Let’s just say I am glad a video camera doesn’t follow us around in the kitchen.
Our “kitchen confidential” would include the requisite natural disaster shots. Fire, flood, etc.
And though I would dearly love to revisit some of the more hilarious kitchen encounters of the Among Friends kind, let’s just say in the moment preserving the kitchen outranks preserving the moment on film.
The occasion is Expo East. The scene: The charming kitchen of our VRBO (vacation rental by owner). After a full day of making nice with potential customers, we repaired to the kitchen, where Suzie and I began a round of cookie making. (We are nice, but we were very tired.)
I am headed upstairs,” I said to Suzie. “Don’t forget to take out the cookies when the timer beeps.”
Well, she took out the cookies all right, but she used an oven mitt that could have doubled as a ladies hankie, so thin was it. I heard Suzie holler as she scorched her hand. I bounded down the stairs.
Not only was Suzie on fire, so was the oven. She had instinctively dropped the pan in the oven when she burned her hand and now there was a funeral pyre of cookies alight in the bottom, complete with billowing smoke. The smoke alarm was dutifully alerting the entire neighborhood. As Suzie looked on incredulously, I grabbed the salt shaker and doused the fire, the closest thing to sand in my current world. Truth be told, the only fires I generally put out are beach fires. Oxygen deprivation, right?.
“Where is Superman when you need him?” I thought. Back in Michigan.
(My husband has a distinct Clark Kentish quality)
By now, the screeching smoke alarm was threatening to bring the entire neighborhood to our small kitchen. The rental was in a tall brownstone, packed in with other tall brownstones, in Baltimore on the narrowest of streets. (Perhaps the oven mitt was original to the house.)
Fire out, I hopped up on a chair with a broom and tried to use it to create some air circulation around the alarm. When that failed, I promptly fell off the chair, dismounts with brooms being a particular specialty. Suzie handed me a better instrument, a large towel. I returned to my post and wielded the towel like a pirate hungry for land and FINALLY created enough air to quiet the blasted alarm. Despite the mess and burned hand, we collapsed into laughter, before flinging open the front door to assure the neighbors collected outside that we were indeed just fine and that the brownstone would stand another 100 years.
I declared it well within our rights to pitch the mitt and the scorched cookie sheet in the dumpster conveniently located outside the back door, outside of the view of the curious neighbors.
Within 10 minutes we had turned a charming kitchen into utter mayhem. We cracked open a bottle of wine and toasted the moment—and our friendship.