One week ago, my kitchen was the site of a near-fire. Near-fire, I write, meaning for you to imagine intense smoke and damage, without the flames. No paltry case of a little smoke that could be waved through with an open door, this was quite the event and required a professional fire response team, fancy ozone-ing equipment, a possible re-paint job, and industrial dry cleaners.
It also required that all spices, oils, vinegars, flours, sugars, teas, coffees, and general foodstuffs be thrown away. (In addition to vitamins, medicines, cosmetics, and toiletries, but that is inconsequential in light of...the foodstuffs.)
I did cry. I cried for me, but I also cried for my spices. In my sleep, I cried to P about how my spices didn't get to fulfill their potential to be a part of cakes and cookies and curries and hot chocolates and thanksgiving pie. No, I sobbed, they just ended up as trash. Apparently, spices have feelings.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. P and I are both smarter now, and can tell you that aluminum and protein are the two worst things to burn. We also know how loved we are, having woken up one morning to an email list of tons of spices my mother is having delivered to our door, and then having the joy of going to a fancy grocery store and having my father and stepmother replace all of our flours, oils, vinegars, and sweeteners. Generosity has come from our friends, in the form of hugs and nice words and even some monetary help.
So, tonight P will be cooking, and not cooking beans. He's making homemade pesto to redeem himself and in an effort to convince me to allow him to guest post on the blog. I also made a delicious sweet potatoe and spinach gratin at P's parents house where we stayed while our place was sealed off, and that'll be up soon.
The lessons? Turn off your stove when you leave your house, don't cook in aluminum pans, and remember to love your spices.