I awoke on Sunday morning with aspirations of making breakfast for the boy. Just because. To be nice. 'Cause that's how I roll. Apparently I had forgotten that I don't cook.
I left the boy sleeping peacefully and got into the shower to wake myself up. Once showered and dry I checked back into the bedroom to see the boy still sleeping with Casey curled up next to him. Sweet! My plan was proceeding perfectly.
I went to the kitchen and thought about how to proceed. Normally when we cook together, the boy handles the potatoes and I handle the bacon and eggs. (The eggs are just for me as the boy does not partake.) Since I wasn't feeling particularly hungry, and since I wasn't foolish enough to think I could handle cooking three different things at once, I decided to forgo the eggs. Then, in thinking back to the cooking-together times, I remembered that I am almost always done with the bacon before the boy is done with the potatoes... so I deduced that I should start the potatoes first. Pleased with my logical thinking, I extracted the potatoes from the freezer only to find that they had frozen into one big iceberg of potato in a bag.
No problem. I had faced this issue previously and just went ahead with what one should always do in this situation....which is pound the iceberg of potato on the counter top until it breaks into pieces of potato suitable for frying.
It wasn't until Casey entered the kitchen to see what all the racket was about that I realized that perhaps pounding things on counter tops was not conducive to making someone a surprise breakfast.
I peeked into the bedroom and saw that the boy had rolled over. I couldn't see his face, but he still appeared to be snoozing soundly, so I counted my lucky stars and tiptoed back into the kitchen.
Since I was not as familiar with the cooking of the potatoes, I checked the instructions on the side of the bag to be certain that I didn't screw anything up. The instructions stated that once the oil was heated, the potatoes should be cooked between 4-7 minutes on one side, before flipping the potatoes and cooking another 4-7 minutes on the other side. I split the difference and decided on 5 and a half minutes on each side.
Once the potatoes were safely started and the timer set, I began on the bacon. I figured I had about 10 minutes for six pieces of thick sliced bacon, so I felt pretty confident. Still, I turned the heat up a little higher than usual to ensure that I could cook three strips at a time and still be done within the allotted timeframe.
A little past the halfway point when things were proceeding smoothly, I checked in on the boy (hadn't moved) and decided to check my email. On my way to the living room, I realized that the air was a little hazy and had just enough time to think, "Gee, it's a wonder the smoke alarm hasn't gone off," before the smoke alarm began it's jarring beep.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!!
Casey cowered next to my leg while I froze for a moment before dashing down to the basement to get the step ladder necessary for me to reach the beeping alarm.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!!
I had no sooner grabbed the step ladder than the smoke alarm stopped. I sheepishly climbed the stairs and was greeted with the sight of the boy standing in the hallway between the kitchen and the bedroom with a thunderous look on his face.
"Morning Honey! I made you breakfast!" I said brightly.
There was incoherent mumbling from the messy haired figure in the hallway. He did not look pleased. It was at this precise moment that the timer beeped signaling that the potatoes were done.
"Here, sit down on the couch and I'll bring you breakfast. Do you want juice?"
The boy shuffled past and tossed the now quiet smoke alarm on the microwave as he passed. I took that to mean that he did, in fact, want juice.
I went to turn the heat off of the potatoes and noticed a familiar smell. The smell of....burning?
I snatched the cover off the skillet to see that the second side of the potatoes were now colored a very dark brown that some might describe as black. Drats. What to do now? In a flash of brilliance, I got some shredded cheese from the fridge and smothered the potatoes. I didn't have enough of any one cheese to do the trick, so what covered the potatoes was an interesting mix of mozzarella, co-jack, and cheddar. I turned off the heat and re-covered the potatoes to let the cheese melt while I poured the juice.
It was at this point that I rescued the bacon that had triggered the smoke alarm. Thankfully, it looked fine.
When I took the boy his breakfast (uncovered with a flourish) I said, "I'm so sorry for the rude awakening. I know that the smoke alarm isn't um, a fun way to wake up. But maybe this breakfast will make up for it? It comes from the heart!" I was hopeful that I would be forgiven. After all, breakfast > rude awakening by smoke alarm, right?
The boy's response was, "Next time you're cooking as a surprise, I suggest breaking the potatoes apart on the front porch." (busted!) And then, "Are the potatoes black?!"
"Only on one side! And I'm not sure why. The bag said 4-7 minutes on each side, and that's what I did."
It was at this point that what was left of the boy's bad mood gave way completely and he said in a bemused tone, "Sweetie, that's only a guideline. You still have to watch them."
"How am I supposed to know that? You always do the potatoes!!" I said a silent prayer of thanks that he doesn't expect much from me in the way of cooking and watched as he ate his "surprise" breakfast. "So? How did I do? I mean, forgetting the pounding and the smoke alarm. Er...on a grading scale? B-? C+??"
Chewing thoughtfully the boy asked for the salt and then said, "I think this is more of a pass/fail. You passed."
"Um, what if we add in the pounding and smoke alarm?"
"Let's not press our luck, shall we?"
It was all eaten and I'm pretty sure I'm forgiven. The next "surprise" breakfast will be waffles which are much quieter. Of course, I'll be sure to take the smoke alarm down first. Just in case.