Sundays are the one day Lane and I both have off and we try our best to balance no-pants lounging time with getting out of the house and doing something time. We’ve spent the last few Sundays brunching, going to the movies and running errands, so I decided to make brunch at home so Lane could sleep until noon and I could stay in my PJs and read at least three sections of the Times in one extended sitting.
I made a delicious chicken dish for dinner and intended to get a jump-start on sticky buns for the morning, but I didn’t start cooking until 9:00 and we didn’t finish dinner until nearly eleven. I managed to heat up the milk to activate the yeast, but it didn’t foam the way I wanted it to, so I just went to bed. I woke up on Sunday morning around six, went down to get the paper and fell back asleep. I woke up again at eight and started making the dough for the buns. The activated yeast foamed properly and the resulting dough was perfect. But then it had to rise for an hour and a half and then chill for two hours. I turned the oven on and put the dough in the microwave (conveniently located above the range) to speed up the rising process and then put it in the freezer for expedited chilling. I read the Styles section and toasted pecans and made the glaze. I pulled the dough out of the freezer and then my sister called, which was perfect because the dough was too hard and needed some time to defrost. I spent 40 minutes gabbing about the anti-wedding, irksome co-workers and mattresses. By the end of our conversation, the dough was sufficiently thawed and I set to assembling the buns and put them in the oven.
About 20 minutes into their bake-time, I started coughing and noticed a shit ton of smoke coming out of the oven. I turned on the fan and opened the windows thinking it was just something from a prior meal that was burning off in the bottom of the oven. Then I opened the oven again to rotate the buns and saw that the glaze was bubbling over and the burning sugar was creating all the smoke, which was now billowing out my windows onto the street. I figured I’d just deal with it and finish cooking the buns but then all that burning sugar caught on fire. Actual orange flames were shooting up in the oven. I stayed calm and got Lane out of the bedroom and asked him if we had a fire extinguisher. He said “We don’t, but we have salt.” and proceeded to chuck handfuls of salt on the fire. Disaster averted. I put a pan underneath the buns to catch any further flammable, bubbling glaze. The buns came out of the oven unscathed and delicious.
Then we heard sirens. The smoke had been floating out our windows for a good half hour and it smelled like burning hair out on the street. I froze as a fire truck pulled up in front of our house. Lane stuck his head out the window, prepared to explain that it was just a small cooking fire and sorry, we don’t have our smoke detectors plugged in and please, return to the fire house, nothing to see here. But no firemen got out of the truck, just EMTs and I poked my head out the window and saw a bleeding and drug-addled teen had set up camp in front of our garage and some Haight Street Samaritan had called 911. The EMTs bandaged up whatever was bleeding and the teen disappeared into the Panhandle. Later in the evening, we noticed our landlord had put up these signs on the garage door and the side entrance.
We made some bacon and scrambled eggs and I chopped up a pineapple and we sat down to our five-hour breakfast. It was delicious. Then we digested and went to see The Hunger Games.
Chicken with Morels (Barefoot Contessa, Food Network)
The Ultimate Sticky Buns (Bon Apetit)