From my perch at the dining room table, I can see the pot of doom. Filled with vegetable oil, this dastardly pot ruined the smell of my apartment this evening. And it is all Dave’s fault because he jinxed me when he said that I had not destroyed any of our meals yet.
There it was: yet. The harbinger of all terrible things to come. He said, “yet,” and the walls of the kitchen shook so hard every spice, sweetener, and can of unsalted mushroom pieces (very good in pastas) tumbled from their once coveted shelf space and ran from the kitchen. Some product would soon experience an untimely, very hot (scalding, I would say) death.
Our story begins with my removal of samosas from the freezer, preceded only by the placement of vegetable oil in a large pot. Dave, confused as to how I planned to cook the samosas, asked why I did not plan to bake them. “Because,” said I, “the bag says deep frying them is the preferred method and I want to try it that way” A simple shrug of resignation ensued, and so began the rest of my prep work in the kitchen.
At this point, the oil is warming up. My apartment stove (not stove in the apartment; I need to express the utter horror of cooking with shoddy appliances by calling it what it is, as I see it) has several heat setting ranging from low to high with two through nine in between. The oil rested on the heating coil at setting four, also known as “not real hot, y’all.” Since the samosas were the final item to cook, I left the oil to warm while I finished the rice, curry sauce, and chicken in vindaloo paste. We like Indian food in this household, and I can tolerate the smell of curried apartment better than most.
When it was finally time to prepare the samosas, I grabbed my handy plastic strainer spoon, and delicately lowered the samosas into the oil. From all appearances, the process moved with ease. I individually lowered all four samosas into the oil, stirred them a moment so they would not stick, and lifted the spoon from the oil. And guess what happened?
Half of the spoon melted into the oil! Smoke began to billow from the pot! All of a sudden, the food smelled like burning chemicals. Still somewhat stricken by the fact I was now missing half of a five-inch diameter spoon, I ran to the living room through a growing, smelly haze, and stared at Dave, who usually recognizes when something on this scale has gone awry. There he was amidst pillows and couch cushions, chatting with his friend, oblivious to all the smoke now billowing into the room from the kitchen with gale force winds of my flailing body.
“Hello!” I yelled. He turned to face me, his expression caught in a smile listening to his friend tell a humorous story.
“What’s wrong,” he paused in his conversation, noticing the panic drawn across my face.
“UH, LOOK!” My arms swung in all unnatural directions around the room as the haze grew into a smelly monster invading my personal space, snarling as it seeped into the cloth of the furniture and the curtains. It wafted in silence, invading the air like an unwanted guest after three days.
“Holy shit!” Dave responded, “What did you do?!”
“What the hell does it look like?!” I raced back into the kitchen, grabbed the pot by its handle, ran to the patio door, flung it open, and held the pot outside. From a previous experience where I set an extraordinarily hot pot down on a plastic piece of patio furniture, I knew not to set this onto the wooden deck below. Nothing like picking up a pot and finding a ring of plastic below it, and a fresh hole in the patio furniture. Sheer genius out of this one.
Dave finally sauntered out of the living room, poking fun at me on the phone with his friend (who tried to tell the the panicking person with the burning food and plastic in the pot to “chill out”), and took ahold of the pot in order to take over my duty. When the lightbulb finally clicked on in my head, I grabbed an aluminum sheet from the pantry and set it on the deck for Dave to place the STILL BOILING, BURNING, and SMELLY pot onto, instead of continually encroaching the rest of the apartment and my now screaming eyeballs and nostrils.
I have performed some awesome feats in the kitchen. Feats that would amaze and astound normal people when it comes to the ability to burn macaroni noodles and cookies because I wanted to take a shower while cooking. However, this one truly takes the cake. I am still not sure the pot is salvagable as it sits soaking with an exorbitant amount of dish soap in the water. All of this…because of “yet.”