My friend Rosey asked five of us to her pad for lunch. I remember that she’d been given a recipe by our mate Bernie for something called Prenez Garde de ce plat Eclate. He’d suggested she have a go at it. He was the first to arrive that memorable Sunday morning and he greeted us with a glass of plonk and a suspiciously knowing smile. Rosey was slaving away in the kitchen, wooden spoon in one hand and a glass of Chardonnay in the other.
It was one of those meals where everyone contributed something – Rosey had more than enough to do preparing the main course. I made some mushroom pate with which to start the feast and someone else had made a spotted dick and custard. Bernie brought wine, and a selection of cheeses appeared courtesy of one of the girls. When Rosey’s creation was safely in the oven we all took our seats and got started on my pate.
When we’d finished Rosey looked at her watch, squinted, then looked again before declaring that the Prenez Garde de ce plat Eclate was probably ready. Bernie took advantage of the space between courses to go out into the garden for a cigarette from where he watched Rosey through the kitchen window with a rapidly broadening grin on his face.
Well, I thought a bomb had landed! There was an enormous bang and the sound of a breaking window pane. We all jumped out of seats and Bernie dived for cover as shards of glass flew into the garden. Fuzzybutt and Scruff shot across the room and launched themselves into their basket. Rosey staggered into the room holding a half-empty dish in her oven-gloved hands. Her face was blackened with smoke dust and she was wearing most of the main course all over her apron. It seems that just as she was about to open the oven, her creation exploded blowing the door off and shattering the kitchen window.
Needless to say, Bernie was suitably chastened by what had just happened. Fortunately, Rosey saw the funny side of it and started to giggle. In no time at all everyone was in fits of laughter. Even Bernie had a rueful smile on his guilt-ridden face! He knew that the recipe was designed to explode, but not quite in the way it did. But then Rosey is never one to measure ingredients so it’s more than likely she put ten times as much of the offending constituent in than she was meant to!
Interestingly, although a couple of us including Rosey could speak a little French, no one realised that Prenez Garde de ce plat Eclate translates as Beware this Dish Explodes!