29 October, 2005

flaming croissants

I was not expecting to make a burnt offerings confession this week…we are in Tasmania and so have a week of eating out. Having said that I have had dinner in the hotel room tonight (frozen meal which required microwaving – that’s cooking of sorts) whilst B attends a dinner associated with the conference he is in Tas to attend.

My confession is not dinner tonight but breakfast this morning. Opting for the Continental Breakfast (stewed fruits, yoghurt, cereal, breads and croissants) served in the restaurant of the hotel where we are staying, as a walk to the nearest café’s seemed out of the question, due to the fact that it was raining quite a bit and B had the conference to get to. It was going to be a big day (more on that later, I want to get this off my chest). A croissant with jam would get me off to a good start, but I’m sure you’d agree, a croissant needs to be warm. Now the only way this would be possible would be if the croissant could go through the hotels toaster (you know the kind, you put the toast on the toaster conveyor belt and it falls out the other end toasted). I examined the opening, it would be very tight, the croissant could get stuck. So I decided on stewed pears and yoghurt whilst I considered my options for a croissant. B got me a coffee and I asked him for his advice:

B: you could flatten it before putting it in
Me: yeah I had also thought that might work

A survey of the restaurant, only a couple of other diners, I’m going for it.

Now I don’t know why but I grabbed a croissant, squashed it, and also grabbed a slice of fruit loaf, and before placing them on the conveyor belt for toasting I checked the dial indicating the level of toasting was for light. Great, we were in business, so I offered my selections for toasting. All appeared to be going well, the croissant had clearance, however a heap of smoke started at the midpoint, too far for me to reach in, I looked over to B for help but he was reading the paper, I had to act:

Step 1: start waving your arms around, this helps to dissipate the smoke, not
Step 2: turn the dial to lighter, this should work if you don’t turn it too far like I did to darkest
At this point when flames are now about 10cm’s height from the back of the toaster
Step 3: look to your husband for help, realise he’s got no idea of the drama unfolding, wave your arms even though you know from step 1 this is of no use, and decide as the toast and croissant appear, that if you are discovered now by the staff, you will take an indignant position that it was the fault of the toaster. Hide the croissant under the fruit loaf which looks more burnt than the croissant. Why, I ask, because I don’t think the croissant should have been in the toaster, and it must have been the butter in the croissant that caused the flames.
Step 4: go back to your seat and observe from afar patrons entering the restaurant and all those that comment that ‘someone has burnt the toast’.

I ate the croissant but couldn’t eat the toast, it looked like a piece of coal, and I confessed in a way to the waiter guy something like “sorry, I couldn’t eat the toast, it got a bit burnt” which made me feel a bit better, he blamed it on the toaster. I then wondered whether it really was my fault, so thought I’d ask if you could toast the croissants to which he replied “so you really would like to burn the place down” laughing as he walked away.

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