Exit Ramp

I am beginning to experience the creative joy of cooking. One day, I came across a recipe on preparing Vegetable au gratin.

Every cook, being human, errs, bungles, botches, and screws up in the kitchen once in a while. But for a novice cook like me, a recipe can become a dangerous minefield.



The cream sauce turned out lumpy. The vegetables were both bland and soggy. And the potatoes tasted raw.



My brother tried to hide his distaste, unfortunately, he almost choked on it. Even so, he lauded me for my ingenuity.

In her article, Cooking Blunders: Whatever do you mean?,Marjorie Dorfman emphasizes, “It is important, however, to re-trace your steps and understand the error of your ways so that you do not repeat the mistake.”

Mustering up courage, I decided to do it again.



2 large potatoes, diced
a handful of frozen corn
1 tsp butter
1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
1 cup shredded four cheese
salt and pepper to taste

For the white sauce:
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1.5 cup Natrel coffee cream ( or milk)
1 tsp butter
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

I discovered that baking potatoes requires more time. I went on doing it first.


Apply a tsp of butter at the bottom of the baking pan and then layer the potatoes and corn on it. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Grill this in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°F until the potatoes are slightly browned.



Next, add all the diced vegetables and spread them evenly on all sides of the pan.


In preparing the white sauce, you need to warm the butter in a non-stick skillet. Make sure that the butter is melted and not burned. Mix the flour with the cold cream until you reach a smooth consistency. Next, pour this mixture in the sauce pan and keep stirring constantly. Season it with salt, pepper and add a teaspoon of sugar. To avoid formation of lumps, I kept on stirring it over low heat until my potatoes are baked nicely. ( a simple test of patience and endurance!)


The next step is to evenly pour the white sauce on the vegetables. Then top it with a layer of four cheese.

Bake this at 350°F for 15-20mins.

It is a good thing that the highway of imperfection has exit ramps.There is always a way getting back on the right direction whenever we make the wrong choice.

God is always in the process of developing our character.

Troubles help us learn not to give up. And when we have learned not to give up, it shows we have stood the test. When we have stood the test, it gives us hope. (Romans 5:3-4, NLV)

Our shortcomings in life may cause us to fall apart. But in the pain, we can find healing. In Jesus’ name, we can always find meaning.






I intended doing a taste test. Instead, I ended up eating a big slice.


One thought on “Exit Ramp

  1. I’m sorry…. I’m a doubting Thomas, man…. I’d rather taste the pudding than read the press release! This is nice, bro. Did I tell you that my uncle, who was an Economist and a Fulbright scholar, turned into a cook some years after they migrated to Canada?

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