B is for: Baking, Flames, and Smoked Pie {A to Z Challenge 2018}

The people have spoken! Y’all, I’m excited to announce the theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge is:


And yes, we can all groan at the fact that I am actually making a lame pun with my last name.

For newcomers: The A to Z Challenge is where a bunch of people blog throughout the month of April, choosing a certain theme and then posting with a corresponding letter for each day. Today’s letter is…


Yes, I work in the kitchen at a coffee shop. And yes, I am in charge of the kitchen at a private retreat center. And yes, I have regularly cooked for my family since I was a wee mite. But, the truth of the matter is mishaps come in all shapes and sizes and delight to find me even now – so yo, folks! It’s story time with Lydia.

Once upon a time, unfortunately not so long ago and in a land quite close, there was a Retreat taking place. Like good little kitchen workers everywhere, I was up early, clipboard in hand, making sure everything was getting done on time. With a limited amount of oven space, we had to hurry to get the apple pies in before the roast needed to be cooked.

Thankfully, I have a fantastic co-worker who’s pie making skills are unmatched. We did the prep work, she whipped up an oven full of pies, set the timer, and left. Her pies are delicious – juicy, sweet, bubbling over, and quite often creating epic amounts of smoke as the sweetness runs out of the pie dish and drips onto the bottom of the oven where it sizzles and burns.

It wasn’t long until smoke was filling the kitchen, so like any brilliant leader would do who’s hands were knee-deep (or wrist deep?) in dough, I asked one of my co-workers to put some foil paper on the bottom of the oven to catch the drips so they wouldn’t take forever and a day to scrub off. (As I said, it was a pretty brilliant move.)

I would like to think if it had been ME doing the actual task that I would have paid attention and read the words written on the bottom of the oven that very clearly state that you are NOT supposed to put foil on it. But, in reality, I probably would have been in such a hurry I wouldn’t have noticed the warning, either.

Before long the smoke cleared away, but instead of relief filling us, we saw bright orange flames hopping around inside the stove. Panic ensued. Pandemonium broke out. The world stilled for about three seconds. We peered transfixed at the oven. Then someone grabbed a fire extinguisher, and we looked at each other in horror, knowing that as soon as the door was open more oxygen would rush in, creating even bigger flames (which we so did not need).

My one actual smart move of the day was to tell them to put the fire extinguisher away as I grabbed for a ten-pound bag of baking soda instead – that way we’d still be able to serve the pie without poisoning everyone.

With a lot of nervous giggles (the kitchen staff was all girls at the moment), we worked it out so that one of my co-workers would open the door while I tossed handfuls of baking soda on the flames. Our support team danced around in the background, cheering us on with squeals.

It took several times of the door being jerked open, me throwing handfuls of baking soda at the fire while trying desperately to miss the actual pies, and then the door being slammed shut as the flames jumped out at us before we were successful.

That day the kitchen was full of laughter, our hearts were racing, and we served everyone “Campfire Apple Pie” – playing off the fact that every piece had a strange smokey flavor, with a slight baking soda aftertaste.


What I Listened To While Blogging:
The soundtrack for “The Prince of Egypt
Where I Blogged:
At my desk while drinking coffee with slightly curdled milk
Fun Fact:
My brother bought me lovely tulips last week, simply because he’s amazing 

14 thoughts on “B is for: Baking, Flames, and Smoked Pie {A to Z Challenge 2018}

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Me too! The story wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if we wouldn’t have been able to continue on with the meal. 😉


  1. Bekah says:

    Haha! This gave me a laugh! But way to go on knowing what to do so the pies wouldn’t be destroyed. Go, Lydia! I think we’ve all had a kitchen mishap. Just recently I put too much of a couple ingredients in a recipe for pumpkin muffins. Let’s just say they didn’t turn out very well…but oh, well! Here’s to lessons learned in the kitchen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      YES! I can relate to that quite well. Baking is so much more difficult than cooking, because with cooking you can taste and test as you go. With baking? Well, you never really know what’s going on until they come out of the oven.

      Liked by 1 person

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