How NOT to make Cherries Jubilee

My old college roommate was in town this past weekend. When we met up, I told her about all the taboo foods I wanted to ingest as soon as the baby is born: sushi, wine, lunch meat...

"And don't forget Cherries Jubilee!" my roommate said with a mischievous glint in her eye.

And then I was brought back to last summer...........

My roommate (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent), had just returned to the U.S. from a missions trip. She was staying at our apartment for a few days while her missions team debriefed and did whatever it is missions teams do. One afternoon, all three of us were free of obligations, so we went out to see the new Pixar movie Up.

This was all innocent enough, UNTIL...

The bad guy mentioned a dish called "Cherries Jubilee." My husband was intrigued (and probably hungry), because all the way home, he talked about how he wanted to try Cherries Jubilee! So, being a good wife, I went straight to Google and found a recipe.

Basically, Cherries Jubilee is a dessert comprised of ice cream and cherry pie filling. You spoon the cherries over the ice cream, and then douse everything in liquor and set it on fire. After the flames go out, you are supposedly left with a delicious, carmelized cherry dessert!

We should have known that three tee-totaling Christian university students plus a liquor recipe would equal trouble.

My roommate and I set off to the local grocery store to buy the ingredients. Unfortunately, the smallest can of cherry pie filling I could find was 20 ounces. The recipe called for twelve. "No matter," I said, "I'll just increase all the other ingredients by a third!"

You can see where this is going.

The next stop was the liquor store, where I marched up to the front and said, "I need some good cooking brandy." Wouldn't want the clerk to think we would actually, you know, drink the stuff. So I bought the smallest bottle they had and zoomed home to try out this new, exciting dessert!

I dished out the ice cream and divided the can of cherries evenly among the three bowls. It was time for the liquor! "Let me see...." I said. "The recipe calls for a half cup, so I guess we now need three-quarters cup of brandy." I divided it accordingly.

Yes, you read that right. I had just put a quarter cup of brandy in every dessert bowl.

Now, it was time for the exciting part! How often do you get to light your food on fire, after all? Adam lit the match, set each bowl aflame...

And watched each bowl go pffffft after about two seconds.

"Well, that's weird," we all said. "That didn't even burn any of the alcohol!" So we tried lighting it on fire a couple more times, but it just wouldn't flame. I'm guessing the sheer amount of alcohol floating in the dishes just overwhelmed that poor flame.

We should have stopped right there. But we couldn't let all that good ice cream go to waste! So we ate it.

Have you ever wondered what cherry Robitussin would taste like if it was a dessert? Unfortunately, I now no longer need to wonder. We bravely choked down our Cherries Jubilee, and after several minutes, it even started to taste... gooooooood.

And that is when my very petite, 5'2" roommate said, "Whew! Is it getting hot in here? *giggle* I think I need to sit down!"

I had just succeeded in intoxicating my roommate.

So we guided her to the couch, and sat with her and listened to her giggle at everything for about twenty minutes, until she said,

"Well, I guess it's about time for me to go my missions team meeting!"

Not only had I gotten her tipsy, but I had gotten her tipsy right before a church meeting! She insisted that she would be okay driving, and since it was right across the street anyways, we reluctantly let her go, giggling all the way.

I guess that's why they call it "Cherries Jubilee"!

After she left, I went back to the internet recipe to see where I had gone wrong. Way down at the bottom of the page, there was this sentence:

Serves 6-8.


We still have that half-used bottle of brandy in the pantry, just waiting for us to gather the courage to once again try... Cherries Jubilee.


Looking for more embarrassing stories? Head on over to For Love or Funny to read about other calamities!


  1. Hahahahaha!!! Oh that is too funny!!! We joke here that if anyone would look in our frige they'd think we were winos b/c of all the wine bottles. We use it for cooking and only occasionally have a glass of what my friend says is "kool-aid" :P If you need to use up the brandy, you could find recipes for marinades, etc. that would use it without the previous results ;)

  2. That is a hilarious story, especially the part about going to a missions trip afterward!

  3. That is too funny! Love that she went to church afterwards. I'm thinking just the cherries and ice cream would be good though!!! My mouth is watering...


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