But to be clear, this doesn't make me a bad cook. It just means, that in addition to having lousy appliances and pans (because I believe if I had a better pan, said eggs would be "better"), that as my son gets older, I will be the butt of all cooking disasters and jokes. Because of my knack for burning bread, I will be deemed as a mom who can't cook. "Don't ask mom to make it!" Ha, ha, ha.... "Sure, you should try her famous meatloaf.... If you like burnt meat!" Ha, ha, ha... "Mom's doing thanksgiving this year? She'll literally kill the turkey!" Ha, ha, ha...
A little preface to what I'm getting at with this "J-Ko burns everything" legacy that I feel coming on.... Last week, I traveled to Toronto (for about 35 hours) for an exclusive behind the scenes set visit for an upcoming TV movie sponsored by P&G and Walmart. It was a fun little trip- the cast (Brooke White of American Idol and Joe Flannigan of Star Gate) was lovely and our hosts very generous. My favorite part was connecting with other sites and bloggers that I follow like Betty Confidential, 5 Minutes for Mom, Great Dad, Mom Central, and sweet Jyl Nipper of The Post-it Place....
Well, Jyl and I couldn't possibly live more polar opposite lives-- She lives in "Hick Town" as she describes on her blog, with her husband, 2 children and an "assortment of critters," and I live in Los Angeles, with my 3 year old son, a gorgeous shag carpet and paparazzi hounding celebrities just around the corner. Jyl's closest neighbor is 5 miles away. I can hear mine snoring.
Jyl and I spent a lot of time talking about food (which she writes and shares a lot on her site).
"How often do you and your family eat out?" I asked.
"Twice a year."
"WHAT?! How is that even possible? I eat out 4 times a week... or more!!!"
Jyl explained that her nearest grocery store is 45 minutes away, and she makes a routine trip every two weeks. She has 3 deep freezers and everything is strategically purchased, organized and meals made according to plan. There is nothing wasted, leftover, or unused. She makes it, it gets eaten. Her kids like/love what they are served. And if they don't, too bad. (Though, after talking to her and reading her recipes, it's hard to imagine anyone could turn down her cooking). She asked me what my staples were, what me and the kid liked to eat... how often I went to the market ... what I bought... how often I ate leftovers...
When I told her I often have egg whites for breakfast, she asked, "What do you do with the egg yolks."
"Um.... garbage disposal....?"
"We're gonna come up with some recipes and ideas for you and Baby-Ko..." she smiled and said with her deep southern twang.
The point of telling you about my new southern friend, is that after all this cooking talk and me thinking about how I desperately want my son to grow up having favorite homemade meals that only his mom can make, I coincidentally (or ironically... or pathetically, depending on how you see it), practically burnt the house down. Making toast.
You see my toaster has always sucked. This I knew. It doesn't shut off and doesn't truly abide by the shade of toast the knob is purposefully turned to. Its' the kind of toaster that you can't blink an eye with-- move away and your perfectly golden waffle will turn dark brown in an instant. Yesterday, however, I got wrapped up in Baby-Ko dancing to Will I Am on Sesame Street and left. The. Toast. I knew it was there, I just didn't think I had to be there- YET.
When I went in to the kitchen to check on it, I saw smoke pouring out of the toaster. I quickly unplugged it and opened it up. All of a sudden, the toast ignited in flames. "SHIIIIIIIIT!!!!" I screamed. Baby-Ko came running in. "Stay back! Don't come in here!!!" In an instant, and in an order I can't recall, I opened the kitchen windows, tried to blow out the fire, grabbed the fire extinguisher, couldn't get it to work, grabbed a cup of water and threw it on the fire. It went out but the smoke got worse. The smoke detectors blared. I picked up Baby-Ko, grabbed the phone and dialed 911. The operator told me to wait out front until the fire dept. arrived....
Minutes later, I was greeted and "saved" by 5 or 6 handsome firemen who assured me I did the right thing.
Nothing was damaged or destroyed (except for a toaster that should have been killed months ago) and thank god, no one was hurt. Baby-Ko actually seemed to love all the excitement and was rather sad when the (did I mention handsome?) firemen had to leave. My apartment definitely still wreaks like a camp fire and every so often I start to get the "what ifs"... what if Baby-Ko and I kept dancing... What if he was in the kitchen without me... What if I lived in a neighborhood where 911 was slow to respond....
Yesterday, just reaffirmed a couple of things:
1) Accidents happen, but every day we need to count our blessings that it never usually amounts to more than an "accident."
2) Wear cute pajamas. These "accidents" happen in off hours.
3) Kids are pretty resilient. Not everything will scar him and not everything I do or don't do will result in lifelong suffering and therapy. (I hope).
3) I am going to fine tune my cooking chops and amp up and add to my staples. I will no longer be known as the mom who burns everything.... I'll just be the mom that prefers her food... well done....