Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This is why I suck at cooking.

So once again it's like 1:45am and since I just woke up from a nap at 11:00pm I am not tired at all. I dunno if it is because I am bored or because I actually am hungry but I decided to make food at this ungodly hour...as I usually do.

On the menu tonight are 3 frozen ready-made chicken tacos that I bought at the local HEB. The packaging says they can be microwaved or oven baked and the latter is always better so I set to preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

With the oven all ready to go I lay the frozen tacos out on a baking sheet and slide them into the oven for the specified amount of time. Now what you need to bear in mind is that I am living with my Aunt right now in her house and she usually keeps somewhat normal hours of sleep which I try not to disrupt by my late night wafting smell of oven baked frozen foods. Tonight, however, is going to be an epic fail.

After seven minutes @ 400 degrees I was ready to remove my tacos from the oven, let them cool and enjoy! As I walked over to the oven I noticed a small trail of smoke rising from the corner vent. I gave it a swift blow and it disappeared for a split second then came right back in full force, trickling out of the corner of the oven and dancing up to congregate somewhere near the fluorescent lighting on the ceiling of the kitchen. I knew right then I was in trouble.

Not only was I now in danger of waking up my Aunt up with some late night, Mexican smelling, nasal induced alarm; but I knew for sure that once I opened the oven to retrieve my finished product that it would be like letting the flood gates go on all that smoke and ultimately, in turn, setting off the smoke detector just 10 feet away. But just to make sure, I grabbed the oven handle and did a quick pump with the oven door to get an idea of just how much smoke I was up against. With just that little action of my wrist it unleashed a billowing cloud and I knew I had to act fast.

So I set to work hastily opening up the screened door to the kitchen area and quietly moving a chair underneath the fire alarm so I could remove the battery. With those two prep tasks in place I was now ready to tackle the extraction of the 3 smoking amigos from the oven. With oven mitt readied in one hand and the other hand on the door I crouched like a sprinter ready for the start gun. I counted to 3 and......then I took a breath. I counted to 2 and then I started over. Finally I counted to 3 again and in one foul swoop I opened to oven door, spotted my target, placed a firm grasp on the baking sheet and yanked the catalyst of this evening's fiasco out of the oven. However, the excitement was far from over.

I proceeded to place the 400 degree baking sheet on the top of the stove and turn on the vent fan then grab another baking sheet from the cupboard and attempt to fan all the runaway smoke towards to open door; all the while trying to do this without making much noise as to not wake up my Aunt with my attempts to keep her sound asleep. That would be ironic.

Within a few minutes I had the situation under control and the tacos were ready to eat. The only problem: I was no longer hungry. I guess the idea of cooking some food did stem from my boredom rather than my stomach and with all the excitement of trying to prevent a minor world disaster my boredom had been satisfied. However, now I stand at a crossroads of whether to replace the smoke detector battery and face the inevitable chirp of the device letting me know its connected and risk waking up my Aunt anyway or to just leave it till the morning and let her see that I was obviously smoking out her kitchen the night before. In which case her imagination could be much worse than reality....

1 comment:

  1. SO?! Did you eat them?! Did you replace the battery or leave it for the morning?! Did your Aunt wake up?! AHHHHHH, I need ANSWERS!!!!!

    btw, another option would be to quickly snag the 400 degree catalyst from the oven, grab the oven mitt in hand, and just fan the hell out of the area 2 inches below the smoke detector. Much more work but tends to be very effective at preventing unwanted alarms, as well as alleviating boredom.