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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Roof Is On Fire

I may be all over Giada as a fan, but let me tell you -- I got nothing on her, as a cook.

I had decided to make some roasted potatoes, the kind I love (potatoes are to my culture, what pasta is to Italians, and arroz blanco is to Latin Americans), but never really knew how to make just right.

When I found out that to make the perfect, but fast roast potatoes, one should fry up boiled spuds in equal parts olive oil and melted butter, put some red onions, and then stick all of this in a 500°F degree oven for 5 minutes, I said,

Yum, why the heck not!

Next thing I knew, me and Schmoopsie were enveloped in smoke coming out from the oven, and when I opened the range door, I saw freaking flames, coming upwards.

I cannot tell you, dear reader, what a terror seeing a nascent fire in your kitchen is...

Especially since, as a child, I remember my mother scooping me up and running out of our home in London, with firemen rushing in after us.

Our small Holland Park pied-à-terre smelt of smoke for months afterwards, eventually prompting a move.

Apparently, bad cooks run in the family.

Thankfully, this time, I kept my wits about me, and chucked a panful of cold water into the gas oven, extinguishing the flames.

(I would've fried myself, had it been an electric cooker)

After the porters came up to see what was happening, and some neighbours were gossipping about the smoke in the hall, I convinced them not to call 911.

It was a little grease fire, is all, I said evenly, though my heart was racing faster than Emerson Fittipaldi.

At the end of the day, all was well, although we did have to call in a handyman to set the oven a-right, again (some valve thingie, apparently).

I admit, maybe cookery is not for me, you know?

Although I still ate the potatoes.


  • I'm so sorry and unhappy that happened to you but I've never heard it told better. You are, at the cost of yourself, hilarious, and I thank you for it.
    Nothing is learned but by experimenting, the burner of food says. My problem is if I even think of anything else, burning starts, though I've a few things down.
    Thanks for the visual humour, it was great.

    By Blogger Paul, at Mon Apr 24, 06:10:00 pm GMT-4  

  • As if we needed any more evidence that you are just too hot!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Mon Apr 24, 06:38:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Maybe I have to send you my recipes, complete with handling tips, alongside the step by step process. I hope you wore an apron, Lady Godiva.... But well, smoke and flames have a certain appeal to them!

    By Blogger Charlie Bravo, at Mon Apr 24, 08:04:00 pm GMT-4  

  • [Channeling my grandmothers, my mother and every restaurant owner for whom I ever worked:]

    Generally speaking, water's not the thing to throw on a grease fire.

    Thank goodness you're all OK! All's well that ends well.

    By Blogger reader_iam, at Mon Apr 24, 08:44:00 pm GMT-4  

  • With a bit of Sundries magic, mere spuds become les pommes du terror!

    Nowhere in my Larousse Gastronomique was napalm a listed ingredient...

    please, we need the blogage, Victoria, more than we need to hear that you done fracasseed yourself!

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Apr 25, 12:06:00 am GMT-4  

  • Ron speaks with the voice of authority!

    Now, Victoria, how were the Smoked Roasted Potatoes?

    By Blogger Iron Fang, at Tue Apr 25, 02:35:00 am GMT-4  

  • Oh Vicky, why do you think Nigella has her finger in bowls all the time? It's because she just burnt her finger!:)

    It's relief that everything is fine now. Don't stop cooking!

    By Blogger Renato, at Tue Apr 25, 02:06:00 pm GMT-4  

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