The Day That Making Mini Beef Wellington Turned Into A Plumbing Lesson

Mini Beef Wellington. Biting through one is a textural experience.

We first tried them at our friends’ wedding. My husband inhaled a bunch and swears the server with the Wellingtons started avoiding him after that. It’s been years and we still talk about those Wellingtons.

So you know something’s going to go horribly wrong the day I finally decide to make some.

Picture this:

It’s my husband’s birthday, at naptime. I’ve cleaned the house, put a load in the wash, and started the mushrooms for dinner. I’m on track to finish the clothes, get the Wellingtons prepped and catch a shower in time to meet the school bus. Everything is going smoothly. Too smoothly.

Dinner, But First, A Show

Then I go out on the lanai to check the laundry. And there’s water gushing out from under the washer. Gushing.

My mouth drops open. A high pitched sound eeps out.


“No, no, no, no no, no, no, no!”

I tiptoe across the wet tile to the machine and grope at the buttons, first pulling then mashing them. Water’s pouring over my toes and I can’t understand why if the machine is off. There’s the arrow, pointed to Off.

What the –?

I lean over the side of the machine and see that the problem isn’t the washer but the water heater next to it. Down near the bottom, water is flowing from a hole where a spigot should be.

I toss a basket of laundry out of the way and edge into the little space. I try to turn off the water line that’s connected to the water heater, but one of the plastic tabs is snapped off and it won’t turn. I need to turn off the main water line, but I have no idea where it’s located.

Procrastination Sucks

I don’t want to call my husband. My best bet is to call my landlord… except I never got around to programming his number into my new phone.

So I make this huge mess rifling through every paper in the house to find my landlord’s number. But when I finally find it, all I get is a machine. Turns out he’s out of town.

It’s time to go to the bus stop. I do a search on you tube to find out what my main water line looks like, but my phone dies because I never got around to charging it.

By the time I get home, a small pond has formed outside our back porch and I’m freaking out. I know if my husband comes home to this the first thing he’s going to ask is “Why didn’t you call me?”

So I call him. I wish I could say that I’m all calm and collected but the reality’s more like,


(Happy birthday, babe.)

He tells me which one it is. I head back outside.

I squat in front of the main water line and try to turn the little plastic knob. It’s stuck. I want to put my weight on it, but I remember the one on the water heater had a broken tab. Then I glance at my neighbor’s and it has both tabs snapped off. I do not need that to happen right now.

As I contemplate this, a frog, yes a FROG, leaps out at my FACE from behind the a/c unit.


I screech and jump straight up and backwards into the air, just narrowly missing a kiss from the prince himself.

I have a momentary freak out (picture me hopping up and down, hands flapping in front of me, squealing “eeeewwww!”). The frog disappears behind a rock. I force that damn water line shut and book it into the house.

But back inside, a tornado of papers is waiting for me. A toy soup has spread across the floor in my five second absence. And dinner’s been abandoned midway in a kitchen that has no hope of getting cleaned now. Time’s running out, but if I don’t get this done, his birthday will be completely ruined.

I almost want to just say “Pizza for everyone!” Instead, I get in there and roll up some Wellingtons.

And like some Harry Potter magic, I somehow manage to put the house back together and get dinner on the table in time to salvage what’s left of the night.

Except the showers. I hate cold showers.

Have you ever learned a simple lesson the hard way? Share in the comments.