a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Cooking Adventure Fiasco

In our home, my mother rules the kitchen. She’s the one who usually does the cooking and everything related

to kitchen tasks. I’ve helped her a couple of times and I even cooked occasionally but we usually stay away from each other when it comes to this sort of thing. It’s because we’re both control freaks. We usually end up yelling at each other when it comes to preparing meals because we both want it done our own unique way. She accuses me of being calloused and impatient and I tell her she’s too meticulous.

So anyway, this morning, my mom wasn’t home and I woke up on my usual hungry stomach.

I wanted food!

I remember she went to the market the previous day to stock on hotdogs because she will be gone for two days and none of us are quite keen on cooking, (well except for a couple of times when each of us prepared our own concoction just for kicks) .

So I opened the freezer and the luscious red hotdogs welcomed me graciously begging to be fried and devoured.

Well, I’m pretty sure that’s what they would have told me if only they could talk.

After a few minutes, I was done frying the hotdogs…I placed them on the table and prepared to eat.

Hmmm… hotdogs and rice seemed such a lonely breakfast..I went back to the freezer and saw some more longganisa. I decided to cook it as well plus I prepared some salad

To make the longganisa easier to fry, I decided to use a different pan and deep fry it.

Since I hate waiting for the pan to heat up, I turned on the stove, placed a lot of oil in it and turned the knob to its maximum level. I then went inside to prepare cabbage salad. After a few minutes , I was done. I went back to the stove and saw the pan severely heating up. I could see a lot smoke coming out of the pan. Good, I thought to myself, this is going to make the frying quicker.

Then I did something I should have never done. I decided to splash a trickle of water on it with my fingers. For some weird reason, I enjoy hearing the hissing sound of oil when water hits it. You know that sound (krrrrr..sshhh sound?) . I missed that sound.

To my horror, the second I dropped water on it, the fire grew to about 10 inches engulfing the pan area. I thought it would stop but after several seconds, it seemed to grow bigger. I decided to move the pan away from the stove for fear of a gas explosion. It was a small round pan which fortunately has a long handle. I grabbed it by the handle and walked very carefully towards the kitchen sink. The fire continued to grow.

Finally, I reached the sink. I thought I’d let the fire die down. After several more seconds, the fire looks like it wasn’t going to stop until it burns the whole pan. I figured I ‘d pour more water in it to stop the flames.

I splashed more water on it.

And it got worse….

The minute I poured water over the pan, the fire blazed from 10 inches to around two feet. I quickly scanned if something else got caught in the fire.

I could not believe this was happening.

No sound came out of my mouth. I tried to remain calm and quickly thought of what to do next. Shall I call on our building guy and have him put off the fire or shall I call my sister from the bedroom and have her evacuate all our belongings?

I can’t believe I was going to burn down a building.

I knew I had to decide quickly.

But fortunately, I didn’t really have to do anything. Miraculously, the fire that started so abruptly stopped quickly and all this happened in a few minutes.

Then something which I rarely experienced happened. I felt faint. I felt weak. I felt like a damsel in distress – although no one really rescued me.

I prayed to the Lord and thanked Him from saving me from my stupidity.

As I cleaned up my mess, I saw something sticking on the wall of our kitchen sink, right on top of the faucet – It was a small figurine of the Lady of Manaog – My mom was the one who placed it there.

For whatever reason this little accident happened – (whatever reason = my impatience) , I learned my lesson – take cooking a little seriously and don’t mess with oil.

And that my friends was how I began my day.

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