I decided to be every teen’s favorite person and make some garlic bread. I bought three loaves of Italian bread from Kroger, sliced them open, buttered them, and sprinkled with too much garlic. It was perfection. I heated the oven to the “low” broil setting. I set a timer, not wanting to burn the loaves. I thought that was quite responsible of me. But 5 and 10 minutes later, the loaves just weren’t browning enough for my liking. So I upped the ante. I increased the temperature to the “high” broil setting. (The word “broil,” incidentally, was what stumped me in round 3 of the third grade spelling bee.)
At this point I had to go the bathroom. No big deal–I would be back in approximately 1 minute and 49 seconds. Perfect.
After using said bathroom, my phone rang. It was one of my teens calling with important news. By the time I hung up, my brain kicked into gear. “OH MY GOSH! THE GARLIC BREAD!!!” I raced to the kitchen to see smoke pouring from the oven. My husband was at his desk, not fifteen feet from the situation, and was completely oblivious to this near-disaster. “THE HOUSE IS ALMOST ON FIRE AND YOU DIDN’T NOTICE!” I shouted. He was almost in tears with the hilarity of the situation.
I raced to the oven, pulled the bread/charcoal out and quickly realized it was a lost cause. This wasn’t one of those times you burnt your kid’s toast and can use a knife to just scrape off the burnt portions. No, these loaves were burnt almost all the way through. I am not joking.
At this point, I’m really angry and also ready to burst out laughing. (Though I keep the laughter to myself, so as to not egg on my husband.) He quickly disarms the smoke alarm by removing the battery. (Oh shoot, we have to replace that!) I run around turning on exhaust fans and ceiling fans and throwing open doors and windows in hopes of freeing my normally delicious-smelling-home of the stench of burning bread.
I remember one particular moment when I was standing by the dining room table, pulling the fan’s cord. I looked over at my husband who was just across the kitchen at the smoke detector and I couldn’t see him. Seriously. The smoke was SO dense, I couldn’t see through it. My eyeballs were burning, my lungs were screaming. I was mad. But mostly embarrassed.
Fifteen minutes later, the teens starting arriving. The stench hung in the air. Most of them wondered what was burning, but a few of them thought something smelled delicious.
I should note that I did have 3 half loaves of bread left to feed my teens. The night wasn’t a complete disaster. Just totally humiliating.