Yes, yes, yes, Mom put those toys in the pan! The Easter grass and necklaces one was done after cooking, after the pan had cooled. The blue monster one was done before I had turned the burner on.
Trying to cook is an ongoing adventure in this household. Those pictures were taken before and after cooking. Let me tell you some of the things that she has put in the food during the cooking process.
Incident one: I had made stir fry, and rice to accompany it. As I was dishing out the rice, I found several dimes in the bottom of the pan.
Incident two: I had made a spaghetti sauce using a combo of italian sausage and hamburger. The plum tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil were all fresh from the garden. It had simmered for a good long time to let the flavors meld. You know how italian sausage gives off the orange tinged grease that rises to the top? I usually let the sauce cool slightly, and then skim off that fat. This time, the orange fat wasn't rising to the top. It was just sort of waxy and spread throughout the sauce. The lightbulb finally turned on in my head. Mom had been carrying around part (an inch or two?) of an orange/brick colored crayon (no paper), showing it to me and remarking on what a pretty color it was. Argh! I searched her pockets, all of her usual hiding spots, never found that crayon. Now I can't prove it, but I'm 99% sure that the crayon ended up in the sauce. We ate it. I figured kids eat crayons all the time. It didn't affect the taste at all. Although the thought of it did have me cringing on the inside.
Incident three: By now, I was on to her wily ways, so whenever I cook, I try to guard the stove and get her involved in something else to distract her. It doesn't always work. A good 90% of the time, she has to be right there, two steps behind me. Argh! On this particular occasion, I was making a vegetable beef stew/soup. Everything was in the pot, it was just simmering. I was standing there stirring it, standing right in front of the pot, trying to block her away from the stove with my body. She came up to me, put her left hand in front of my face and sort of wiggled it to distract me, and slipped her right hand under my arm and threw something in the pot. Two dead ladybugs. At least, I think they were dead. They were certainly dead when I fished them out of the pot. They were those fake ladybugs, you know, the Asian ladybeetles that invade the house during the fall.
Each time we ate the food I was cooking. I'm just too practical, or frugal, or cheap, (or lazy?)to throw it out and start over. I figure I've had llama spit go in my mouth, nothing can be more disgusting than that. (By the way, if you are holding an alpaca to give it medicine, and he presses his mouth right up against your cheek, he might be giving you an alpaca kiss. Or, he might just spit at you. Luckily, it was just the saliva spit, not the full on green rumen juice. You sure do feel the force they can put behind their spit when their mouth is right there though.)
Bear in mind those are the incidents that I witnessed. If you are kind, you won't point out how many incidents I may not have witnessed. I don't like to think about it.
On a side note, February Yarnival! is up. Go check out Miss T . In the interest of full disclosure, she was kind enough to include my story of the garbage mittens. Hi to those who have made your way here from Yarnival. Well heck, Hi to everybody who has stopped by, however you found me!