Next time you want to watch a scary movie, maybe opt to take a front row seat at my serving counter in my kitchen. I’m on a domestic roll in the kitchen… Cooking and baking away. Grilled chicken sandwiches, pumpkin pies, black bean stew with pumpkin, carving pumpkins and repurposing the brains for more pie later. Pumpkins are my son’s favorite thing. Except when he has to put in work and help cut them up. I curse you pumpkin season. Or cook anything with them. Punkin chunkin, anyone? Don’t get me wrong my son is amazing. But his ambitious carving skills far supersede his will to cut that bastard squash open and clean it out. .. And separate the damn seeds. Stupid pumpkin seeds. So I throw them on a baking sheet (ok I have a beautiful roasting pan, same diff… Should work, right?) and bake at a high temperature. I’ve done this many times before. Wait, What’s the elevation from sea level here? Set the timer for… 20 minutes? Crap, I forgot. Piece of cake! Or not. I realize I need to run to the store and grab a loaf of bread… and I had a hankering for some brie cheese. Don’t worry, it was an Americanized version so I won’t die of anaphylactic shock much. Stupid mold allergy.
As Im leaving I tell my son to keep an eye on it and I barely get downstairs and I hear the smoke alarms going off… Hmmm, what are the odds that’s at my house? Nah. I keep walking. Is that burnt popcorn I smell? I think I’ll text him. Are the smoke alarms going off? Yes, mother. Both of them. We have two smoke alarms? I didn’t know that. Don’t worry I turned everything off. Well, I’m completely worried and run back upstairs. And I opened the door to a smoke filled flat. What the hell… So I look in the oven window and there’s a fire encased in it. Dammit. Note to self: buy fire extinguisher. I fling open the door and the fire comes up outta there like the movie Backdraft. I know it’s an old movie, hush, I haven’t seen a new “firefighter” movie come out.. Have you? So zip it. Pay attention, my house is on fire. That’s the only reference I have to describe this inferno. I grab a bottle of Fiji water -that I hadn’t had a chance to open up and drink yet,-and reluctantly throw it on the flames. The flames just got higher. Water is your nemesis you jerk! And it’s tasty Fiji!! Aw man my ceiling isn’t white anymore in that corner. Ugh. I pour the entire bottle onto the pan and it finally goes out. I turn around and my son is just standing there. Watching. Thanks for the help kiddo. Glad all six feet of you could just enjoy the show. And without missing a beat… He smirks. Your welcome.
After the pumpkin seed fire… I cleaned everything. The oven. Soot. The floor. More soot. The freaking ceiling. A lot of soot. And after all the evidence of my cooking was a distant, Fiji water sucking, traumatizing memory… With only the last of the soot tattooed on the stovetop, I realized something. Number One: invest in a shallow baking sheet. And Number Two: Start buying pumpkin seeds from here on out.