My Kitchen–The Danger Zone

Okay, friends, I’m psyched. Spent this past Saturday at the Liberty States Fiction Writers  Create Something Magical Conference. Had a wonderful time catching up with writer friends and recharging my creative batteries. On Sunday, Rafa v. DelPo at Indian Wells didn’t lack for the trappings and flavor of a grand-slam final. AWE-some!

Here’s a photo of the champ hoisting his trophy! (So no fun not being able to one here. :() And all credit to Juan Martin for really fighting. (The guy’s pretty much gained ranking of one of my favorites.) He fought hard doesn’t describe how well he played, including blasting off three match points to make Rafa serve it out. It was a helluva day in the California desert for tennis fans, folks.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Two weekends ago my brother and his family stopped by for a visit. Although my Italian-born mom would have preferred different, we agreed to keep the fare simple: snacks, pizza and salad (which I forgot to put out) and a few desserts.

Long story short: my brother really enjoys my pizza. As he walked by with his fourth (or fifth) piece, he casually tossed out a comment. “You’ve come a long way from those eggs you used to burn, huh?”

Let’s get this right: I undercooked the eggs and boiled the milk, lol. (Hey, everybody starts somewhere.)

His comment, however, reminded me of a couple of times I did burn food; both times I was pretty oblivious. And both times, my nose was stuck in a book, too.

The first incident: we had one family car and my mom went to pick up my dad. I was most likely a teen, because I was old enough to stay home alone. Mom had two covered pots on the stove. One had artichokes, the other broccoli. In Italian, she told me to turn on the latter.

FYI, in my mom’s dialect, broccoli and artichokes rhyme. Broccoli and caccioffoli. (Bet I was already into that book while she was passing on instructions.)

That’s right. I turned on the wrong pot. Then I went out on the front porch where I read until my parents got home. They pulled in the driveway to a stream of black smoke creeping out the back window.

Appropriately so, my mom freaked out.

The next time was even better.

Without another person to whom to assign the cooking—and having hoped I’d learned something from the previous experience—she put me on lentil-watch.

This time I was actually in the kitchen.

Well, I’d never heard food burn before. And I must have been so enthralled by my book, I didn’t smell or see the smoke filling the kitchen and our first floor apartment.

When the parents arrived and found smoke seeping out that back window again, they—especially mom (she’s the anxious one)—figured the house was on fire with me in it. (Good thing cell phones were probably a prayer then. She probably would have called 911 from the car.)

Guess I have come a long way from those days, but keep me away from an electric oven. (They tend to run hotter than gas, at least 25 ºF.) The pizza I made and brought and reheated at a friend’s wound up just a little crisp at the thinner end.

Care to share your kitchen gaffs? The floor is open!

BTW, if you’re interested in trying your hand at my (almost homemade) pizza, the recipe is here. A link to my fresh-veggie pizza is embedded there as well. And if you’re looking for more in the line of easy, elegant and/or quick fare, check out Recipe Central. Scroll through or just search this site as the more recent ones are simply tagged posts. And feel free to throw in links to your own favs too.

Sorry I missed last week. Guess things got a little hectic. Tis’ the busy season at work right now.

Have a great day, all, and thanks for stoppin’ by!


2 thoughts on “My Kitchen–The Danger Zone

  1. I haven’t made homemade pizza in a long time. Guess it’s so much easier to call the pizza joint down the street, but not necessarily tastier and certainly not healthier.

    I can’t think of a kitchen mishap right now, but I’m sure it will come to me later, as is always the case.

    Have a great week, Joanna!


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