fire. fire.
November 1, 2008

The first time itís kind of charming—or at least as charming as ear-piercing noise can be. ďFire. Fire,Ē the smoke alarm alerts us, in between attempts at shattering our ear drums. (I suppose this would be useful if you woke up half-dreaming: ďWhatís that? My cell phone? My alarm clock? No! Fire! Fire!Ē) But by the third time weíve activated the alarm (I have, after all, three pans going on old, old burners), Bryanís climbing on a chair to dismantle the thing. And itís even less charming once we realize Mr. Articulate Smoke Detector has a less well-spoken partner. The hallwayís second alarm sticks to old-fashioned shrill tones.

Iím trying to recreate Altaís fantastic brussels sprouts tapas—which the menu describes as apples, brussels sprouts, crŤme fraÓche and pistachios—to accompany some nice salmon tournedos and wild rice. We donít have any pistachios, but we picked up Jonagolds and sprouts today at the Grand Army Plaza farmerís market, and I luckily have some leftover crème fraîche that Chef doctored up with a fine dice of red onion and thyme. (That, on its own, would make any dish to die for.)

Iím cooking in a new kitchen, and a temporary one at that, and everything is throwing me off. The wooden spoons arenít where I reach for them, and the towels feel really far away. This should be familiar because all my stuff is here, obsessively arranged, but Iím totally disoriented. It seems like there are black holes here. It's as if the kitchen is hostile from the start, and the only thing for it is to dismantle it board from board.

In fact, I've already removed the peeling-facade cabinet doors, and the whole structure has a date with a Tiger Demolition as soon as I've removed myself from the premises. No wonder its anthropomorphic soul is lashing out.

A few nights later, Iím cooking dinner for Dad, and the smoke detector goes into action again. I finish off the salmon running in between the kitchen to check for doneness, and the hallway to wave a potholder vigorously through the air. Itís downright obnoxious, and by the end of the meal I'm fairly certain there are demons at work here. It starts to soften the sting of having to unpack in yet another Tiny Kitchen in another two weeks.

Hereís looking forward to the new new Tiny Kitchen. Stay tuned.