Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th and the Dish of Death

It all started innocently enough. DH loves to experiment in the kitchen (with COOKING, for those of you with dirty minds), and he's often ripping out recipes from his subscription to Men's Health that my dad gets for him every year. One of the latest: Chile Chicken and Basil. We love flavorful cooking, it sounded perfect. On Saturday, DH gathered the ingredients and set to work. We knew it'd be a little too spicy for Bean -- although with all the salsa and hot food he's been exposed to since his womb days, he does enjoy it -- so we set him up in his high chair with a little milder fare.

DH finely chopped the garlic and serrano chilies, making a "rough paste." He added it to the oil on the hot saute pan, and POOF! A sizzle and some smoke... and DH coughing up a lung. We should have known to stop right there, but we pressed on. He added the chicken, soy sauce, fish sauce, red-chili paste, and sugar. Soon all of us were hacking away without relief. Except the dog, because I guess dogs don't cough? Anyway, Bean stopped eating and choked on the air, he was crying intermittently as we tried to dissipate the smell by turning on the fan and opening the sliding glass door.

"Take that *cough* outside *cough* IMMEDIATELY!" I yelled at DH.

*cough* "Almost done!" *cough* was his reply.

Before I could grab the saute pan and chuck the contents into the yard (and then presumably hit DH over the head with the pan for not stopping sooner), he finally finished. He dumped it on a plate and put it on the patio table outside while I comforted the Bean.

Eventually we all calmed down and resumed normal breathing. I was going to crumple up the recipe and throw it away, but DH wants to keep it. He scrawled at the top in red Sharpie: WARNING! Almost killed family. I guess you never know when it will come in handy, like as a practical joke in one of those recipe-exchange chain emails. But you know the most puzzling thing about the whole experience? The result was actually really yummy.

While Evey pooch did escape being choked by the burning hot fingers of the Dish of Death, she did have her own scare. Last June when we first moved into the house (a year ago already, holy CRAP), one of our neighbors warned us about the mad amount of fireworks that people set off in our neighborhood on Independence Day. "It's like Lebanon around here," he said with a hint of reverence. (I thought he meant that our neighborhood was bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, but DH told me there are/were bombs going off there, which makes much more sense.) Last July 4th we were out of town, so we didn't get to witness this spectacularness.

This past Friday, DH was outside in the yard when our next door neighbor pulled into his driveway. He began unloading fireworks from his SUV, telling DH how he had gone to a nearby reservation to get the reeeeeally good (read: illegal) stuff. He mentioned that they'd gotten some doggy downers for their pooch to help with her anxiety, and DH agreed that was a good idea for ours as well.

When we were out running errands later that day, we swung by our vet to get our own. (No, I won't sell them to you, don't ask.) As night approached, we knew there would be fireworks going off, even though it was only July 3rd. The bottle instructed us to give her 1/2 to 1 pill, one hour before the anticipated event. Around 8 pm, we hid one in a peanut butter treat and considered it good.

It took awhile, but boy did that pill kick in! She was so out of it, she could hardly move. In the middle of the night, I heard her whining on the edge of our bed. I was at least with it enough to help her off the bed -- thank goodness, because otherwise I would have ended up with a pile of dog crap on my comforter instead of just in the hall. In the morning, I was terrified when I could hardly wake her. Fortunately, though, all's well that ends well. She eventually snapped out of it (more than 12 hours later) and was back to annoying the hell out of me. Whew! Needless to say, we only gave her half a pill on July 4th, and that was only after she proved she really needed it, by having a constant panic attack as she ran from room to room to escape the noise.

Yes, the neighbor was indeed right, the fireworks being set off in our neighborhood were HARD CORE and unrelenting for hours. The house shook frequently, the rockets let off ear-splitting screams. I would have enjoyed it, if I had not been so concerned about Bean waking up terrified, alone in his room amidst the attack of patriotism. I don't think it would have been any louder if we put his crib in the middle of the percussion section of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. But you know what?

The kid didn't wake up. HE SLEPT RIGHT THROUGH IT.

This being the child who didn't sleep through the night until he was 14 months old. At one point, I actually became overwhelming terrified that he was dead because he made not a peep after 10 rockets blasted off one after another, not 20 feet from his bedroom window (which overlooks the street, I might add). I snuck into his room -- which didn't involve much sneaking, as you wouldn't have heard me if I marched in playing a tuba, considering all the noise of the fireworks -- and found him curled up on his side, cuddling his Sleep Dog and dreaming of those bizarre creatures on Yo Gabba Gabba!, or whatever toddlers dream about. Unfortunately, DH and I didn't have quite as much luck sleeping through it all. But eventually, we all drifted off.

Enough blabbing, it's picture time!

Last Wednesday, I took Bean to the Seattle Children's Museum. Which totally ROCKS, by the way. It was nominated by Nickelodeon as a Parents' Pick for Best Museum, so we knew it would be awesome. When has Nickelodeon ever let me down? I mean seriously, Snick, anyone? So we were supposed to go with three friends from preschool, but they all backed out at the last minute for various reasons. I talked it over with Bean, and we decided that WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' FRIENDS so we went just the two of us. Here he is exploring some of the exhibits.

Bean has this strange (and completely safe!) habit of wrapping the dog's leash around his shoulders and walking around the house. I personally think he looks like a tailor. (And in that second picture, a slightly tipsy one. Watch where you're pinning that, Bean!)

Bean and I have different ideas on how to sort the mail. I rarely find the need to involve the dog.

We went all out and bought Bean a $5 pool from Target. He loves it! He uses his bath toys to splash all the water out, all the more giggles if he hits the dog. But he has trouble keeping it from also splashing his own face, which makes him cry. Karma's a bitch. (Also, do you like the new haircut?)


AFD said...

OMG! LOVE the haircut. What a little cutie pie! Makes me want to get Nate's cut. Well...maybe I'll wait a little longer...I don't want him to grow up too fast.

Anonymous said...

I've lost count of the number of times my husband has smoked us out of the house when he is trying to cook with hot peppers. He has never labeled his recipes, though reading this, I might recommend it.

The pictures are great!

Kristina P. said...

My goodness! I'm glad you didn't die a painful, burning death. Hey, at least your husband cooks.

Jen said...

Totally have the exact same pool!

Jeramy too bought a ton of fireworks, only we annoyed our friends' neighbors rather than our own. Plus Cujo is just like Evie. I'm thinking our neighborhood was pretty quiet since we live in the middle of nowhere.

Beautiful Mess said...

Ahhh yes the Washington State fireworks that are not legal in Oregon and go BOOM! Not that I would EVER cross state lines and buy said fireworks and light them off in Oregon. That's illegal and I would NEVER do such a thing....Glad Bean slept through everything and your dog survived.
Love his haircut! He's so darn cute. Of course, you already knew that.

Michelle said...

LOL the recipe sounds like something that would happen to us. I so need to find some of those pills for my dog. he needs them for fireworks, thunderstorms, clapping and hockey basically all the time. He is a little timid. :)

Nicky said...

To tie your stories together: we once caused so much smoke while cooking (after LL was asleep) that we set off the smoke alarm. And LL slept through it, even though the alarm is on the exact same wall as his crib. Seriously. He cries if we walk down the hallway too loud, but sleeps through a smoke alarm blaring right on top of him. Kids crack me up sometimes.

Sarah said...

Hilarious about Lebanon! It's amazing how kids wake up when they sense you gazing over their crib, yet they can sleep through crazy fireworks, and in my daughter's case, horrid sirens towards the Pentagon and ear piercing fire alarms in our building. Go figure.

lisawitt said...

omg, i was laughing my a$$ off at the visual of this dinner...and of poor evey pooping in the hall and not your bed! ;-)

And Danny's new hair cut is TOO cute!

Glad yall had a good 4th!

Red said...

Like your hubby's recipe classifying system.

The hair cut is awesome, it makes him look so grown up!

Champ has does the same Bean does with the dog's lead but with Cowboy's ties. Again totally safe!

Soxy Deb said...

Love the hair! And the little pot belly he's getting. How freakin cute is he?!?!

I have a similar story of choking while cooking a spicy dish. OMG it was AWFUL!! ANd yep, I still make it. I just make sure to open the windows and get the fans all working before I start. It's all in the planning. lol

Coffeegrl said...

What a death defying recipe! Sounds delicious! When I was in high school, my mother and I went through this phase where we loved blackened fish. So she found a recipe and we tried making it at home. All that we could figure was that the combo of peppers (red, white, black) was breath-taking mostly because the peppers she bought were brand new. But the results were truly inedible. We laughed and vowed never to make it again!

The new haircut is adorable :)

Millennium Housewife said...

Ah chillies, should be called hotties really. Cute photos MH