July 09, 2008

Why I will NOT be The Next Food Network Star

Do you know what I want to tell you? About how delicious my gourmet dinner was last night. The one I cooked from scratch and ate on fine china -- using all the correct forks even -- with palette cleansing sorbet between courses.

The problem is, I wasn't able to cook that gourmet dinner last night because I was too busy LIGHTING THE OVEN ON FIRE COOKING PAPA MURPHY'S PIZZA!!!!

Last week, having an overabundance of stone fruit lounging in the kitchen, I decided that I'd try to harness my inner gourmet and whip up a plum cake tatin. Who says you can't whip up fresh fruit desserts from the scraps about your kitchen after a long day of work? Ina Garten seems to be able to do it just fine, Martha Stewart would look down on you if you couldn't, right? So I stubbornly thought to myself, why couldn't I? And actually, it turned out to be surprisingly successful. The cake was incredibly tasty, it used up my fruit that was going to go bad, and surprisingly, besides my pie dish overflowing slightly in the oven, it was totally flawless! Garrett and I gleefully enjoyed its decadence and I might have even felt a hint of victorious smugness as I crawled into bed that night with my belly full of fresh summer fruit.

Ah, smugness.

Not so much what I was feeling last night as I preheated the oven to pop in my pizza. After about 5 minutes I started smelling a bit of smoke and quickly plumes of blackness began to come out of the oven. I opened the door to see what was going on, and the bit of plum cake that had overflowed last week (oops! sorry, oven! guess I forgot to clean you!) had ignited and now my oven (er...my boyfriend's oven) was full of BRIGHT ORANGE FLAMES!

My mind was racing and in that moment I wasn't sure if water was going to solve my problem or make it worse -- you know kitchen fires (HOLY SHIT!) so just in case I took our stash of flour and dumped it all over the flames -- and on the up side, the flames went out.

Downside -- 425 degree oven that is still hot, covered with brown smoky flour, and a TAKE AND BAKE pizza sitting on the countertop.

As I calmed myself down in the mess of my kitchen, I swear I heard the oven whisper.

Who's the smug one now?

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