It was Sunday, just an ordinary Sunday for us… wake up, clean up, go to church, meet with congregation people for brunch at a local cafe.
I was on an Eggs Benedict kick, which has since become a Veggie Omelette (no onions). I order a hot water so that I can steep my own tea. I’m becoming a foo-foo tea snob… that story is for another day.
Anyway, this past Sunday, we had a full eight top, all individual tickets, and multiple trips for our server. She and I have developed a rapport which is half of the reason I like the cafe so much.
She was going around the table to get the orders when I noticed that everybody was ordering “Rooster Fries”. I asked what the big deal was and other than listing what all is included, the folks would either sigh or vehemently demonstrate their version of how good this particular item is.
My server agreed with the rest of my table mates. She even threw in an, “I love it!” I was tempted, but I went with my usual, veggie omelette. My husband stuck to his regular order too. We usually get an a’la carte blueberry pancake to share as well.
The group “booed” our lack of adventure in dining. So I threw in an order of Rooster Fries too.
When the food arrived, everyone dug in. I decided to try the fries first… and oh-my-Lord they were amazing!
The table was silent and I don’t think folks came up for air between bites. I know that I was nose deep into the Fries before I looked at my husband. He hadn’t ordered the fries. We were going to share the blueberry pancake and the fries at home -later.
I realized that he knew I was in oblivion and even my omelette wasn’t being touched. That would have to go home with us.
When I came up for air, I took a spot of tea and looked over at my darling husband, who was pretending to pout. The blueberry pancake had been cut in half and his eyes wandered over to the fries. There was definitely a sense of “no fairsies” coming from him.
I said that I would “just have them to take home too” (all three bites of it). Lest you forget, the halves of blueberry pancake no longer existed. He enjoyed the WHOLE pancake.
True to self, we walked out carrying two “To Go” boxes in hand. One for my Veggie Omelette and one for the Rooster Fries. We were both amused. This is life.
It was a nice afternoon and I was hungry. The lunch time commercials had just run their course and I wanted to whip something up right away. I remembered an infomercial or maybe a cooking show that had some fancy bacon recipes and ways to “style” bacon. I was feeling extra brave, like I had pancake flippers for hands. Watch out world I’m making a BLT (kinda).
Aside from not having any bread or lettuce, I could use other substitutes. We did happen to have five cherry tomatoes and fresh bacon though. I was set to make a Creative Chef Decision I will use what we have and work it out as I go.
I used: plain bagels
fresh extra-thick Bacon
sliced cherry tomatoes
to make a sandwich (?.?) Right? Who needs lettuce and bread? Ha!
I knew that the bacon should be cooked in a circle, I had seen bacon wrapped shrimp and bacon wrapped filet mignon. I just need something to wrap the bacon around and toothpick it. Hmmmm.
Okay, I can totally do this. My husband recommended the muffin tin; but, I had just deemed myself a Goddess of all things cooking. I wanted to surprise him with a tastey lunch! This was so exciting! (Dude I am so creative, I should have my own infomercial, show or commercial!!!!!)
Anyway, I got the bagels in the toaster, sliced the tiny tomatoes, pulled out the deli meats and found three toothpicks for the bacon. And that’s when it hit me!
I will use my muffin tin upside down on a cookie sheet -on the burner. Round bacon conundrum SOLVED!
The smell of the bagels burning in the toaster got my attention. My darling husband offered to help at this point… he could smell the bagels too. The bacon was doing it’s sizzle, pop, sizzle, smell good thing. I had wrapped the upside down muffin tin with the bacon and tooth-picked the strip ends together. It’s almost time for them to be done.
He came into the kitchen to check out what I was doing. I told him that it was all under control. I was wrong, so very wrong.
I turned away from the bacon contraption to put mayo and turkey on the bagels. I figured that the bacon was pretty much done, because of the smell… this is where I realized that this lunch was not going to be all that I had hoped.
The bacon was sticking to the muffin tin cups and they were burning. The smoke was filling the room. I started coughing and my eyes were tearing up horribly. I took the pan outside and dropped it, actually it was more like, I threw it.
I couldn’t breathe or see; and I’m not exaggerating about this part. Everything was now being turned off and stopped. I needed to be outside for fresh air. I looked over to the cookie sheet and muffin tin slowly melting into each other. I was mad at them -traitors. Teflon was dripping and melting between the two pans and I had been/was inhaling it.
We made do with what we had left over -five sliced cherry tomatoes, and kept the house open all night. It needed to be aired out. I was still coughing and my eyes were watering once in awhile. My husband experienced the same symptoms as I had. We were quite a sight, I’m certain.
Here’s what I don’t understand,
I can’t cook. I have some friends whose families swear by their generations of recipes and home cooking. I had a super dinner the other night, it was all garden fresh and I just couldn’t get enough –at a friends’ house.
Back to the Teflon melting within my cook ware. I didn’t freak out too much until I woke up the next day. I remembered someone, somewhere had mentioned something about Teflon being a bad thing. Time for some research…
“…The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group, advises that consumers avoid even the newer generation of nonstick cookware and kitchen utensils, favoring stainless-steel and cast-iron pots and pans…” (Teflon)
“No matter what you use, ventilate your kitchen while cooking to minimize inhaling fumes (no fumes are good fumes).” “…And keep in mind that nonstick cookware is just one source of fluorinated chemicals…”. (Science of Teflon)
I had two pans which were non-stick, teflon treated and they had some sad looking bacon stuck to them. The pans had gotten so hot on the stove top that they were cooking themselves into themselves. Plus the smoke from the bagels and bacon were all inhaled by yours truly. Did you know that,
Cooking with Chemicals
Over the decades, it’s been reported that the fumes that result from heating these pots and pans to very high temperatures (over 660°F) could cause temporary coughing, fever, and a sore throat—what’s been referred to as “Teflon flu” (or medically as polymer fume fever). The fumes have also been responsible for killing many pet birds, which have very sensitive respiratory tracts. Though temperatures can reach up to 500°F or so under normal cooking conditions, the problem occurs mostly when a pan, especially one without any food in it, is left unattended on the stove, since that can greatly increase the temperature.
The moral of this story is that I am not built for creative cooking. Creative Writing, that’s great. I can handle that. I suppose I can make anything heat-and-serve. But when a recipe or full meal which takes hours to prepare yet 15 minutes to eat, I get angry. Yep. Angry. For me, cooking is difficult and chances are that I really didn’t want to be responsible for your intestines or health for the next 24 hours.
If I show up to an event where the invitees are supposed to bring a dish to pass, I’m the one with a container of cookies or a bag of chips and dip -realize that I put a lot of heart and soul into that choice.
However, I am also good for cereal, fresh fruit, Yoplait Yogurt, coffee, tea and a toasted English muffin with cinnamon sugar.
For the time being, the Creative Chef is busy debating on replacing her kitchen wares.