Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cooking

October 1, 2009
Sitting in the Atlanta airport, waiting for a flight to Cleveland. Last year we got to go to Rome for a Retrouvaille (marriage group we do) convention, this year: Cleveland. Really? Not that there’s anything wrong with Ohio, I’ve never even been there, but let’s see, Italy or Ohio? Hmm… Not a hard choice for where I’d rather go.
So, my thumb is bandaged and looks about twice the size it should be. It’s not twice the size but the bandage is big so I don’t thump it on something. I wanted to be a homemaker kind of wife this past week and cook dinner for Steve each night. It went okay, but could have been better.
It started last Thursday when I took a whole chicken out of the freezer to cook on our BBQ’s rotisserie. I thawed it overnight in the fridge, in an awesome marinade. Friday afternoon, I reached into the freezer bag to take it out and put it on the rotisserie-turner-pole-thing and my hand came back with a chicken breast. Then another. Then another. What??? It turned out not to be a whole chicken after all, but twelve breasts frozen into a lump! There are two of us, what the heck do we need twelve breasts for? Who even put that many in one freezer bag???
So, I dejectedly put the chicken on the preheated BBQ and went back inside to chop up some potatoes for boiling. As I stood over the kitchen sink, I could smell the chicken on the grill. That didn’t seem right, as it’d only been a couple minutes. Then I realized smoke was coming into the window and it was black. So I rushed outside where I could see flames on the inside of the grill. I’m not talking a little BBQ flame, but a full-on FIRE! I opened the lid, NOT SMART, and the flames roared. I shut the lid and hurriedly turned off the gas, terrified the whole time that my head was gonna catch on fire or the darn thing was just going to blow up. I called my girlfriend and asked could I throw flour on it. She said yes. Run back upstairs into the house and get the canister. Throw on a handful. Whoosh! Yeah, that worked well. Obviously it needed more flour. So, I threw on lots of handfuls, but they just burned up instantly. I called my girlfriend back, “It’s not working. The fire’s bigger, can I spray it with the hose?” “No, what if that spreads it because of the gas.” “I already turned the gas off, I better get the fire extinguisher.” I run to the garage and come back prepared. Pull out the red plug, squeeze the trigger, and NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I look at the canister trying to determine if there are further instructions, how hard can it be to put out a fire? Then I realized there was a gauge, which read, “Recharge”. Great. I’m seriously thinking of calling 9-1-1. The grill is against the house and I’m terrified the house will catch fire. Black smoke is rolling from the grill and up and over our house. It’s two stories high! The children next door are starting to climb their play structure to look over the fence. I open the lid one more time and realize the chicken is almost burnt out and the flames are getting smaller. I throw on some more flour, just for effect. After about twenty more minutes the fire is out; the grill is black, no longer shiny metal; my whole house smells like smoke, and now, only now, I start to shake like a leaf. About this time, Steve calls to say he’s on his way home and, “hey, what’s going on with you?”
I have to confess. Swiftly, without hesitation. There’s no time to cover this up. Plus, now there’s no dinner, just small, black, hard lumps on a sooty grill. Oh my. It takes about five seconds before his chuckling begins. Just another day in the life of my cooking adventures. I ask if he thinks I should water down the side of the house now that the flames are out. He says yes. The water hits the siding and sizzles, smokes, pops its way up the wall. This was hotter than I realized. It takes a good five minutes for the house to stop smoking. Now I’m really shaking, so I go inside to “rest” till Steve gets home. He looks at me as he walks in the door, verifies that I’m okay, then looks out the back door and laughs. I get no respect, I tell ya. None, whatsoever!
He took me to dinner at my favorite Mexican place. Muchas Gracias, kind of authentic fast food. Yumm-O! But I really was looking forward to that rotisserie chicken…

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