Vegetarian By Kitchen
March 8, 2007

I know I've bitched about this before, but seriously people, I hate my kitchen. There's no counter space, the windows barely open, it's the size of a depressed closet, and the light fixture seems to be on a very steady diet of brand new light bulbs. It's gotten so bad that it's actually turning me off of meat.

Case in point: Tonight I thought of heralding spring with some roasted white asparagus, broiled lamb chops, and a roasted beet salad (not spring, I know, but they've been in the fridge so long it was either eat them or start charging rent). You'd think I'd have learned my lesson about how meat and my kitchen do not mix. But like Tori Spelling embarking on a new reality show, I seem to remain ever hopeful.

Five minutes of broiling the shoulder chops on one side went by with no incident. But then -- BUT THEN -- I attempted to turn over the chops, so they could, you know, COOK EVENLY. Cue smoke detector. Cue, also, excessive lamb-scented smoke filling the kitchen and watering my eyes. Cue, finally, husband beating the smoke away from the smoke detector with his Guinness fleece because our oven HAS NO EXHAUST.

The meat comes out of the oven to rest before slicing. A finger test proved the meat to be springy enough to still be a lovely ruby red inside, so, after covering the chops with tinfoil, I secured the cats in the bedroom. This was to allow what windows actually open in this apartment to be flung wide in the hopes that the damn smoke detector would SHUT THE HELL UP!

With my husband still beating smoke and my eyes still watering me blind, I brandished a very sharp knife and sliced the lamb into beautiful, delicious, juicy pieces. However, since I was using a cutting board on top of a built-in pull-out cutting board that has recently started tilting at a slight but insistent angle, I wound up with delicious red trickles of lamb juice all over my (practically) freshly-mopped kitchen floor. With my husband still beating smoke, I brought the plates to the ice-cold living room and poured the wine. With my husband no longer beating smoke, the two of us sat down and ate our now-cold lamb and even colder asparagus.

A few hours later, the smoke is gone but the essence still lingers. And while I enjoy lamb to a huge degree, what I don't enjoy is lamb smoke in my hair and I certainly don't relish waking up in the morning and breathing deep the smell of lamb coffee brewing in the kitchen that I hate.

Because vegetables rarely set off the so-sensitive-it-should-be-writing-bad-poetry smoke alarm, they seem to be the thing to make and still enjoy in their heated state. This isn't fair. I love my meat, I need my meat, but my kitchen has gone PETA on me and decided I shall not have my meat.

Go to hell, kitchen.

P.S. Even though I just vacuumed yesterday to keep my asthma at bay, my husband's smoke-beating has brought tumbleweed sized dust balls out of untold depths. So, thanks for my reduced lung capacity, kitchen.

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