Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do You Smell That?

Patricia and I met when I had a two bedroom apartment and needed a room mate and she had a 1 bedroom apartment and was looking for the same.  Our building manager introduced us.  We were both in our early 20s and working full time. We shared the two bedroom apartment. She worked a night shift and I worked a day shift and luckily we got along relatively well so on occasion shared dinner as we didn't have a whole lot of money and Patricia unfortunately wasn't the best cook. It wasn't unusual for her to set off the smoke alarm while making dinner. However, on this particular night neither of us were expecting it as she had planned to make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese from a box. How could you light the kitchen on fire cooking that? . . .Apparently we were going to find out. .

"Patricia, do you smell that?" I was stretched out on our threadbare, nearly beige, white couch flipping through a magazine. "Smell what?" She said.

"It smells like something's burning."

"I don't know, I don't smell anything?"

"Are you cooking something?"

"I just put a pot on the burner to heat up some water. I'm making macaroni and cheese. You want some?"

"No, I'm good Thanks."

I continued flipping through the magazine. The smell was starting to get worse.

"It smells almost like chemicals or something. . .burnt. . ."

Patricia walked over to the stove.


*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP* The smoke alarm suddenly broke the silence. I jumped up from my chair and dashed over, turning on the exhaust fan. We were coughing, smoke rising all around us.

"I turned on the wrong burner." She said.

I looked over to see my Betty crocker cookbook sitting in the sink, the spine completely melted, a brown burner shaped mark across it's front and back.

"I'll buy you a new one. I'm sorry."

"I thought you were making mac and cheese?"

"I was. . .was thinking I might make dessert too."

We laughed. 

"Don't worry about it. . .I don't really use it anyway. I thought the kitchen was on fire."

"Yeah, it almost was!" We giggled.

Patricia and I eventually went our separate ways and lost touch but I still have the Betty Crocker cookbook with the melted spine and brown burner mark to remember that day and many similar ones though that was the last time she ever burnt a non-food item in our place.

This post was inspired by the writer's prompt, "Tell the Story of a Mistake made in the Kitchen."


  1. Hilarious! I did that once to a wooden cutting board at my mom's house. Oops.

  2. That's hilarious! I'm definitely guilty of turning on the wrong burners from time to time. Thankfully haven't burned the house down yet. ;)