Tuesday, August 25, 2009

that's a major appliance! that's not a name!‏

when i moved in to my apartment, they told me to test the fire detector once a week. when i got to my apartment, just to spite them (hoping it wasn’t working), i tested the fire detector. it fell on me. I was annoyed. I felt confident that I would not bother checking it ever again. And really, how often does a fire detector not work? And I’m only there for one month. So I just figure theres no need to check it.

well, its a week later. And it works. I almost don’t want to explain how I know this, but I guess I will…

last night I got food from my new favorite restaurant in Columbus: chile verde. Mmmm mmm good. I always like the idea that a place will get to know me. The first night I stopped there was last Thursday. I found it on my mileage plus dining program (where you get miles for eating at certain restos) and thought I’d give it a go. I drove by and it was in a strip mall which instantly turned me off. That, and it looked closed. I was starting to get the idea that most restaurants around here have closed (more on that to come), but I drove by the front door anyway. I could see feet inside. It was open! I walked in and its completely not what one imagines. It was cute and quaint and looked fun and not like a royal fork or anything (which is what I think of when I think of strip mall restos). I ask to place an order to go and saw a thing for a pomegranate margarita. Pomegranates are super-foods and some of the best foods on earth. And tequila is like the best alcohol on earth, so putting the two together is clearly a well-balanced meal. I sat at the bar and got a drink. They brought me chips which I LOVE. They were delish. And the salsa was spicy. So far, so good. I brought the food home and it was delicious. I was so pleased and I felt like despite eating tacos, I had eaten pretty healthily (with the pomegranates and all). So Friday night comes and I said to myself I would go again. This time, I drive up and the place is PACKED. People were waiting OUTSIDE just to get in. I pushed my way through and turned the corner to the host station and the woman sees me and right away says, “want to place an order?” I totally got to go in front of all the people trying to put their name on the list. I love this place. Once again it was good.

So anyway, last night (mon) I go back. And it was just as good although I’m trying to eat more healthy so I didn’t order a margarita and got soft shells which are not fried. But the taco meat is soo good – and I had them make it extra spicy for me, which is also good for you. I get home and I was like, “why don’t I have some tea? That would be the perfect end to today.” Actually, it wasn’t that thought out. I was just thinking, “tea.” In fargo, it was easy for tea to be out of sight, out of mind. And I had like 100 tea packets from all sorts of different tea boxes. When I was packing to come to Columbus, I was like, “that’s perfect! I’ll bring all this tea and finish it and not have to buy new stuff when I get there and won’t have to buy drinks because I can just boil the tap water and its great!” so I packed nearly 100 tea bags to bring to Columbus. I brought one canister to work and had another box of tea that I put out. But the rest were just random tea bags from a bunch of different teas. The apartment is sparsely furnished, with no extra containers, so I just took a pot and put the tea inside. It looked really cute and modern. Speaking of no kitchen storage, I need a small little Tupperware to bring snacks to work in. or some zip lock baggies (hint, hint).

Back to last night. The kitchen is narrow with the fridge and stove on one side and directly opposite it a counter with the sink. Above the counter is a hole in the wall to look into the living room (like a bar). I don’t have a kettle, so I pulled out the small pot and put it on the stove filled with water. I turned to the sink and was watching a podcast on my laptop. I was eating my dinner when I heard this crackling noise. I stopped moving to make sure it wasn’t me wrinkling the brown bag or something. It wasn’t. And then there was this smell I didn’t really understand. I turned around to the oven and it took me a second before I realized what was going on. At first glance, everything looked normal. Then I realized that the burner with the water on it was not bright red. The burner with the TEA bags on it WAS. I was shocked. Then the fire detector starts going off. I grabbed the pot full of tea bags and everything looks normal. They were dry bags, so I figured they were just singed. Just in case, I put a plate over the top of it so it would lose any air. I went into the hallway and took down the fire detector that had fallen on me. I had to hit it a few times to get it to stop. Then I went back to the kitchen. I take the plate off and all is fine. So I go to put the smoke detector back up and all of a sudden the whole place is full of smoke. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I went back to the pot and picked up a few tea bags – they were almost half black, but not on fire. Then I found the culprit. Two bags were made of plastic and the plastic had melted and the inside tea bags had caught on fire – they were slowly burning beneath the other tea bags. I tried blowing it out, which of course doesn’t work, so I finally filled the pot with water and put it in the sink. I waved my towel around to get rid of the smoke. The place still smelt funny, which I guess is what happens when you set fire to herbs and spices in small cloth pouches. Sigh.

Of course, this only made me more determined for some tea. So I turned on the correct burner and then almost forgot about the boiling water. I need a timer I think to remind me of important things like that. I had tea from the box which was luckily not in the pot. It also just happens to be my favorite tea from france – reglisse menthe. It was all saved, but now I feel I have to ration it – only 20 bags left. Sad. L I couldn’t smell it, either, because of the smoky / sooty / amalgamation of burnt tea smell in the air. things like this always happen to me in the kitchen. I should just not be allowed in.

Later that night I went to the oven and double-checked that all the burners were off. I poured out the water from the tea bag pot which now smelt really bizarre and had a really dark rust color to it. If it hadn’t been sitting in burnt paper all night I might’ve tried drinking it… wait. probably not.


  1. Wow. That was something. BTW -- Was the hint hint to me????

  2. yes, that was a hint to you.

    or anyone else who wants to send me zip lock bags, i guess...

  3. You should post pics of the apt. Just an idea.

  4. good idea! i'll work on that this weekend...