They say the reason country music is so popular is because it's about real life experiences. That said, the above lines are the opening stanza of a song I am penning about my own real life experiences with cooking and the failures I've had.
Two weeks ago, I multi-tasked my cooking. While Marci was gone, I had two things going at one time. I was grilling Kabobs on the grill and frying vegetables on the stove. The problem occurred when the grease got hot enough to ignite and a flame ensued on the stove. The flame burned a plastic handle on the spatula I was using and made a pretty good deal of smoke.
I put out the fire, but the house was now full of an acrid smoke that set off not only the inside smoke alarms, but also the alarm tied to our security system. This alarm not only calls some office in New Jersey that monitors our house, but it also announced my conundrum to the entire neighborhood with a loud siren in the attic. I could feel a few sets of eyes watching me as I opened all the windows and doors, and turned the fans on full blast in order to rid the house of the smoke. It probably looked like a scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High when the van pulls up and all the smoke pours out.
Since we have an infant, we had to leave and stay at my mother-in-law's until the house was given the OK from my wife. That took five days...
Last night I decided to fix up something different for dinner. Will and I got home from soccer practice at 7PM so as you can imagine, I was starving. For some reason, I've had this desire for red beans and rice, so that was what I would fix. I got the water boiling, dumped in the rice and beans and heated up a skillet to sear the vegetables. But not just any vegetables... I found the best looking Jalapeno Peppers at Kroger yesterday and decided to fry them up and add them to my concotion.
I got the butter in the skillet hot, threw in the sliced up peppers and started stirring. It took about 10 seconds before I got my first whiff of the peppers. I guess the combination of the hot skillet and the wet peppers instantly created this evil steam cloud that made my eyes burn, and after breathing it, I started to cough. Then, I heard Marci coughing in the other room. Within two minutes, all of us had burning eyes, throats, and a cough. With my eyes squinting I grabbed the skillet, ran outside and threw the peppers over the hill.
When I came back in, it didn't take a genius to realize that we couldn't stay here and breath the acid fog I had created. So I turned the stove off and we quickly gathered up what we would need to spend the night away from home.
So, I'm a failure at cooking twice now. In the past two weeks, my failures in the kitchen have resulted in 6 nights away from our house, inflamed mucus membranes, a burned spatula, a false alarm to the local fire department, and a son that is terrified whenever he sees his Dad pull a skillet out of the cupbord. It's humbling to admit that I am a failure in the kitchen. From now on, we'll leave the cooking to th experts at McDonalds, Wendys, and Taco Bell...