Fire in the Whole Apartment Complex. Or the First Time I Cooked Eggplant.

28 Mar

The first time I cooked eggplant, my then-friend-now-husband (who’s far better in the kitchen that I’ll ever be) gave me step for step instructions on how to cook it.

Here’s how you slice it. Here’s what you set the temperature to. Here’s what you eat it with.

Here’s the disaster it turned into.

I’ll never understand how so much smoke can come from three small cross sections of a plant. But it didn’t take long for my entire apartment to be filled with billowing blackness. And for the alarms to trigger. Fearing the sprinkler positioned over my TV, I quickly opened both the back and front doors to whisk the smoke away.

Meanwhile, more smoke was coming from … who knows where? I had since removed the food from the stove and shut everything off.

A couple sauntered by the scene and peaked in their heads to see me standing on a chair fanning the alarm with a towel.

“You okay in there?” they asked with some genuine concern.

“Yeah. I just can’t cook,” I wheezed from my cloud over the hissing sound of a scorched eggplant now sitting in a wet sink and the piercing cry of the fire alarm.

More faces started appearing. Apparently the hallway (exterior, I didn’t smoke out the inside of the entire building) was full of smoke. And people were coming out of the apartments to check on the ruckus.

“I’m fine! I’m just not Martha Stuart.”

Kind neighbors offered to help me fan, but eventually the smoke cleared and I shut my doors.

My apartment smelled like burnt eggplant for at least a week. And it took three years for me to cook it again. And now, I’m quite good. Thanks to my then-friend-now-husband.


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