It finally happened. The day we all knew would come. I caught something on fire.
When I eat Chinese food, my absolute favorite thing to eat is crab rangoon. It is basically a wanton that has crab and cream cheese stuffed inside. I knew I didn’t have the motivation to make that from scratch, so I found it in the frozen food aisle and decided to give it a try.
The first time I made it, the directions said to throw it in the oven for eight to 12 minutes and that was it. Very simple and easy, and they tasted pretty good.
Knowing I would want them again, I only ate half of them.
A few days later, I decided it was time for me to chow down again. There were no microwave instructions and in my mind the creators felt they would taste better if they were in the oven as opposed to the microwave. (Not once did it cross my mind that they were not microwave-safe.) Being that I typically choose speed over quality, I decided that the microwave would suffice. I figured that if they were allowed to be in the oven for twelve minutes at 400 degrees, then it would be fine to microwave them for five.
I was wrong — so very, very wrong.
While waiting for the microwave to beep, I sat on the couch and started playing Words with Friends on my phone. Right when I was trying to determine where I could put a “J” to make my pitiful score grow, I looked up and noticed a disaster.
After only two minutes, smoke was pouring out of the closed microwave and circling the kitchen. I screamed and decided to run into action. I immediately opened the microwave, which caused even more smoke to come out, so I slammed the door shut, grabbed a towel and started waving it around the room.
My thought process was that it would get rid of the smoke in the air and spread it out so it wouldn’t set the fire alarm off. I jerked open the screen door, hoping the smoke would just flow out the window and my roommates would never have a clue.
I then decided that a fan would help the air circulate. I ran down the hallway screaming like a maniac and grabbed my fan. I started running again, only to be jerked back because the cord was stuck on my speakers. After setting the fan free, I ran back down the hallway screaming and plugged in the fan. Then I went over to the microwave and opened it, hoping the smoke had magically disappeared. It hadn’t, so I slammed it shut again and ran around with a towel, trying to move the smoke outside.
Finally, I determined that I had to let the microwave empty itself of all the smoke and then it would be over. I opened the microwave and kept fanning the smoke so it would not just be in one giant cloud.
Eventually, the smoke stopped and everything was OK. Except my crab rangoon, which went from frozen wantons to looking like three pieces of charcoal. (And the paper towel, which was also black.)
My roommates were not fooled by my efforts and came out of their rooms with watering eyes from the smoke. Our apartment smelled like burnt popcorn.
Now every time we use the microwave, we can still smell the faint stench of burnt crab rangoon.
And I’m not allowed to use kitchen appliances without supervision.
Mesha Baylis-Blalock is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Send her your cooking tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.