When I lived in Ireland, I was very into blackened everything –blackened chicken, beef, you-name-it. And, I was constantly setting off the smoke alarm in the hallway outside the kitchen. That smoke alarm was hard-wired into a security and fire alarm system, so there was no removing the batteries.
Whenever I got to cooking my latest blackened whatever, it would take only minutes and the smoke alarm would be blasting. Within minutes my phone would be ringing with a call from the control station that monitored the security system. “M’am, is there a problem? Do we need to send out the fire brigade?”, “No, thanks for calling, its just some blackened whatever for dinner, sorry for the inconvenience.” “Ok, m’am, as long as everything is under control.” I can’t tell you how many times I had this conversation over the course of a couple of years. One time, they sent out the fire brigade without calling first, and I was about to sit down to a lovely Cajun spiced/blackened steak when the guys showed up with sirens wailing.
Poor Clover. The smoke alarm would send her into a tizzy and she would head for the backyard to hide behind the shed until dinner was cooked, and the alarm was silenced. Rain, sleet, hail — it didn’t matter what the weather — she wanted OUT and she wanted OUT NOW!
Now, seven years later, whenever I step into the kitchen and put anything on the stove, it could be the kettle for tea, a pot for a poached egg, it doesn’t matter. Clover still comments on my cooking skills by pawing at the back door so she can wait outside until she is assured that I won’t be setting off the smoke alarm. Cosmo is not happy when the alarm goes off either, and insists on joining Clover outside until the coast is clear. The only way I can get them back in the house is by bribery.