Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 429: If you can't stand the heat, or, I'm not responsible

What happened was that SH wanted me to fry the chicken skin from the chicken breasts I got to make that Thai Basil Chicken recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I didn't buy the boneless skinless breasts because they were $4.99/lb and the bony skinny ones were only $0.99/lb and I'll skin and bone to save $4/lb. Call me what you want but I am not Lazy. OK, I am lazy, but not when it comes to money. If it is a tossup between saving money and being lazy, I will pick saving money every time, even if it means I have to work. If it comes to exercising, I will pick lazy. But money? That's different.

But the real problem is our stove, which I hate with the heat of a thousand white suns. Have you ever worked with that stupid, stupid smoothtop stove? Whose idea was that, anyhow? Pain in the neck to clean, welcoming to cats who fight being ejected from it, hard to know which burner is on.

These are the burn marks. If this had happened when SH was away, I bet he never would have noticed. I wouldn't have. I am getting used to them. They give the floor character.

Yes. Hard to know which burner is on. Why? Because it's not a GAS STOVE. Gas is the only kind of stove worth having. Electric works like this: on/off/on/off. No such thing as a constant temperature, which means that your Calphalon Non-stick pan will get ruined even at medium temperatures because "medium" = "redhot/off/redhot/off/redhot/off" instead of "medium flame that gives a nice constant temperature that can be adjusted instantaneously."

Why do we not have a gas stove? Because the guy who redid our house REMOVED THE GAS STOVE AND CUT THE GAS LINE SO HE COULD INSTALL ELECTRIC.

And why have we not replaced that electric stove with gas and re-installed the gas line?


Oh alimony how I hate you.

(A reminder to new readers - I am not the reason SH's first marriage broke up. I met him several years after it was over. It is a marriage that never should have happened in the first place, unless you think it is a good idea for a 24-year-old man to marry a 36-year-old woman with two kids. Granted, she was super cute, but yeah. Bad idea. The only good that came from it are SH's two fabulous stepdaughters, whom we just love, and his ex mother in law, to whom he still sends a Mother's Day card every year.)

So you see how IT'S NOT MY FAULT. It's because SH wanted the chicken skins fried, because Pick and Save didn't have skinless breast on sale, and because we have an electric stove.

I broke one of these plates years ago and replaced it with the one on the bottom. See how it doesn't look like the others? It's been driving SH crazy since I met him, but I haven't thought it worth a trip to Crate and Barrel to look for just one plate. But now that two of the set are gone, I went. And got the two plates on top. Which still don't really match and SH says we have to keep them on the bottom where they won't ruin the aesthetics of the stack. We have had dinner parties with 12 people at our house before, which has meant pulling plates from other sets before AND NOBODY HAS COMPLAINED. But maybe they went home and said, "Oh that Class Factotum. The food was great and all but did you see the plates? For shame."

Naturally, I did what any logical, time-optimizing person would do. I started frying the skins and the bones. I took the other chicken bones out of the freezer, put them in a kettle, covered them with water, and put them on the back burner to start cooking. I turned on the back burner.

Then I put a paper towel on a plate and put the plate on the front burner next to the frying pan. Our stove is set in an alcove (bad, bad design), which means no counter next to the stove (and means anything that spatters spatters on the walls).

It wasn't until I had put the dripping-grease fried, salted chicken skins on the plate and tried to pick it up to move it to the counter that I noticed that the plate was hot.

Why was it hot?

You know.

Because instead of turning on the back burner for the stock, I had turned on the front burner.

With a gas stove, you notice that kind of mistake right away. Because you, you know, SEE THE FLAMES.





On stovetop and on floor.

Try to pick up the pieces.

Still hot.

OK. Wait until cool.

What's that smell?

Oh. Just the floor burning.

1 comment:

sfgirl said...

Hilarious, definitely worth the wait! (Actually, maybe even better because of the delayed gratification aspect. Not that I know much about delayed gratification, I'm pretty much into instant gratification). I agree, the mark adds character to the floor!