Thursday, June 12, 2008

Absolutely certain that I'd left the beets roasting
in a 425 degree oven -- and this realization came
four hours after I put them on to cook -- I dashed
into my car and did my best not to careen across
the Floating Bridge, all the while attempting
to call Paul, who wouldn't answer. I envisioned smoke,
an emergency crew blocking the street, the house
a remnant of ashes. Wait! I've done this before --
don't I have credit? (January 15th, 1987, Reilly
at nine months asleep in his crib, when a tendril
of smoke curled into the bedroom, then a cloud,
then billow upon billow --) Why wasn't Paul answering?
Had he succumbed to smoke inhalation?
What about the cat? Was I doomed to widowhood
As I exited I-90 onto 405, my phone rang, and of course
it was Paul, calm, at home. And when I asked him
if I left the beets in the oven, his said, "Oh! That's
what that smell is!" (And a noticecable lack of smoke.)
Phew! I eased the pressure on the gas pedal.
Yes, the beets were in the oven, carbonized,
ressembling very small charcoal briquets.
And the house exuded the pleasing aroma
of burgers cooking on the grill.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! A couple of months ago, I put some eggs on to boil, got a phone call, and completely forgot about them until the pan started to ring from being empty. I actually burned boiled eggs, in case you ever doubted that was possible. Now that was not a pleasant smell...

  2. I hate to admit it, but I am familiar with that over-boiled-egg rattle!!
    (Honestly, this is NOT a habit!)

  3. I know the feeling.

    I get lost on the computer, and forget I'm cooking something.

  4. SB: We have a phrase around here for when something like that happens. You didn't "burn" the boiled eggs, you "grilled" them. Luckily, the beets actually smelled pretty good. I don't want to imagine grilled boiled eggs, though.

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  6. Ren: My problem is usually the opposite: I forget to remember that I'm supposed to cook something.

  7. My favorite is "grilled" toast.

  8. SB: Here's a helpful hint for the newlywed cook. Whenever you overcook something, sprinkle it with Cajun spices and present it as something special. As in: "Guess what, honey? I made blackened eggs for breakfast!"