Thursday, September 01, 2005

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!


Blogger Susan said...

I once set a teakettle on fire. ON FIRE.

Wade came home and said only, 'I always hated that kettle.'

And now I rarely even have to make my own tea.

The end.

9/01/2005 09:52:00 p.m.  
Blogger Haley said...

Remember that time I baked a cake by myself and it exploded all over the oven? Note to all other non-professional bakers: never substitute baking soda for baking powder - they're not the same thing at all.

9/01/2005 10:45:00 p.m.  
Blogger LoryKC said...

Did you still get to eat the baba ghanouj?

I'm sure everyone appreciated the excitment you brought to an otherwise normal Thursday!

9/02/2005 12:01:00 a.m.  
Blogger McSwain said...

Still giggling... My smoke detectors go off every time I fry fish (why is that??), and they're hard-wired in, so the broomstick thing doesn't work. I do fish on the outdoor grill most of the time now. Who needs all that grease anyway?

9/02/2005 01:09:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Susan: well. That's an accomplishment. Ours is an electric kettle, which turns itself off when it's boiled for a minute or so. Thank goodness. I do like the way your story ends, though.

Haley: That must've been some while ago. You're a competant cook now - and much less distractable than your mother!

Lory: Yes. Off a spoon! Bad, bad, bad...

Cheryl: We once had a smoke detector placed right outside the bathroom door, and it would go off whenever anyone opened the door after having had a shower! Couldn't tell the difference between smoke and steam, apparently.

9/02/2005 07:30:00 a.m.  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

Hey! I thought that only guys knew the "be so bad at something you don't want to do, that they never let you do it again" trick. :-)

9/02/2005 07:50:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Seems only fair: I've accommodated a lot of quirks from the men in my life (husbands, brothers, friends), so it seems only fair that I should pick up some, ah, labour-saving techniques!

9/02/2005 08:59:00 a.m.  
Anonymous guess who said...

It's a good thing the man presently in your life is quirkless. Don't have to play those tricks with him, lucky you.

9/02/2005 11:53:00 a.m.  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

Oops, I wasn't supposed to sign the last comment. I wrote "Q" by sheer force of habit.

But you would have penetrated my disguise anyway.
Guess who

9/02/2005 11:55:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

LOL!! You are too much. That would be one of your better "quirks" in action: you are essentially incapable of deception. Even when you're trying.

Another useful one for today will be your not-too-acute sense of smell. This place still smells like cinders and ash.

"Quirkless"? Yes, I've guessed it was you!

9/02/2005 12:06:00 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

So, you mean, if you burn something again...and you are NOT allowed in the kitchen again, someone would logically have to cook for else is flammable?? I'd take up a pyro habit just for some free service!!

9/02/2005 12:36:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

I am a very lucky woman: Someone does cook for me, most of the time. While I've been on holiday and he's been working, though, I've taken on more of that chore. And I am very much looking forward to getting back to my out-of-the-kitchen normal!

9/02/2005 02:09:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Matthew said...

Mary! My wife did the same exact thing! Except, we had actual flames shooting out of the toaster.

You can read my account here

Stay safe Mary P.!

9/03/2005 10:24:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Matthew: I went, I read, I roared! I could picture the two of you in your perfectly choreographed mad sprint to the kitchen. Picture me on my own: I wallop the damn alarm with the broom, then race to the toaster to heave smoking bread out the back door, but the alarm goes off again before I reach it, so I race back to the dining room, then back to the kitchen, madly, madly...

I think I've learned my lesson.

9/04/2005 06:31:00 p.m.  

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