Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When bad things happen to good food

Last night's dinner held such promise. I was going to roast some garlic scrapes and purple spring onions and braise some tarragon chicken. The roasted alliums were almost there--I roasted them at 400 degrees with olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar. But I think I should have roasted at a lower temperature for much longer. Still, they were okay, if a little chewy.

But the chicken. I crammed too many pieces into the pan. I didn't have chicken stock to braise and used only vermouth. I forgot to drain the fat after browning, and when I added the vermouth there was splattering, I jerked my hand back and splashed vermouth on the stove, and the whole thing went up in flames.

I thought of two things at that moment. I wondered if I could even figure out how to use the fire extinguisher located under the sink right behind me. And I thought about When You Are Engulfed In Flames, how it's out in paperback now, and how I wouldn't be able to read it if I burned down the kitchen.

Fortunately, alcohol fires are short lived. By the time Lane found me the flames were gone and I could pretend nothing had happened--just screaming for fun. For joy! Alas, the chicken was not so good, though this was not the fault of the vermouth. I had mixed some soft, lazy Murray's chicken with some truly free-range, athletic, Lance Armstrong legs. The latter should have been stewed for about two hours in stock and lard, so lean and tough were they. The tarragon was in cinders.

Having learned my lesson, I did absolutely nothing to the gorgeous Hepworth Farms strawberries I bought for dessert. We ate them just as they are.


Luisa Perkins said...

Well, that's a big drag; I'm glad you're all right.

I love David Sedaris.

janeannechovy said...

I hope those strawberries tasted as good as they looked.

And I'm really really glad you didn't burn down your whole building!

ks said...

Oh boy, that is some bad food karma! But you are such a fantastic story teller, there's a tiny part of me that relishes your occasional cooking and parenting mishaps. You could give Sedaris a run for his money if you published this stuff!