Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did I mention that I almost burned down my kitchen?

After being inspired by my friend's Blog, I've been trying to cook more these days (I'm not much of a cooker). And since I'm adopting a kid from Korea (and the fact that I'm also a Korean adoptee) I've also been trying to learn more about Korean culture (emphasis mainly on food at this point - although I have about 4 books that are going to teach me about culture, etiquette and where to sight see). Mix those two together, and you got me in the kitchen trying to make Bulgogi (Korean BBQ). 

This recipe has been posted on an adoption forum that I'm a part of. Every time I see it (which is when I 'search' in the archives to read the recipe again) it sooo puts me in the mood for Korean food. 

*** okay, I have to do a little disclaimer real quick. I talk about how I love Korean food - which I do - but it's only some Korean food that I dig. I actually can't handle spicy food at all. Seriously, like mild salsa makes my tongue hurt. And I abhor runny eggs - which there are recipes where they just crack an egg on top and are done with it. Yeah... not my favorite. So my version of 'Korean food' is really only the tip of the iceberg in what Korean cuisine can offer you. If you have an adventurous palette, then I say go to your friendly neighborhood Korean restaurant and try the real deal. If your palette is more on the simple side (like mine) then maybe my version is worth trying.  Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled blog post ***

So Monday was going to be the 'big day' where I was going to make Bulgogi. I had it all planned in my head. I would make all this stuff, surprise Bob with my homemaker-ish skills, and then have him cook the meat on the grill. Feeling pret-ty good at this point (this is before I left for the grocery store). 

Anyway, I take Claire to the store where I stock up on all the random ingredients that I need (pear juice? where do I find that? And ginger puree? Please tell me they sell that stuff. I don't know how to use a food processor - or do you need a blender?) and then it's back home and putting everything out on the kitchen island. I contemplated taking a photo, but then you would have seen how messy my dinning room table is, so I scrapped that idea. 

As I'm getting myself organized, I realize that I still have a piece of Meatball pizza left (which is a 'Take U Bake' pizza from Raley's and has a super thin crust - SO GOOD) so I stick it in the microwave on a paper towel for 15 seconds, and then start chopping my green onion... or scallion.. or whatever it is. 

I'm not exactly sure what happened between setting the timer for 15 seconds and hitting 'cook', but something really bad did indeed take place. I'm not sure how much time actually went by, but as I'm chopping away, I realize that I'm smelling smoke. I look up, and dark grey smoke (the really thick kind) is POURING from the microwave. I run over and hit 'stop' and notice that it's counting back from 92 minutes... shoot. I have no idea how long it was cooking for. Smoke is still pouring out, so I quickly run and open the sliding glass door... and then the front door... and open a window... *did I mention it's pouring rain outside?* and then open another window.... and turn on the ceiling fan. I can actually feel my throat itching from the smoke at this point so I grab Claire and tell her we have to run upstairs - which we do - but then I remember that smoke 'rises', so I turn on the two ceiling fans upstairs and then take her back down stairs and tell her to sit on the floor. I grab a towel and try to 'fan' the smoke out, to which Claire keeps yelling, 'Mommy - what are you trying to catch? Mommy - what are you doing?' At one point I heard her say, 'hey - I can't see my bike' (which that bike was only 15 feet away at best, and you could totally see it. We'll have to have a little talk about how exaggerating-during-crisis-moments-is-not-helpful-to-mommy on another day)

At this point I'm hoping that the pizza isn't on fire anymore, and gather the courage to open the microwave door (I'll admit, I kinda thought it might explode in my face). There wasn't a flame to be seen and I quickly grabbed the pizzapapertowel and threw it outside. 

I'm actually still kinda amazed at how much smoke that little sucker produced. 

Oh yeah... the silver lining in this story is that by some good fortune I did not have any batteries in any of my smoke alarms. (they were ALL doing that annoying, random chirping that literally drives you insane. So in a fit of rage we took all the batteries out. I'm actually thinking we need new smoke alarms in general because I read somewhere that the units need to be changed out every 7-10 years.) While some of you might have just gasped at the knowledge that there aren't any working smoke alarms in my house  (at the moment!) do not be afraid. I think more bodily harm would have happened if I had to go through that whole ordeal with a screeching, high pitched devil cry going off in my ears. And while you may still be contemplating whether or not you should call CPS, rest in the knowledge that Bob has tomorrow off and I'm sending him to the store to get new alarms or batteries - what ever he finds first.

And in case you were wondering...

my Bulgogi turned out fantastic!

PS... taxes are due today


Kimberly and Ed said...

I have had my share of kitchen disasters:) At least the Bulgogi was spared - It looks so yummy!

Anonymous said...

You tell a great story and make me laugh! I found your blog via a friend on FB. I am also a Korean adoptee, three kids, two oldest bio children and youngest adopted from Korea. I would like to put a link of your blog on my blog. Thanks for the great laugh and great job on the bulgogi...I've made it once in my lifetime. I love Korean food, especially when I am IN Korea! But I agree with you, the raw egg, ewww.

Mama Kat said...

umm, so recipe please. Not for the pizza, but the Bulgogi.

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