’t have to eat it, but he tried. He gave it a good honest effort. I couldn’t watch my dear husband of ten months go through anymore. I threw it away.
I was so forlorn that my whole meal was ruined until I remembered the sopapilla dough. I decided to turn dessert into dinner and make stuffed sopapillas with beans and cheese. I put some oil in the frying pan and then got distracted by a show on tv. Before I knew it our tiny little apartment was covered in billowing smoke.
It was so thick we couldn’t breathe and had to evacuate our apartment. Now I had ruined dinner number one and dinner number two. I was feeling a little discouraged and so my husband suggested we walk down to the little market by our apartment and buy some Coke. They had the really good Coke in the glass bottles that was a big splurge for us. That cheered me up. After we returned to our apartment, we still couldn’t go inside, so we sat out on the balcony drinking our Coke and eating the couple of sopapillas I was able to make. I decided this dinner was worth commemorating and put our Coke bottles on the balcony to take a picture.
Two seconds after this picture was taken, I accidentally bumped the bottles and they fell two stories down, landing on our down stairs neighbor’s grill (he was grilling burgers). The Coke bottles shattered completely ruining their dinner as well.
And that, my friends, is how you ruin three perfectly good dinners in one night. It takes talent.