So after admitting to all 3 people who read this blog last week that my go-to meals on weeknights include either (a) cereal or (b) something you can unwrap and put in the microwave, I decided it was probably time to get my act together. So I went grocery shopping on Saturday and picked up some fresh salmon, veggies, and all the ingredients for a rice pilaf with the intention of making a lovely, romantic dinner for one on Sunday night.
But you know what they say about good intentions. Hell is papier mached with them… or something like that. Sunday came along, and after indulging in a few too many diet cokes the night before, I had no desire to cook whatsoever. But as I lied semi-comatose on the couch watching a marathon of Millionaire Matchmaker, my guilt about the $85 dime-sized piece of salmon sitting in my fridge (effing inland province) just kept increasing. I could almost hear it taunting me from the fridge… “coook meeeee BreezyK” It said. “Coat me with your sweet sweet marinade and have your way with me”. It eventually got so bad that I couldn’t even focus on Patti’s sage advice (the penis DOES do the picking) so I pulled myself together and prepared to get my Rachel Ray on.
Slowly but surely, I preheated the oven, marinated the salmon and chopped up some vegetables… by all accounts, things were moving along. Granted, the only similarities between me and Rachel Ray were a muffin top and an incredibly annoying voice… but you take what you can get. The last step involved boiling some water for the pilaf. And this my friends, is where I made a grave, tactical error. After nonchalantly flipping on the burner, I proceeded to immediately become distracted by the Disney movie Prom that had just come on the movie network. I know. I can’t even handle how cool I am either. So engrossed was I in the fact that all of the prom decorations had just been destroyed in a random act of vandalism (what was Nova going to DO??) that it took a good few minutes before I noticed a funky smell emanating from the kitchen. Hmm… That smells like………. plastic, I thought. I looked up from my place on the couch to see that the room was slowly beginning to fill with a black, putrid smoke. I ran over to the stove to investigate and discovered that ( DUN DUN DUN…..) I had turned on the wrong element.
There sat my pot of water, undisturbed and cool as a cucumber on the front element… while on the back burner, what was once a plastic-handled steak knife, now sat a soupy mess of black plastic. Immediately I rushed for an oven mit to scoop it up.. but it sort of felt like I was trying to pick up a melted marshmallow. (Cause I do that all the time) Just as I got hold of the remaining exoskeleton, the smoke alarm began to ring. And ring. And ring. I quickly opened my patio door and threw the remnants of the knife onto the cold concrete, next deciding what to do about the smoke alarm.
I tried fanning it with a dishtowel- to no avail. Next I took my fan out of my bedroom and positioned it on the floor right underneath it. But still, the little white dome continued to shriek at an ear-blistering decibel. It would not rest, it seemed, until everyone within a 10 mile radius had been informed of my idiocy. Finally, I decided to open and close the front door of my apartment rapidly, attempting desperately to create some sort of cross-breeze. Of course as soon as I do this, my next door neighbour, who I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE, decides to come out into the hallway to investigate. “Don’t worry!” I shouted, over the alarm. “There’s no fire! Nothing to see here!” You know, except for these incredibly sexual and glamorous (read: ratty, stained and oversized) pajamas I’m wearing. But whatever.. no time to be sexy. I just needed this death machine to STOP SCREAMING.
Finally, it turned off and I stepped back into my apartment to avail the situation. The thick black smoke still penetrated every corner… and the smell. Oh good god the smell. I would liken it to burning garbage meets a homeless convention. My counters were covered with sticky black tar like substance, and the sulphur lingering in the air had rendered everything that had been sitting out on my counter inedible- including the salmon that I had recently taken out of the oven.
Admitting defeat, I googled the nearest Thai delivery place. Ordering in, at least, was guaranteed not to burn my house down. I enjoyed my lovely MSG laden cashew tofu while watching Nova and Jesse rebuild the prom decorations- and at the same time, their relationship- and was making my way to the fridge to put my leftovers away when I felt a waft of heat. That’s right friends. I had left my god damn oven on.
I ‘m starting to think it’s more than culinary ineptness. Maybe I just have a death wish.
Question of the Day: Are you a good cook?
Have you had any misadventures in cooking lately?