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Kay and the Thanksgiving Curse

Kay headshot
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron conduct a controlled detonation Sept. 30, 2009, at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. EOD technicians are responsible for the disposal of all unexploded ordnance on the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

A fairly accurate representation of what happens when Kay is in the kitchen around Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: it’s a time to give thanks for all our blessings in life: family, friends, home and hearth. However, in the Klocko household, it is also a time of great danger and tribulation: Because Kay May Cook.

As we come up on Thanksgiving, patrons will occasionally ask me, “Are you cooking?” and my response is usually a look of horror and “Oh, no!” When I met my husband, I did cook, but my failure rate was about 50%. Half of the things I made were really awful. It only took one try of a failure and, to my delight, Bryan declared that I was never allowed to cook again. Then, as time went on, I got food allergies (gluten) and Bryan got food allergies (dairy) and our dog got food allergies (beef and most kibbles),  so with all the practice, he has become extremely proficient at cooking. The other day, he made a gluten-free, dairy-free onion soup that was so tasty I had to stop myself from scarfing all of it at once!

However, occasionally, I go in the kitchen. It usually goes all right, except if it’s around Thanksgiving. Then things get set on fire.

The first incident was way back in 2004(ish). My parents were visiting and it was Thanksgiving Day. I had decided to make pumpkin flan and was trying to melt sugar. We have a glass top stove. Learn from my example: pyrex cannot be used on a glass top stove. I was holding the pyrex an inch above the burner when it exploded in a huge puff of glass shards that flew in all directions. Fortunately, although I got nicked on the arm, the glass shards mostly missed me. However, at that point the burning sugar-that had been contained by the pyrex-dropped down, hit the hot burner and we had a 3 foot column of fire in our kitchen. I ran for one of our fire extinguishers and doused the fire and everything else in the kitchen liberally with foam.

It took about 3 hours to clean up.  I can’t remember what we had for dinner that year, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t turkey.

The next year, I was doing tacos about a week before Thanksgiving and had the brilliant idea of heating the taco shells in the toaster oven, neglecting to read the warnings that say “don’t do this.”

Kay's Thanksgiving plant blossoming

Kay’s Thanksgiving plant, on the other hand, loves this holiday…

When they inevitably got set on fire, I was away from the kitchen. I came back to find them burning merrily and then made my second fatal error of the day, I opened the door to extinguish them. Don’t do that-it only gives the fire oxygen. For the second time in two years, we had a 3-foot column of flames in our kitchen. I ran and got the second fire extinguisher (the first having been used the year before) and sprayed the entire kitchen with foam again.

That night I went and got two more fire extinguishers.

Several years after that, having learned my lesson and stayed away from the kitchen around Thanksgiving, I had another brilliant idea. The kitchen faucet was leaking. (I’m actually in charge of all home repairs because the one time I asked Bryan to caulk something he got caulk on the tub spigot, the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the back bathroom sink, the bathroom door handle and, oddly enough, the back door to the house. He was fired forthwith. You might say we deserve each other.) I optimistically watched some YouTube videos and proceeded to turn off the hot water.

Turns out…it was leaking because it was really old and needed to be replaced. Once I turned off the hot water, the shut-off broke and I couldn’t get it turned back on.

The plumber I called must have thought I was crazy as I’m whispering into the phone, “You have to come before my husband finds out what I’ve done!”

So, there it is…why Kay does not cook most of the time and especially why Kay does not cook during Thanksgiving week. As you and yours sit down this holiday, I hope you have a lovely day full of family, food and holiday fun.

Just don’t forget to check your fire extinguishers first.