Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'll maintain it was a war.

A couple of weeks ago, on a trip down home, I was thinking about a love affair I have with fire. Not in a pyromaniac way (so don't arrest me, please). And definitely not with its insanely destructive aspects. I wrote a piece about this which I'm not going to post, cause I'm going to tweak it and send it off for publication if I can be loved enough by someone, but as I leaned over my bathroom sink this afternoon, sliding as many bobby pins as physically possible into my already-short hair, I was considering this again.
Well, after I'd returned from my homewards jaunt, I had gone on a baking spree. As I've said, my mother is a hospo teacher/ex-chef, whatever sinks your Titanic, and thus her house is stocked with various goodies and things I can make into NEW things. High on this level of success, I had gone home, eager to make NEW things again, including, ever-so-ambitiously, lemon meringue pie.
Logic dictated that:
  1. I'd made a quiche. Thus, I'd had a good try at shortcrust pastry.
  2. I'd also made a proper banoffee pie. This helped with sweetened shortcrust pastry.
  3. I had a fairly good idea of how to make lemon curd.
  4. Operation of the oven is quite easy.
To my mind, the only issue was the meringue. And I figured I'd cross that bridge when it came to it.
So I set to work. I squished butter into flour and icing sugar til it resembled breadcrumbs, and my fingers were greasy. I rolled the pastry out with a cup (no rolling pins are in this house) and placed it into a tin. I tore some baking paper off and flattened it into my tin, and poured rice on top. I tentatively opened my oven door, and placed the tin in.
And the thing caught on fire. Not even 5 seconds in the oven, on a mere 150 degrees, and it caught on fire. I was a bit perturbed, so I grabbed the non-flaming side of the paper, tossed it into the sink, and wept, because my pie was ruined. I'd have to start again.
Then the fire alarm went off. I turned around, faster than a pig on a spit, and saw that oh my goodness oh my goodness the sink is on fire how the heck is the sink, a place for water, on FIRE? Meanwhile, the fire alarm was chanting ominously.
I had two options here: Focus on the sink, and let my apartment members glare at me as we all shuffled outside to await the caretaker, or whatever, turn the alarm off.
Or, let my sink slowly die, and avoid the looks.
I went for the latter and furiously began wafting away the smoke. The alarm generously stopped after about 2 minutes, and the sink - oh my gosh, the sink.
Water goes in the sink. Not fire. Water cancels out fire. Yes, yes it does. So I turned the tap on with gusto.
The flames subsided, and the fire alarm began again.

After I had finally gotten my kitchen under control, I staggered to my room, craving some form of comfort which could only be gained by hugging my large red elephant, Pablo. I also thought it'd be a good idea to text Chris.

Him: How the *$%@ did that happen??
Me: The oven and sink are at war, and my pastry was the unwilling victim.
Him: You're a superstar.

Chris did bring home flour. But he also began the Facebook status saying, "Still struggling to comprehend that my sister set the sink, a place for water, on fire," which was leapt upon by most of his friends.

Anyway, so that was my fire story. I prefer contained fires, now. And I'm always paranoid opening my oven. One day soon a fire beast will leap out and kill us all.
All of us.

On that not so ominous note, I'm going to eat.

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