Just When I Thought I was Good at This

Sit right back and hear the tale of my epic team dinner kitchen fail.

The recipe goes like this: a hungry youth group, a spaghetti dinner routine I’ve run at least a dozen times a year for the last 4, the ever-changing landscape of a team cabin kitchen, and, for texture, my habitual time crunch.  Pot on open flame.  Tomato paste, water, cornstarch, chicken bullion, sugar, whisk.  Taste.

Eyes grow wide.  Houston, we have a problem.  Salty like the sea.  How?

Stay calm.  You can fix it.  Add the meat to absorb flavor.  More water, cornstarch, sugar.  Whisk.  Taste.


Don’t panic.  Maybe the chicken bullion just finished dissolving and this new container was more potent than before.  You can outrun it.  No other choice.  Nothing to start over with.  Hungry eighth graders milling around.  Don’t show fear.  They might escalate to feeding frenzy.  Move forward.

Seasonings might help.  Shake in basil, oregano, black pepper.  More water, cornstarch, sugar.  Whisk.

Dear, Lord.  It’s. Not. Getting. Better.  Are my taste buds going numb?  What is going on?  Don’t say that bad word in your brain out loud.

More water, cornstarch, sugar.




Why is the sugar in this jar so white?  Could this be. . . ?



Hurriedly scoop last spoonful of “sugar” out of the pot and toss it.  Brain whirling.  Salt in the cabin always comes in a big shaker.  Sugar lives safe from ants in a peanut butter jar.  The last team must have put a bag of salt in a jar just like the one for sugar.  Oh, look.  The jar actually labeled “Sugar” is sitting right there on top of the microwave.

I had mistakenly added salt, salt, and more salt to balance out the salt in the sauce!

alcohol background bar beer

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Dumping in genuine sugar, progress started.  The team got a spaghetti dinner with the punch of a Pringles can.  We laughed that it was more of a pasta dipping sauce than a marinara.  Everyone was fed.  And gracious.  But I had still messed up something I can normally do by heart.  It burned a bit, like the salinity in my mouth.

If revenge is a dish best served cold, humility apparently goes well with salt.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8 NIV

Have you ever found yourself making a big mistake on your own home turf?  I would love to hear about it below.