Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Scorched, Singed & Smoldering, aka: Tina's in the Kitchen

It goes without saying, but I'm saying it here anyway, that when Tina's in the kitchen, something always gets burned.  Whether it's cookies, cakes or most recently during Christmas holidays with Taz's family, chestnuts.

My Type A personality has a difficult time sitting still and waiting for cookies, cakes or chestnuts to bake, and so in to the furnace these would-be delectable goodies go, and then off I go.  My leaving is a completely unconscious act of abandonment towards my tasty creations; it's simply that closing the oven door also completely closes the cooking instinct, which I possess very little of as it is, completely; I'm talking, slams it shut!

I'm used to this, this burning, and so you would think that this would mean that I actively seek to have it be otherwise.  You would think this to be the case.  And if you're thinking this, well you can ascertain from reading thus far, that you would be w r o n g!

I hit a new high, or low, depending on your preference for verbage, my first night back in  Brooklyn.  While making soup, just a little pot with a little liquid nestled on top of a little stove with a little burner and its little flame going, I smell what I think is the soup burning as I stand there (yes, I was physically present the entire time!!!) stirring the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and other luscious veggies.  

A roommate walks in to the kitchen and affirms by plugging his nose, that something smells like it is indeed burning, and he asks that I turn the fan on.  On goes the fan.  Off goes the burner.  In to a bowl goes the hot, bubbling soup, which to even my culinary-weak eyes, is not burned.  

I sit at the coffee table in the living room and enjoy the delicious soup, puzzling over the cinder smell that is invading my nostrils.  The smell is on my shirt, on my pants, it's even on my hands, and it's only when I bend over to pick up a magazine and my ponytail falls across my cheek that I realize that I have completely scorched the ends of my hair.

This fully explains the cindering, smoldering, burning, gagging, reeking smell that has followed me from the kitchen in to my room, back in to the kitchen and down the hall, and now in to the living room, where I'm staring wide-mouthed and open eyed (my creative liberty at work) at the fried/toasted/splintered/smoldering ends of my ponytail.

I have no idea how this happened, as I don't recall my hair falling anywhere near the flame.  Yes, yes, this is extremely reminiscent of my not realizing that leaving the cookies, cakes and chestnuts in the oven well past their cooking time will render them lifeless, inedible, parched and also a little bit forlorn looking, like I've just obliterated their entire reason for being, which of course, I have.  I'm not without feelings.  I mean, picking up the blackened remains of chocolate chip cookies and watching the pink and purple sprinkles thud to the side causes me a great deal of anxiety.  Anytime anything chocolaty goes bad is an occasion for mourning, and the grief can only be soothed by a trip to the store to indulge in a sugary, sweet, chocolaty cousin to the memory of the treats now succumbing to a reincarnated life of a door stop or paper weight, if I would so choose.

Alas, it is not so, as the weight of loss I would feel deep in my empty, gurgling belly at seeing them listless and lifeless upon my doorstep or on my desk would render me listless and lifeless, and craving a sugar high.  And so, my blackened offspring become dark, huddles masses, weighing down the garbage cans, so much weight that hurricane-force winds could wreak their havoc on the house and all that would remain standing would be a green garbage can, firmly rooted to the sidewalk, charred blobs firmly rooted to the bottom of the cans, firmly rooted to the sidewalk.  And on it would go.

So, unless the Devil was standing behind me with his blowtorch, and I'll admit to some sinning here in the big city, but nothing that would justify this revenge, at least not that I'll admit when I know that my Mom will be reading this, I was obviously oblivious to being on fire, or at the very least, smoldering. At least if I had been on fire, I could have called the Fire Department and maybe had a hot New York firefighter attend to me, but no, smoldering doesn't warrant this phone call, so I'm left to stand sizzling in the kitchen on my own like a dessert desperado.

In need of a haircut as it is, a few phone calls deliver the surprising news that a trim will cost me $80. $80, really?  So, being unemployed and cheap, although thrifty is such a better sounding word, I take matters in to my own hands (literally, I only point this out in case it's not obvious) and cut just the ends, just a little and a little more and a little more still, until around two inches of singed hair lays at my feet, mocking me. I say mocking me because as I stare at my hair, I envision each of them gathering themselves up on to their tiny follicle feet, shaking their tiny splintered heads, pointing their tiny blackened fingers at me, and running out the front door, skipping and jumping and winking at the the blackened baked goods that I scorched last month and did succumb to using as a doorstop.  

Damn that doorstop which I now regret because it would keep me from slamming it shut to stop the little guys from escaping, so that I could gently gather each of them in to my hands and personally apologize before setting them free on the breeze, where they'd then dance down the street until getting caught in some old guys beard where he'd brush at them and sneeze and they'd again lift and whirl and curl down the street, on and on and on, mixing with leaves and twigs and trash and perhaps land in a puddle of water, to be lapped in to the tummy of a dog or cat.  Which, of course, means that they would be ingested and digested, an unfair act of treachery against the scorched goodies whose job it is to ingested and digested, and end up in a little pile of shit somewhere, as brown as the cookies, cakes and chesnuts were intended to be.

Now, I'm not that attached to my hair (though it is attached to me), don't give it much mind or spend much time fussing with it, but I do admit that when I hold a mirror up to see my work at the back of my head and a wobbly, crisscross pattern, a haphazard slicing and dicing of my golden locks winks back at me, I do cringe.  Now, I'm singed and cringed.

So here I sit, lopsided and perplexed, perusing the Groupon website (which if you haven't yet been turned on to this, you must!) looking for a deal on a haircut, to restore my lackluster locks to an at least even keel.  Heck, at least my keel should be even!

From cookies to cakes to chestnuts to my crown, life's a hoot and all I can do is laugh at myself, which I do regularly anyways.  Some people should not have children.  Some people should not be given driver’s licenses.  I should not be allowed anywhere near a kitchen. That's my story.  So, what's cooking with you?

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