One of our favourite shared activities is cooking. We’ve always enjoyed trying new recipes and adding things to our repertoire–and we have a lot of fun doing it. From mufalettas (for which I spent an hour pitting olives because I bought the wrong ones), to making it up as we go along (like our fabulous fish cakes), cooking and experimenting in the kitchen together has been a mainstay since we started dating.
But…the one food we’ll never try to make again is falafel.
Don’t get me wrong: falafels are a favourite for both of us. That’s why we wanted to learn to make them in the first place. So one day, when we lived in our first apartment together, I went across the street to Sunterra Market and bought a boxed mix. It was supposed to be easy; just mix with water, form into little balls, and fry them up. Voila! Couldn’t be simpler.
We made the falafel balls, put an inch of oil in the pan, and let it heat up. To bring it to temperature faster, we covered the pan with a pot lid, which we soon found wasn’t the best idea. When I lifted the lid to check the oil, it stuck to the pan; when I got it free, the pan was on fire.
So we did what any two responsible adults would do: we panicked. The first thing I did was run for the fire extinguisher, which was outside in the hallway. (Edit from Olivia: I’m pretty sure I started shrieking for help.) When I opened the door, the fire alarm went off. I let loose with the extinguisher and did little more than spray yellow foam all over the kitchen.
By now the flames were getting higher (though thankfully contained to the pan), so I ran across the hallway to get help from our neighbour. After banging on the door, he finally answered, strode calmly into our apartment, sprayed the fire extinguisher again, put the lid over the pan, and went back across the hall assuring us it would go out soon. It turns out he’d worked in a hotel kitchen and had seen his share of such fires. The strangest thing was, even though the fire alarm was ringing through the entire apartment building, nobody seemed at all concerned. There was a lot of cleaning to be done over the next few days, but thankfully, no damage–except for the $80 the landlord charged us for using the fire extinguisher.
After we’d calmed down, we ordered pizza. If we want falafels, we go to Feta&Olives.
Anything But Falafels is a food blog written by James and Olivia. We believe that cooking should be fun and simple; the recipes in this blog will be straight forward and manageable–just the way we like them! We will do our best to give credit to the rightful owners of any recipes that we use, and won’t be publishing copyrighted recipes.
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