I know that Katryn usually writes our postings but this time I wanted to tell the tale of our latest cooking adventure myself. Last Saturday while preparing for Easter and making our cheesecake and deviled eggs, we thought that we would take advantage of the nice weather and do some grilling as well.
Nothing says Easter like fajitas, margaritas, and cheap mexican beer so I promptly set up our brand new portable grill on our tiny balcony and proceeded to start lighting the charcoal. During this process a gust of wind sent a spark a few feet directly into one of our hanging planters on the railing. The planter’s lining is (maybe I should say “was”) made up of coconut fibers, or for those of you who don’t know, nature’s perfect kindling. The spark immediately started a small flame and without thinking I used the paper towel in my hand to try and smother the flames. Probably not the smartest decision under normal circumstances, my poor choice was exacerbated by the fact that I had just used the paper towel to wipe up some lighter fluid that had dripped onto the balcony. What was once a tiny flame on the planter became a brush fire and the object in my hand, formerly known as a paper towel, was now a flaming ball of death.
While my previous fast action had gotten me into trouble this time I made the quick decision to throw the flaming paper towel into the grill and shut the lid. Death ball of fire averted, I turned my attention to the small forest fire on our balcony and immediately made the decision to use my tasty homemade margarita as a sort of ad-hoc firefighting device (not unlike the helicopters that dump massive buckets of water onto fires). To my disappointment, my selfless sacrifice of adult beverage was not enough to douse the raging inferno, but by this time Katryn had noticed something was up. She started filling up a pitcher of water and we quickly formed a mini bucket brigade that wanna-be fire fighters everywhere would be proud of, involving cups, tupperware, and anything else that would hold water.
The fire was quickly put out this way and we finally took stock of the damage: none really. Our balcony is nothing but concrete and steel and nothing else was ever in danger of catching flame. The only thing damaged other than the planter was my pride. The whole time this little fiasco was going down our neighbors from upstairs were in the front yard planting some lovely flowers. They helpfully pointed out that “Hey, your plants are on fire.” as I scrambled frantically to put it out.
Crisis averted, I took my lost dignity and grilling inside where I proceeded to grill our steak on the grill pan. Remember kids: Smokey says “don’t light your balcony on fire”.