January 13th, 2011


Note: this is probably one of those posts that I need to write but you don’t need to read.

So Thursdays are my writing-at-home day, and today I am allegedly finishing up the last edits on *The Big Dream*. So I decided that while I was working, I would cook some stuff that doesn’t require a lot of attention, and then when I was finished with the manuscript and very depressed and anxious at having nothing further to do (this is what happens to me) I would at least have things to eat.

On the menu were roasted chickpeas and a baked rice pudding. I put the chickpeas on to boil (which is the first step on that project) and the pudding casserole in the oven. Last time I boiled chickpeas they foamed all over, so this time I put in a little vegetable oil so they’d behave. You’re supposed to stir the pudding 3x in the first hour, so the rice doesn’t clump together, and on one of the stirs I spilled a little milk on the floor of the oven. I couldn’t figure out how to clean it up, the oven being hot and all, so I just thought I’d let it burn off. The chickpeas were merrily steaming in their pot, not foaming at all. Genius, that vegetable oil trick.

I got back to work and noticed that the apartment was getting a little smoky. “There goes that milk!” I thought. I worked more. The apartment was wreathed in smoke, a lot more than you’d think for just a few drops of milk. Just as I was considering this, the smoke alarm went off.

I ran to the mysterious clump of alarms in my hallway–3 of them, one I think possibly for carbon monoxide. I tried turning off all three, but nothing changed. I got down of my chair and turned off the oven, opened the window a little (it’s *cold* out) and got back on my chair. The alarms are REALLY REALLY LOUD so I I alternate one finger in one ear while trying to pry open an alarm to get the batteries out with the other. I finally get one open; it doesn’t have a battery. Good to know.

My neighbour comes over to see if I’m ok. I apologize, say I’m fine. I try waving a pillow at the smoke (saw it in a movie once) and give up on being warm and open the window all the way. Still like being inside a police siren. I put on my shoes and run downstairs to look for the super, but she is absent. I go back up (you can hear my alarm from the basement), prop the door open with the chair and go back to waving my pillow. The neighbour comes back (poor guy) to suggest I try a hair dryer. I think this is brilliant, run to get it, then realize there is no power outlet near the alarm. Then I try to move the couch to expose a socket, and wrench my shoulder extremely painfully. Then I lie on the couch and think about crying, or else about abandoning my home. Except I’m really in too much pain to get far, so I plug in the hair dryer and realize I’m still too far away. So I got try plugging it in in the kitchen, and turn off the chickpeas while I’m there. Perhaps the alarm is confusing their steam with smoke?

I blow-dry for awhile, and finally the damn thing stops. So I shut the door, and go to stir the chickpeas before I turn them back on. You probably guessed it before I did–the chickpeas were black because somehow all their water had boiled off, so that *was* smoke, not steam. Apparently, my olfactory sensors, so keen on other matters (“Did you change shampoo?”) cannot detect burning chickpeas. I am giant idiot, and will not be getting roast chickpeas this evening. Also, my apartment is freezing and smelly, and my shoulder hurts, and my neighbour probably hates me.

I will think of the silver lining tomorrow.

3 Responses to “Idiot”

  • Scott Watson says:

    The silver lining is that the container didn’t break and require you to find baking powder. I hope you went out for sushi. :)

  • Kerry says:

    Plus, you’re going to move, so who cares about the neighbour?

  • Rebecca says:

    You’re right, Scott–Kerry, too. Also, against all odds, I think the rice pudding is going to be really good!

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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