I burned dinner last night. The top of the casserole was black, black like my soul, charred beyond recognition.
And it was DELICIOUS.
I didn't mean to do it. Please note the title of this blog, okay? I somehow got it into my head that the baked tortellini casserole I was making needed to be in the oven for half an hour. Then I glanced at the recipe and saw it needed to be in the broiler. I've never USED a broiler. So I shrugged my shoulders, switched the setting on the oven, and tried to leave the casserole in the broiler for 30 minutes. Apparently, I'd missed the helpful comment that said "broil until cheese is melted (careful – broilers burn food easily!)". Luckily, about 10 minutes in, I decided to take a peek.
Black as night.
I quickly went for the casserole pot, not noticing that some smoke was spewing forth. Brad noticed, and tried to warn me, but I dismissed his concerns . . . until the fire alarm went off.
At this point, Brad had just gotten home. Our friend Leah had come over to help us decide where to hang our art, and she was sitting innocently at the breakfast bar, sipping red wine. Next thing she knows, Brad is waving a dish towel at the smoke detector and I'm racing across the room to fumble with the slider doors that lead to our deck.
Do I know how to show a guest a good time or what?
After a fortifying sip of my own wine, I assessed the damage. Underneath the uppermost layer of tar, the cheese was gooey and delicious. The spinach was steamed. The tortellini was unscathed.
And the kicker is, I *love* burnt cheese. Overdone bits on nachos? Mine. Lasagna edges? I'll fight you for them. So really, in my opinion, the casserole wasn't ruined-- It. Was. Perfect.
And both Leah and Brad went back for seconds.
(I've also been inspired to make these for our upcoming housewarming party. I may even share them with my guests!)