She’d posted an unusual Facebook post with three photos that morning. The first, a frying pan, filled with blackened, smoking chicken. The second, a dozen eggs, shattered on the floor. The third, a red fire engine in the driveway. And no explanation. I was concerned for her safety, even her psychological well being.
I didn’t see the post ’til late that night. She lives a thousand miles and a time zone away. I waited ‘til morning to call. She picked up on the second ring. Relieved to hear her calm, steady voice on the other end, I peppered her with questions. Close as I can tell, this is her tale.
Yesterday she had a full day of appointments and company coming for dinner. She downed a quick cup of coffee, filled the dog’s water bowl. Gathered her meeting notes, poured a large lidded to-go mug, headed out the door. She arrived for her meeting with him just in time. The secretary, puzzled to see her, explained he wasn’t expected ‘til noon. She called, and he apologized profusely. He’d forgotten the meeting, but could be there an hour. Could she meet him then? She could.
She lived nearby and hurried home to work on quick dinner prep for the company before returning for the delayed meeting. Setting the eggs on the counter edge, she heated oil in the skillet to brown the chicken. Her cell rang while grabbing the chicken from the fridge. She set down the chicken to get the phone.
What happened next she doesn’t know for sure, but both the eggs and the chicken plummeted to the floor. SPLAT! %&$*#@
Letting the phone go to voicemail, she retrieved the package of shrink wrapped chicken, rinsed it. And mindful of the time, quickly added the chicken to the hot oil.
Her cell rang again. It was her husband calling back. A work crisis, and he needed her ear. At that precise moment, the coffee came calling. She toted the phone into the bathroom while he filled her in on the latest work woe.
She listened intently and sympathetically for what felt like moments, but was in reality longer. She was jolted from the conversation by a piercing sound, like a fire alarm.
It WAS a fire alarm. Hers.
Then came the acrid smell. Oh no, the chicken! She hung up, flew to the kitchen. Clouds of black Smoke billowed from the frying pan, filling the kitchen.
Eyes stinging, she held her breath. Switched off the burner. Side-stepped the egg carnage. Deactivated the blaring alarm. Sputtering, she slipped onto the porch to inhale oxygen and call the fire department.
“I think everything’s ok, but I just burned some chicken on the stovetop and it set off the alarms. But everything seems fine.”
“No worries maa’m, probably better check it out anyway. We’ve got a crew in your area finishing up another call. They’ll be there momentarily.”
No worries??? The Smoke was caustic. The house a mess. And now “visitors” were on the way?
She raced in to clean up the eggs. The shells were easy enough. She sprayed and wiped. Wiped and sprayed. Gathered the scattered mail. Straightened the coffee table books. Plumped the sofa pillows. Knitting in the basket. Doggie toys stowed.
Just in the nick of time.
The doorbell rang. It was the firemen. Breathlessly, she explained the mornings’ events.
They checked out the kitchen. Satisfied, they humored her by posing with the truck before heading back to the station.
That’s when it hit her.
THE MEETING. I MISSED THE MEETING!!!
She picked up the phone, regretfully rescheduled. Only 10 a.m. and already she craved a glass of pinot. She cranked the windows, then headed to the grocery store to buy you know what…
Eggs and chicken.
No shortage of conversation at the dinner table that evening. The scented candles barely disguised the odor. A gourmet cook, I wasn’t surprised to hear she’d somehow pulled off a four course dinner despite the hellish morning.
So thankful she and her dear family were ok, I asked her one last question….
“So my friend. Which came first? The chicken, or the eggs?”
True story, and I just couldn’t resist asking her that last question. (So glad she laughed.)
Friends, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! If you need some great recipes for Monday, you know where to go… 🙂
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