Oh goodness. I’m losing my ability to multi-task. This afternoon when I came home from work, I was doing several things at once. Defrosting the chicken breasts, mixing up the mayonnaise and spice coating before dredging them in seasoned panko crumbs ready for sauteing in butter, assembling the ingredients to use the browning bananas I picked up at Vince’s Market yesterday, searching for a recipe for kalettes, some lovely little cross-bred kale-brussels sprouts veggies that resemble lovely little green flowers.


Hub was sitting at the counter chatting as he usually does. I tossed the veggies with crushed fresh garlic, kosher salt and olive oil then tossed them onto a baking sheet and slipped them into a 450 degree oven. It was supposed to be for 8 minutes or so but I got talking and damn, I’d forgotten I broke my canister of brown sugar just before we left for Mexico when I whipped open the too-full cupboard and the damn glass jar crashed onto the clean kitchen floor and broke into pieces.

In the meantime, I checked the chicken breasts – ready. Found a bag of coconut sugar which would work in the muffins. Then I remembered the veggies and opened the oven door, only to be enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Damn, the kalettes were nicely toasted but the high temperature had crisped the edges.

Then the smoke alarm started to wail. I ran into the hall to open the front door and wave a dish towel under the sensor but it was too late. By the time Hub called the alarm company and told them there was no fire, just me overcooking something, the woman on the line said to hold on while she called off the fire truck. Apparently, they are dispatched immediately and the monitoring company doesn’t bother to call.

We thought all was well and sat down to a tasty supper with wine when the doorbell rang. My heart sank. A pleasant firefighter was at the door and a huge honking truck was idling at the bottom of the driveway. Yikes. I wailed, “We said there was no emergency and the alarm company called you back’, but he just stepped in with his little clipboard and a smile and said municipal policy is that a truck will be dispatched, no matter what. Good grief. At least they didn’t use lights and sirens. He took my name – Hub was pointedly silent in the background – said whatever I was cooking smelled good, waved ‘have a good day’ and rumbled off. The muffins did get made and they’re delicious.

I have visions of running the self-cleaning cycle on the oven and having a repeat visit. No way. I’ll cover the smoke sensors and open the doers and windows. Lesson learned.