Where there’s smoke…


I want to assure the SD&G Fire and Emergency services that all my smoke detectors are in great working order. They have recently been tested under realistic conditions. I was cooking.

After decades of trying, I am now pretty certain that my talents, whatever they are, do not lie in the area of the culinary arts.

This is unfortunate, as the one thing I take great delight in doing is eating. Italian, French, Asian, Southern…well, I have yet to meet a style of cooking that I couldn’t love. And think home made bread, think butter tarts and squares, flaky crusted pies and cakes with exotic names like Black Forest and Rum Baba. All of them lovingly made – by other people.

Actually, I think about food like that all the time. I never think raw broccoli.

I honestly mean well in the kitchen. I have several cook books given to me by friends who have experienced dinner at my house. I have two pots. I have a meat thermometer, just as soon as I remember where I put it four Christmases ago. (Might still be attached to that unfortunate turkey that got left in a 500 degree oven.). I have a single roasting pan, lid missing, and one glass pie plate with something stuck around the edges that resists all known cleansers. I have a knife, but it’s broken.

So, all the essentials. I also keep a quick list right beside the stove with helpful hints such as the phone number for Poison Control and the 800 number for Ask-A-Nurse/Practitioner.

Honestly, things just seem to go wrong when I cook.

Who knew yeast had a life span? You could have anchored a yacht to that particular loaf of bread.

Who knew that you don’t pour an entire mickey of rum into a single Christmas cake just because the batter still appears to be absorbing it?  (You don’t want to know the condition of my guests following dessert.)

And apparently there is considerable difference between four tablespoons of soy sauce and four tablespoons of tabasco sauce. Just ask the people invited for that particular tuna casserole.

Back to the smoke detectors.

I wasn’t actually in the kitchen. Instead I was out on the patio, directly under the open kitchen window learning to use my new barbecue. As it was cool out, with a fairly stiff breeze, all other windows and doors in the house were firmly shut.

I gather, now, that burgers may be slightly over done if there are huge columns of smoke pouring from them, and they have become the size of briquets. The other thing that didn’t register was the wind was blowing all that black smoke from the grill through the open window. It was quite a lot of billowing smoke. 

I finally got all the smoke detectors turned off. However, I’m told the odour of charred beef is going to take somewhat longer to disappear. (We went out for dinner.)

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