Tuesday, February 24, 2009

alarming the neighborhood

I had the brilliant idea of cooking sam-gyeop-sal downstairs this evening; Mom had bought some high-grade pork for the occasion, so we prepped a Korean-style meal with pan-chan and ssam ingredients, and took the whole mess downstairs so we could eat and watch the news, as has become our ritual since the renovation began to wind down (we have no dining room furniture; all the old stuff is gone).

I fired up the gas stove and we got to cooking... but barely a few minutes into our repast the new fire alarm went off. All I can say this thank God it's not wired to dial 911 automatically; that would have been embarrassing. I should have realized that grilling pork would produce a lot of smoke, and sure enough, it tripped the alarm. The problem is that the downstairs alarm is connected to all the other alarms in the house (we now have one in every major room, bringing our house up to county code), so they all went off, too. What started out as a very tasty dinner quickly degenerated into piercing madness. My brother's dog Maqz is still in residence; I can only imagine how horrible this experience was to his enormous, sensitive ears.

Eventually, Dad and I ventilated the downstairs, clicked off the circuit breaker that feeds the alarms (they also have their own batteries, so we're not completely sure that this move actually worked), and pressed the "hush mode" button on the alarm to quiet things down. But for about 20 minutes or so, we must have been quite entertaining to the neighbors.

Nerves settling back down, we continued our meal in a more low-key manner, with Mom frying up the pork, mushrooms, and onions in the kitchen, where we have access to an over-the-range fan, then bringing the whole thing downstairs. I apologized to the parents for having suggested such a dinner; they promised not to behead me.



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