The other night, the neighbors were here and we were cooking and eating and Kian from Red Cook handed me a tray of garlic bread and said, "Pop this in the oven, will you?" and I said, "Great!" and set the oven temp and Kian said, "Do it in the broiler. It's better."
And I, like, shit myself.
Because I don't use the broiler. Ever. I avoid the broiler like it is a mutant strain of super-herpes. See, I am a clutz - prone to singing my eyebrows just turning over a steak, or burning my hand right through the heat-proof mitt, able to start a blazing grease fire just by forgetting I had bacon on the stove. I can set my sleeve on fire making soup.
I cannot be trusted with a broiler and all that congealing, highly-flammable meat fat that wells up into pools (even in the drip pan) and sits stupidly close to all those dancing flames, which mock me and hiss "I can have this kitchen ablaze in under 2 minutes, chica..."(Yes, the flames call me "chica")"...just move that filet mignon a tad closer...Wa ha ha ha..."
This is what broiler flames would say if they could talk.
I believe that my children's life is perilously at stake every time I even think about using the broiler. And this was evident the other night as Kian showed me how to turn on my broiler and where the flames were exactly and I ordered people to take my children to a nearby safe house and in my head, I up-dated my will and testament.
Guests streamed into the kitchen to support me as I bit my nails and gulped several glasses of wine to calm the nerves. I might be exaggerating a little but really, I was convinced we might have to evacuate. I memorized the exits.
Then, I whispered to the girls as they were shuttled away, "Remember...Stop. Drop. And roll...Mommy loves you...no matter what happens."
And then, I grabbed their little cheeks and gave them one last kiss and, like Bella said to Renesmee in Breaking Dawn when she thought she would never see her daughter again, I whispered, "More than my life..." all dramatic-like and choked up, with tear-filled eyes. At this point, I contemplate buying them lockets with the phrase engraved inside and then realize what a completely stupid thing that would be. Then, I push them out the door to safety.
But then, like, nothing happened. The broiler just crisped the garlic bread until it was all crusty and browned and perfect and it took like two whole seconds and no invisible, combustible gasses in the air were ignited and no one was set ablaze like some stunt man in a bad Clint Eastwood movie and all my hair seemed to avoid being singed off.
It was effortless. Not one flame leaped at me from the oven.
I have finally conquered my broiler-phobia. Bring on the French Onion Soup. I am an inspiration...