I’ve neglected my poor blog. It was out of honest necessity – it’s been an amazingly hectic and full time – but that means there is so much to catch up on.
- The bass arrived safely, and I’m having a damn good time with it;
- I’m now 29. Mom told me very tongue-in-cheek that if I had any more things to accomplish in my twenties, I’d better get them done now. Looking back on the past nine years, I’d like to coast on my laurels for a change, thank you very much;
- I have a new job title, staff reporting to me, and other kickass work changes.
Instead, I’ll tell you about my latest culinary milestone. I can now say that I’ve caused a grease fire, and can scratch that off the list of things to do before I die.
The scene? Mother’s day, which we hosted due to renovation at my in-law’s house. The menu was grilled steaks, roast potato wedges, and stir-fried broccoli. I’ve cooked broccoli like this twice before, recently, to rave reviews from Jason. Essentially, you heat up a cast iron skillet, add a little safflower oil, toss in the broccoli pieces, and stir like a madman. In about 30 seconds you have yummy broccoli. (Even better if you sprinkle with a bit of Chinese five spice or Italian herbs afterwards.) No big deal, high heat is important, et cetera.
This time, I let the pan get good and hot, and poured in about a quarter cup of safflower oil. As I watched it heat, bubble, and begin to smoke, I realized that this was probably not good – or, as Han Solo would say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
About that time, the oil ignited.
Fortunately, I had my oven mitt on, and had already pulled the pan off the heat and out from under the cabinets, strategically placed directly over the burner. I estimated that I had three foot flames; I’ve later been told that this was conservative, and that four foot is probably more accurate. And, of course, this is the first time that I’ve stir-fried broccoli without getting the baking soda out of the pantry first.
Let’s observe for a moment. I’m standing in my kitchen holding a skillet that is a) getting very hot, despite the oven mitt, b) getting very heavy, being made of cast iron,and c) spitting four foot flames. With my wife and her parents looking on.
Christine pulled the baking soda out of the pantry for me, we doused the flames, turned on the downdraft vent to pull out some of the smoky haze, and had raw broccoli with dinner. Mmm.
Note to self – practice that dish a few more times before doing it for an audience.
This, however, is a more typical day over the last few weeks than an oddity. Like I said, hectic. Welcome to my world.