My Reputation is Made
I was toasting tortilla shells. Ever done that? You slice them in half or quarters, depending on their size, and then you put them in the toaster to crisp them up. Let them cool, and then give each piece a sharp rap, and, voila, tortilla crisps, suitable for dipping. Into baba ghanouj. I still have some left. Yes, you might use the grill in the oven, but I only wanted a few. They didn't get quite brown enough the first time, so I popped the toaster down for a second go, and continued my primary task - making dinner for my family. Thank the lord my sweetie is the usual cook in this household... I was distracted. My back was to the toaster. And, like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, I didn't notice the clouds of smoke billowing from the toaster until the smoke detector went off. At exactly the same time my neighbours appeared on my front step. "It's just toast!" I holler, too busy whacking the button on the detector with the broom handle to bother with niceties like opening the door. They wandered off, satisfied that their home (we live in a semi) was not destined for ashes. They call reassurance to the neighbour two houses down - two houses! - who had been alerted to the problem by the billows of smoke coming out my front door. Billows which I, in the kitchen from which they originated, had been blithely oblivious. My sweetie arrived home as I sat on the porch after the crisis, chilled wine in hand. Both neighbours leaped in to tell him the story. I let them. May as well let them have their day, and maybe they'll let me live this one down. But I doubt it. I suspect it will be the fodder of much hilarity at street parties down the years. Outside the house, my sweetie makes comments only about how I burn with passion in all sorts of ways. What a supportive partner!! Inside, I say, "You know, I'm going to be one of those women you have to keep out of a kitchen when they get to be eighty." We laugh, and he adds, "You're a dangerous woman to leave alone in the kitchen right now!" I fear he's right, and though I laugh, it's not without a certain rueful unease. But on the bright side, one more escapade like this, and I may not have to - nay, be allowed to - see the inside of a kitchen ever again!