Every now and then, some must-have item shows up in our world view. If we are unsuccessful after a few searches, finding that item morphs into a quest. Quests just happen. You cannot plan for them.
A few years ago, while engaged in a quest, I found the item I wanted in stock at a nearby store. However, we were making dinner at the time.
“Turn off the pizza!” MM said. “Let’s go!” She knew how important acquiring this item was to me. (Notice that I can’t even remember what it was.) We set off to purchase the trinket and return home in record time to finish making the meal. The frozen pizza was no worse for the pause in baking. (Frozen pizza is barely edible no matter how much or little you cook it.)“Turn off the Pizza” became our code phrase for dropping everything to go get something we really need Right Now.
The other day, my digital thermometer started flaking out on me. I inspected the probe and noticed that somehow I managed to melt part of its wire. Time for a new thermometer.
I was in the middle of making a batch of fudge, but the sugar/butter/milk mixture had not started boiling. I thought I was at a good place to just Turn off the Pizza, run to the store, buy a new thermometer, and then come home and finish the batch.
By the time I got back, the whole batch had transformed into large, milky crystals reminiscent of rock candy. I told myself that everything would remelt everything once I turned the heat up.
Some of the crystals dissolved just fine, but the crystals on the side of the sauce pan never melted completely. When I stirred in the chocolate chips and the other ingredients, the fudge precipitated way too fast. I ended up with a batch of hard, dry, grainy, flat fudge.
Moral: If you get interrupted while making fudge, just throw that batch out and start over. Or make a sauce by adding more milk or cream. Just don’t expect a good batch of fudge.
Epilogue: The new thermometer flaked out on me after one use, and I ended up buying a third.