Not-So-Mysterious Mystery of the Missing Ham

Continuing with the Friday “Cooking Calamities” posts. This week’s comes from Lesley Ann McDaniel. Here, she tattles on others–especially her dog Portia. I hope you get a good giggle out of it.


Lesley 1When I started to think about humorous experiences I could share from all my years of cooking, the funniest thing happened—absolutely nothing came to mind. It was as if I had never had a kitchen calamity in my life. 

Now, I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case. Lots have things have gone afoul in the mess hall on my watch. It’s just that none of them have been particularly funny. Sure, I’ve had my share of sauces that failed to thicken and potatoes that turned odd shades of grey, but that’s pretty standard stuff for the amateur chef. Really more tragedy than comedy.

I decided it’s easier to find humor in other people’s calamities. Like the time a friend of mine made grasshopper shakes in my mom’s kitchen. He removed the lid while the blender was running, dooming my poor mom to find mysterious green spots in obscure recesses of her kitchen for years after. Or the time I awoke to the blare of the fire alarm and got up to find a kitchen full of smoke and a black lump in a pan on the red hot stove burner. My roommate learned the hard way what happens to an egg after the hardboiled stage if you forget about it and go to bed. 

But the story I want to share involves Portia, a dog I used to have. To hear me talk, you would get the impression that Portia was the perfect pet, but that’s only because I hold her up as an example to my current dog, Rio, who’s somewhat discipline-challenged. Don’t tell Rio, but Portia wasn’t exactly an angel either.

This happened years ago when I was away at college and had left my beloved and perfect Portia in the care of my parents.

One day my mom took a ham out of the oven just as the doorbell rang. She went to answer the door and was gone for less than a minute. When she returned to the kitchen, the smell of ham lingered in the air, but all she saw was an empty pan on the table and my dog sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor licking her lips. There wasn’t a shred of evidence beyond the circumstantial, and my smart dog was never convicted. That night, she went without her Alpo, and my parents went out to eat.

When it comes to meat, no canine can be trusted.


 Lesley 3LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL writes romance, romantic suspense, and young adult fiction. Her first two books “Lights, Cowboy, Action”, and “Saving Grace” are available at her website or on Amazon

Lesley 4

Cover by Lynnette Bonner, IndyCoverDesign

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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15 Responses to Not-So-Mysterious Mystery of the Missing Ham

  1. That is hilarious. Did your folks dog sit again after that? And you are so right, I wouldn’t trust any canine, or feline for that matter, with unguarded food within reach. I imagine Portia wasn’t too perturbed about not getting her Kibbles that night, she had something better!


  2. K.M. Weiland says:

    Grasshopper shakes – ewwww!


  3. lynnettebonner says:

    LOL! I wonder if her tongue got burnt eating that so quickly after it came out of the oven? When I was a kid living in Africa, we pet-sat a little dog named Sugar for some missionaries who came home on furlough. Let’s just say Sugar wasn’t very sweet. That little dog couldn’t have been more than 11-12 pounds, but man could she jump. We used to thaw our Sunday meat on the counter and then cook it when we got home from church. First week we came home to no meat. So the next week mom got smart and put it on top of the fridge…she got that too.


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